The New, Improved, West Wing

Posted on July 6, 2011 by

By Elena Rosemond-Hoerr, Education & Program Coordinator

The JMM has two sides. The main administrative offices, in back of where the exhibits live, and the West Wing, where the Education and Programs Department lives. Not unlike the real West Wing, the JMM WW includes (arguably) the most important people. Okay, maybe not. But we’re definitely the most fun. Our department includes myself, Elena Rosemond-Hoerr (Education and Program Coordinator), Rachael Binning (Community Outreach Coordinator), Ilene Cohen (Volunteer Coordinator), Ilene Dackman-Alon (Director of Programs), Deborah Cardin (Director of Education), and a slew of interns.

The West Wing is divided up into four rooms. The first is what used to be a coat rack, which contains mostly storage. Once you’ve walked through this open room, you enter a large room where Ilene C, Rachael, myself, and interns work. Down a short hallway are Ilene D-A and Deborah’s offices. When I started, just over a year ago, the room where I worked was a hot mess. There were two desks, a large copier, a giant table with giant chairs, and a few shelving and storage units. The walls were dirty, the corners were filled with clutter, and nobody could ever find anything. It drove me crazy.

A few months after I started we hired Rachael, adding a third mismatched desk and another body to our small space.  We started dreaming about all the things we would change if we could have our dream office.  Eventually we drew out plans for an office redesign that would be affordable and revolutionary.  We figured that if we put together some Ikea furniture ourselves on the cheap our CFO would absolutely let us do it.  When we took the plan to her she said no to our Ikea proposal, and instead came up with a MUCH better plan of bringing an office redesign specialist in to trouble shoot with us!

Before (dramatization) via

After Susan’s office magician came in we waited and waited and waited for our furniture to be delivered.  Finally, one glorious day in late May, we got a call that our furniture would be delivered the following week!  We spent days clearing everything out of the office, recycling and trashing what felt like tons of things.

Rachel, Rachael, and I painting!

The Friday before the furniture was being delivered Rachael and I stood in the middle of the empty room and came to a realization- we needed to paint.  The walls were long over due for a touching up, and since spent all this time getting a “new” office it felt like a shame not to go the extra step to paint.  So Rachael and I walked over to the local Duron to pick up paint, thinking we’d paint sometime over the weekend. By the time we’d picked out the color and walked back to the Museum, we were too excited to wait.  So at 4pm on a Friday, with the help of Rachel Kassman, Jennifer Vess, and Rachael’s dog Wednesday, we painted the entire West Wing.

Wednesday, the best canine painting assistant ever.

When the new furniture arrived the next week we very carefully returned files, supplies, and decorations into the office.  So far, we LOVE it.  Our number one rule has been KEEP IT CLEAN, and it’s working!  The biggest compliment we’ve gotten so far? A fellow water ballet member said after seeing it “I can tell you went to art school by how beautiful your office is!”

I have to agree with her.

The office, a panorama

Another fun thing I did for my space, which doesn’t have a pinboard, is make this frame for hanging things.  Based on this DIY, this little frame has been the perfect way to display some pictures and make my corner of the office my own.

We love our little office!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland


1 Comment

  1. Rachael says:

    Our office rocks!

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