Inside the Strange and Wonderful World of a Museum Educator

Museum educator

If you’ve ever worked in the field of museum education, you know that people “on the outside” have no idea what that means. “That must be so fun,” we hear a lot. Yes, it is fun! However, no, we don’t teach kids how to paint all day! We do all kinds of strange things in this field.  In order to offer a bit of insight into the day-to-day experience of  a museum educator, I’ve interviewed the Studio and Outreach Coordinator here at CMA, Stephanie Rybicki. Here are some interesting tidbits I unearthed:

On a regular basis, Stephanie…

Comes up with creative challenges for program participants.  For Girl Scout Day, she had scouts recreate portraits by George Bellows:

Bellows interpretation

A not-so-pleasant aspect of Stephanie’s job is…

Unclogging glue bottles! With so much programming going on all the time, Stephanie is constantly cleaning, organizing, and setting up for the next workshop. It’s a good thing she has interns to help her out;)

One of Stephanie’s favorite work days was…

When artist Oliver Herring performed TASK, during which CMA visitors were invited to do all kinds of crazy things. Stephanie helped by building a fort of streamers and sending streamer bombs flying across the room.


Oliver Herring taking a selfie with a TASK participant

Stephanie has to mix the fun and hectic stuff with the boring and mundane stuff, just like any other job. Her most boring day was spent…

Sorting paper. To anyone interested in an internship here at CMA, we love people who can organize!

Stephanie will be leaving us soon, to pursue her career in the great state of Texas.  We are very sad. This experience has changed her by…

Making her more comfortable with silliness and being goofy. She can dress up like a “cat witch” (sorry, no picture), Photoshop glamour shots, or make tiny rats for a Caravaggio exhibit.

The lesson to be learned from Stephanie is that museum education can look like almost anything. So, stay on your toes and go with the flow!

Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.

– Susie Underwood, Manager for Studio Initiatives