It is recruitment season once again here at Museum Education Roundtable! If you are considering board service (and we hope you are!) you might be wondering: But what is board service actually like? We chat with MER Co-Vice President Adria Brown and Chair of the Recruitment Task Force to learn more.
How did you first connect with Museum Education Roundtable?
AB: During my Masters in Social Work fieldwork at the Missouri Historical Society, I first met and worked with a MER Board member, Sarah Sims. I learned a lot from her and how museum education can look so different in a myriad of institutions, but at its core, can also hold potential for incredible change. After I graduated, I worked for the Chickasaw Cultural Center as the Curator of Exhibitions and Education. In a town of 5,000, it was a lonely experience being one of very few working on museum education and interpretation. I especially wanted to learn from colleagues who were pushing the field to be more transformative and creative. When board recruitment rolled around, my past colleague reached out and after speaking thought it’d be a great time to apply!
What is your favorite part of serving on the board?
AB: Truly, the people. It’s hokey, but true! I’ve met precisely one board member in person (joining during 2021 was a time!), but I’ve formed really wonderful relationships with unique, kind, and innovative people.
What have you learned from your board service?
AB: This past year, I’ve co-chaired the Sustainability committee with Becca Ljungren, and from her I really feel like I’ve learned how to be a better thought partner and live into co-leadership, rather than replicate inequitable leadership structures. A lot of spaces I’ve worked in throw around terms like shared leadership, and yet still perpetuate harmful leadership. And to be clear–we’re in no way perfect, but I’ve loved the ability to learn and practice with such thoughtful people.
You can find more information about board service, including how to apply, here. Completed application forms and a copy of the applicant’s resume must be received by April 28, 2023 at 11:59 PST to be considered for the 2023 board member recruitment cycle.
Adria Brown (she/her) currently serves as Associate Educator, Docent Program and Gallery Teaching at the Saint Louis Art Museum. She is Co-Vice President of the Museum Education Roundtable.