Over the 10-week period during which I worked at Museum of the Moving Image, I aided in a wide variety of projects that spanned different departments within the Museum. Though my primary department was the Film Department and I spent the majority of my time in the office space working on film programming-related projects, I also worked on projects for the Project Director and the Education Department. Since the office spaces at the Museum are constructed as open and door-free to foster a more collaborative work environment, I was able to both sit in on and listen to the all-staff meetings as well as many meetings of the curatorial committee and even some job interviews. All of these factors have allowed me to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of the Museum and how cultural institutions of this size and type operate.
As a film intern working under Chief Curator David Schwartz and Assistant Film Curator Rachael Rakes, my main responsibilities consisted of creating program notes for film screenings, writing film descriptions for the Museum calendar (which I also helped to copy-edit), conducting promotional outreach for film programs since the Museum has no advertising budget, coordinating volunteers for the Museum's free outdoor screenings at Socrates Sculpture Park, and collaborating on ideas for future programs.
In addition to the work I did for the Film Department, I spent a few hours each week assisting the Education Department with group tours of the Museum. I accompanied camp groups as they went through the Museum to answer any questions that might arise and ensure that all of the children were behaving properly and not putting any of the Museum's artifacts at risk. This was particularly rewarding when the kids showed a strong interest in learning about movies, how they're made, and where the artifacts in the Museum came from, as I was able to use the Museum's collection to teach them and thereby experience what the Education Department is all about.
The collaborative atmosphere of the Museum's offices provided that perfect environment in which to learn the ins and outs of such a cultural institution, even in the departments that I did not officially work in.