Junior Professional Practice Museum Careers

The topic at Junior Pro Prac this week was museum careers. We heard from folks that work at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art including veteran Pro Prac speaker, Paul Benson, objects conservator, Molly Vener, educator: teen programs, and Paul Smith (’10 ceramics) preparatory staff. If you are interested in learning more about a museum career, the Nelson Atkins is hosting a museum career night, TONIGHT from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM. Interested visitors will meet dozens of staffers in the museum field through several rounds of speed-dating.

It’s exciting and humbling to see someone younger, like Molly, in a museum educator position. We appreciate how she mentioned that she began very part-time before working her way to full-time. If you are interested in working with Molly, or in gaining experience working with teens in the museum, be on the look out for Durwood Foundation Internship deadline this spring. You can have a copy of Molly’s presentation by clicking on the link below.

Molly Vener Museum Educator Pro Practice Presentation

If you don’t think you’ll be able to meet the science and language classes required to become a conservator during your time at KCAI, never fear! You are able to take those courses as a KCAI student through the KCASE Agreement. (stop by Mineral Hall to learn more) If you are a full time KCAI student, you can take classes at Penn Valley, UMKC or Metropolitan Community College through what is called the KCASE Agreement. Language and Chemistry classes can be applied to your science credit, liberal arts and open electives. So you could potentially take two years of science and one and a half years of language or vice versa to meet the skills needed to become an apprentice or accepted into a masters program. More information about a career in conservation can be downloaded by clicking the following link.

Paul Benson Conservator PowerPoint Presentation


Alumnus, Paul Smith, recognized that his museum career began while he was at KCAI, clearly stating the value  of internships and work-study positions available to KCAI students. Paul was a work-study and intern for the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, an intern at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and preparator at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

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