One of the things I like best about my job is working with Eugene Lang College faculty and students. Lang, for those of you who don’t know, is one of seven schools within the The New School academic consortium. Lang students are encouraged to create unique programs of study that take them out of the classroom and into spaces and places in the city where exciting things are happening: studios, galleries, theaters, workshops, and museums.
A couple of weeks ago, we invited twenty Lang upperclassmen who serve as Seminar Fellows to the museum for an orientation. The Fellows are paid mentors for incoming Freshmen, offering advise and support for such diverse issues as time management, roommate difficulties, and study skills. They also take their peers to visit interesting places. In our case, we’re an easy twelve-minute walk from Lang’s main campus.
Being the city-savvy, independent-minded, creative leaders that they are, the Lang Fellows asked probing questions and shared thoughtful reflections regarding the provenance of our collections and how the museum, as an institution, both controls and conveys information. Together, we envisioned what it would be like for them to bring their Freshmen peers to the museum and to explore our collections through their eyes. The Fellows’ enthusiasm was matched by positive action; within a week’s time, they had brought 151 Freshmen to explore our galleries.
We are delighted and look forward to welcoming them back to the museum!