Title:Museum Internships as Catalysts for Change
Authors:Mimi Roberts
Publication:MW2011: Museums and the Web 2011

This discussion will focus on the new roles of interns as museums respond to radical changes, many of which have technological underpinnings, and job positions and career opportunities expand in cultural technology--the emerging field at the intersection of digital media, networks, and cultural content. Cultural repositories are at a critical transition point. The Web is having a profound impact on how institutions fulfill their cultural missions. An increasing share of resources--human and financial--are devoted to digitization, preservation, and online access.

Some of the questions we will address are as follows: How is technology driving changes in the traditionsl roles of museum interns and mentors? How can museum internship programs empower students from diverse backgrounds to become cultural intrepreters and knowledge contributers? What are some strategies for funding internship partnerships between museums and universities? How can interns help museums adapt to technological change?

In June 2010 the Cultural Technology Partnership of the New Mexico Dept. of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts received funding to establish the first AmeriCorps Cultural Technology Internship Program. If this presentation is accepted we will bring two of our AmeriCorps volunteers to share their experiences and enliven discussion.