Posted on July 1st, 2013 by Rachel
One of my favorite perks, as the JMM Volunteer Coordinator, is getting to know the volunteers. They are a wonderful group of individuals and I’d like to highlight one person in particular.
Laraine Fisher has been volunteering at the JMM for around 5 years. She connected with the JMM through the Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) of the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore. We’ve received a number of referrals through our affiliation with the JVC.
Laraine started her volunteer career after working for 31 years as the Administrative Assistant to the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Sinai hospital. She worked for 3 years for Baltimore County Public Schools at Chatsworth Elementary as a one-on-one assistant to a student with Asperger’s Syndrome. She then contacted the JVC and was placed at Cross County Elementary assisting a first grade teacher and the next year at Wellwood Elementary in same capacity.
She loves to read and was instrumental in starting the evening book club at the Pikesville library. As she has a passion for the theater, she volunteers at Center Stage.
Front desk volunteer hard at work!
At the JMM, Laraine volunteers as a Front Desk Receptionist. In her position, she provides an invaluable service to the Museum by maintaining a warm and welcome atmosphere for Museum guests. Our receptionist serves as the Museum’s customer service representative while orienting visitors to the Museum complex. She especially enjoys interacting with the public and meeting our interesting visitors. One of her favorite aspects is that she never knows who she is going to meet and greet. She is asked about everything from restaurants to sightseeing recommendations and enjoys being helpful in any way she can.
Laraine likes to be actively involved in things that interest her. We are grateful that the JMM is on her list!
A blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at email@example.com or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.
Posted on June 10th, 2013 by Rachel
Although the AAM conference didn’t officially begin until Sunday, 35 collections care professionals and conservators gathered together in Baltimore on Saturday morning for a pre-conference workshop: The Reinforcement Crew.
Now in its 7th year, the Reinforcement Crew is the brain child of Heather Kajic (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC) and Mark Ryan (Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND) and is a sub-committee of the AAM Registrar’s Committee. While discussing a session proposal for the 2007 AAM Annual Meeting about the various “helping hands” projects conducted at the regional level, Heather and Mark decided to take it one step further and planned a day-long service project.
This is the 6th time Libby Krecek from Omaha, Nebraska has volunteered with the Reinforcement Crew. Look at that fabulous feather hat!
The goal is for collection professionals from around the country to volunteer their time and expertise to assist smaller museums and cultural institutions with collections-based projects that they couldn’t otherwise do on their own.
The Reinforcement Crew is an excellent way for Museum Studies students to get hands-on experience and supervision before beginning their professional careers.
In Baltimore Reinforcement Crew dispersed to 4 different sites for a day-long hands-on collections project at the Evergreen House on the Johns Hopkins University Campus, James E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan State University, the Lillie Carroll Jackson House (currently housed at the JELMA), and the Fells Point Preservation Society. We could see the impact of our work immediately.
With guidance from a Washington Conservation Guild volunteer, a Morgan State student constructs a box to house a dress.
For example, my group of 12–which included museum studies students, a museum board member and volunteer, and a photographer from the Washington Conservation Guild—began an inventory of artifacts from the Lillie Carroll Jackson House, including brief condition reports and photographs. Lillie Carroll Jackson started the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP –and had a wonderful sense of style!
After I untangled the beaded necklace, earrings, and a watch, they were housed in separate bags.
We worked for 5 hours, contributing 60 man-hours of labor! We inventoried over 150 objects, but more importantly we did what amounts to 1.5 weeks of pure, concentrated collections work, which is nearly impossible to complete when you are working by yourself. I think many of us would have loved the opportunity to stay another day (or two or three) to finish the inventory!
The inscription on the back of this photograph appears to read, “To Mrs. Lillie May Jackson With all fond wishes to a distinguished citizen of Baltimore. Theodore McKeldin. Mayor, March 3, 1945.
According to James E. Lewis Museum of Art registrar (and former JMM intern) Nicole Paterson, “Months of work was done in just one day.” Ten members of the Washington Conservation Guild and other Reinforcement Crew volunteers unframed and housed 100 works of art for the JELMA.
Lillie Carroll Jackson seemed equally fond of Mayor McKeldin. I love the details of his office in this souvenir.
The Reinforcement Crew (and the regional groups White Gloves Gang, WCG Angels, and Helping Hands Brigade), is extremely successful because the participants know they are truly helping out their colleagues. Many of the participants are familiar with one another through the Registrar’s Committee List-Serve, but the camaraderie is built while working together. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network, explore another museum’s collection, share knowledge, and learn something new. All of the participants in the Reinforcement Crew are all volunteers. In fact, they often come at their own expense! Talk about dedication!!
Nikola Astles from the University of Vermont Museums, worked on Lillie Carroll Jackson’s shoes, which included a set of spurs!
The success of the Reinforcement Crew not only depends upon the voluntary time of museum professionals but also the generosity of vendors in the industry. The 2013 Reinforcement crew was sponsored by Terry Dowd Inc., Transport Consultants International (TCI), Materials & Methods and Bonsai Fine Arts. In addition to providing the necessary supplies, and refreshing libations, the sponsors also pitched in for the volunteer event.
Reinforcement Crew sponsor TCI proudly displays their certificate of recognition from the Registrar’s Committee at their booth in the Expo Hall.
At the end of the afternoon, the Crew gathered together for a reception at the Fells Point Preservation Society. We enjoyed some local treats including Utz Crab Chips and Berger cookies, tested the libations from several area breweries, and heard the praises of thanks from our host institutions.
Sebastian Encina from the University of Michigan Museum worked at the Evergreen House before he enjoyed a beer and watched the Preakness Stakes.
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A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink. Jobi is also the Museum’s Registrar and Intern Wrangler. Click here to read other posts by Jobi!
Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Rachel
The Jewish Museum of Maryland could not offer many of it’s services without the help of dedicated volunteers. On Friday, May 31 the JMM held it’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Event. It was our chance to formally say Thank You to our marvelous volunteer corps. A bagel brunch was followed by a performance of the Leo V. Berger Immigant’s Trunk Program, introducing Bessie Bluefeld and starring Terry Nicholetti.
Photo by Will Kirk
Bessie entranced the audience with her story of traveling to America and making a name for herself in the catering industry. She withstood many hardships, and had to start over many times. It’s stories like this that benefit our Docents when they tell stories about what life was like for immigrants, new to Baltimore, at the time period when the two historic synagogues were built (although Bessie did not arrive in Baltimore until the early 1900′s).
It was also a time for JMM staff to highlight the contribution of the volunteers they work with. This includes volunteers in our Collections, Archives, and Genealogy/Family History departments, plus the volunteers who are the face of the museum to visitors, the Front Desk and Museum Shop volunteers plus the Docents.
The event concluded with a raffle of items donated by local organizations including, the Baltimore Blast, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, CenterStage, the Geppi Entertainment Museum, and the Museum Shop at the JMM. Many thanks to those who contributed to our event and agree that volunteers are such an important part of our Museum.
A blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers!