I truly believe that everyone should have access to the arts, heritage and nature. That, as a medium, to help make meaning for ourselves and our society, inspire creativity and critical thinking skills these elements and how we interact with them make a huge difference through small interactions.
The collections, narratives and spaces that we are guardians of provide a multitude of ways to engage and support people of all ages and abilities, whether that is in Early Years development, service learning opportunities for young people, lifelong learning or just a space to breathe and enjoy. They make a small, memorable and invaluable difference in someone’s life.
Starting my career in a small, independent open air museum and currently working in a historic house has meant that there is never the same day twice. Both have charity status and a wonderful, supportive group of volunteers, so fundraising and a collaborative team have been a mainstay of my working life throughout the years.
The thing you learn quickly in a small museum is how much your job title doesn’t actually reflect your day to day role in its entirety as it’s all about team work. Education Officer meant schools, families, universities, groups, interpretation, collection care, special events, fundraiser, cashier, ticket seller, volunteer manager and health and safety (on special occasions it also meant feeding the sheep, helping to re-erect buildings and babysitting film crews).
In a larger organisation you get to streamline where Learning and Community officer means schools, families, universities, community engagement and volunteer manager. You input into the wider visitor engagement supporting interpretation, learn more about brand guidelines, websites and social media and its still about team work.
My core principles
I want to provide a collaborative, professional and supportive environment and relationship with clients that creates sustainable, ethical and enjoyable engagement and learning opportunities that are inclusive, welcoming and accessible to all learners and visitors.
(c) Melissa Kate Maynard