After the reception of the new exhibition of Cecilia Vicuna and Alice Rahon that was on the 5th of December. I had the privilege of working alongside of some of the staff at MOCA in the education department for three consecutive days. I worked alongside Amanda Covach, the Curator of Education, Agatha Wright, the Education Programs Coordinator, Jonelle Martin, the Development Coordinator and Justin Martin, the Development Coordinator.
For the first two days I helped Agatha Wright with paperwork for the Teen Art Force, which happens weekly. The Teen Art Force is a free art program which is funded by the City of North Miami for young people ages 13 to 17 from 4pm to 6pm. Each day consist of different activities. For example, Monday- fashion x textile design, Tuesday- drawing x portfolio development, Wednesday- Media x Mixed Sculpture, Thursday- Print Making and Friday- Art Journalism x Photography. Each young person first needs to sign up before attending each class and what I did was decode their contact information on a separate piece of paper and honestly, I could not have understood some of the students’ handwriting. However, I tried my best to make sure I get them right. Agatha Wright, who collects the sign-up form of the students stressed the importance of each student sign up and making sure the contact information is right. Not only is their information is needed to stay in contact but also proof of young people’s participation in the weekly classes.
After the students signed up, they now have a sign in sheet for each class they attend. I helped with alphabetizing and organizing the students’ sign in sheet for each class they attend and kept record of how many classes one person attended. What I wish I knew sooner was this program that was happening, I would have volunteered weekly there helping the students and also gain skills from the classes. Agatha Wright is now preparing for the Winter Art Camp, which is from December 23 to January 3 and is mostly gerd for kids from 7 and older.
Fortunately, I understood why it is important for communities especially young people to support their local museum and participate in events. In turn, they reap the benefits by finding their passion in art and staying out of trouble. MOCA is very important in the City of North Miami, as many schools do not have after school art program for young persons or maybe underfunded. MOCA aims, as its mission states, “The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences – especially underserved populations – through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the best of contemporary art and its art historical influences.” – MOCA.org. This is extremely applaudable as they have many events for young people and the more students participated the more funds the museum receive.
On the third and final day, I worked with the media team, though I did not do any graphic design or anything with media; I did computer work from the exhibition reception that was on December 5th. Going through, checking off and organizing the list of persons who attended plus their guests was tiring, however it’s amazing the sheer number of people who are visited to new receptions. I got to learn how they plan events and sent invitations to guests for receptions for new exhibitions.
My overall experience at MOCA was positive and I got to see what goes on behind planning events and programs that make the community participate and visit the museum more. The staff were really friends and I have made friends with everyone I worked with. Though MOCA is not a big museum, it is very welcoming of everyone and aims to display contemporary art of diverse artists to a diverse community. What I like most about the staff is they really care about the students of the city and try to make sure that each young person attend programs even with financial issues. I would say MOCA is my favorite museum I visited thus far, and I fell in love with the new exhibition I saw each day I was there.
Amanda Covach, Curator of Education