I have a confession to make: I did not enjoy going to museums as a kid or teenager! I didn't even like history. When I visited a friend of mine at Antietam National Battlefield about twelve years ago, the Park Rangers did such a fantastic job: I was intrigued by how they brought history to life. I was hooked. During college and grad school, I spent several summers interning and volunteering at various museums and National Park sites and decided that I wanted to spend my career in the museum field.
As a young-museum professional, I only have had two paid jobs at museums, my first one as a part-time guide at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Since August 2017, I have been the full-time Research Coordinator at the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study, and display of American frontier culture. The Museum was founded by the American Frontier Culture Foundation, modeled to be an American equivalent to the Ulster American Folk Park in Northern Ireland. Henry Glassie wrote the original proposal for the Museum and it opened its doors to the public in 1988.
Today, this outdoor, living-history museum is a state agency operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have eleven original or recreated exhibits which either show the origins or formation of frontier culture. Annually, we welcome about 80,000 visitors, almost half of them are school children.
In my position, I have a range of past and present responsibilities such as historical research, program development, special event planning and coordination, staff training, and anything else that comes my way. I am working towards experience in management and administration to one day run a department (interpretation or research) in a mid-sized museum.
Frontier Culture Museum
PO Box 810 1290 Richmond Road
Staunton, VA 24402