Over the past couple months, the Barrick Museum has made two HUGE changes. The first is that, as of July 1st, we became primarily self-funded. Though we’re still part of UNLV and housed in a UNLV-maintained building, the university no longer pays any of the day-to-day operating costs of the museum. The second is that we’ve shifted our focus to art and culture. In recent years, we’ve had a number of excellent art shows, but until now we haven’t formally embraced art as a core part of our mission. With our funding cut, several local institutions covering the natural history and anthropology that were part of our domain, and no significant local art museum, bringing the arts into our purview on a full-time basis seems like the best way to serve the community and keep ourselves afloat.
This is a gigantic process. On the surface it seems simple enough – just keep doing what we’ve been doing, putting on top-notch shows of work by local artists and modern luminaries like Ansel Adams and Stephen Hendee. But if we’re going to make this shift for real — AND find enough financial support to stay open in the long run — there’s a lot more than that involved. We need to be thinking about creating arts programming, developing our collection, producing educational material, building relationships with other local arts organizations, cultivating new audiences, and on and on.
And there are a TON of other projects we’d like to do, too — things that aren’t necessarily “mission essential” but would certainly be nice, if only we had the staff to spare. Things like developing an audiotour, creating an iPhone or Android application, putting together art classes and workshops for children or adults, organizing artist talks and conferences, creating guides to our collection, and so on.
For this sort of project, then, we have developed an internship program. Interns at the Barrick work on a single project, developing whatever skills they need to fulfill the project’s goals and producing a finished product at the end: a program, an event, a business process that can be followed by museum staff, a written report, or whatever. We can arrange for academic credit for students by working with their departments, but we can also arrange non-credit internships for students and non-students alike.
Unfortunately, we can’t pay interns — the whole “lost our funding” thing — but we can offer a great environment to work in and a chance to play a part in the growth of the museum. Interns work largely independently, but can draw on the knowledge of our staff as well as the resources in our library to develop their project. It’s a great way to develop your resume and your skillset.
If you’d be interested in working on a project at the Barrick, fill out this form and let’s talk!