Contacting the Museum
Who do you send your proposal to? Normally, you would send it to the Program Director, who should be listed on the museum’s website. When I am having trouble finding the right person, I call the museum and ask the general information desk who is in charge of educational programs. They can give you the number you need and sometimes transfer you directly, so be prepared to talk about your idea when you make the call. All you have to say is that you want to submit a proposal for an educational workshop, and who should you send it to. Once you get the right contact information send your proposal as an email, and follow up every few days with calls and emails until you get a response.
Why This Works
You might still think this strategy is hard or competitive, but it is not. Also, once you are running workshops and getting paid—yes, the museum will pay you—then you can ask to meet the museum’s curators who work with living artists.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York
To close this chapter, I will tell you about a time when I was invited to the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the director of educational programming gave me a tour of their facilities. I had called and asked to see the spaces they had available for workshops and educational programs and the director took me around to the beautiful spaces inside the museum, and explained what each room was used for. One room, which looked like a large conference room, had about thirty equipped computer stations.
The director told me that IBM gave the museum these computers and funded the room, but that no one ever used it. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The Guggenheim Museum had a whole room of computers that could be used for educational purposes, and they just sat there collecting dust! The director explained that no one had any idea how to incorporate the computers in helping people understand their exhibits. He laughed and said, “That’s how things are!”
If that can happen in New York City, there must be numerous openings for educators across the nation. You are an artist, a visionary, and an educator. You don’t need a degree or past experience to do this; you just need an idea and the will to see it through to fruition.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.