Like many museums, here at the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum, we operate on a small staff. With just 2 taking care of all that the museum needs on a daily basis, that means being open to taking on new, sometimes foreign jobs. Administrator is event coordinator is programmer is marketing is . . . ok, so you get the point. We are very excited about hosting the exhibition, Bittersweet Harvest The Bracero Program 1942-1964 this summer. This exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian will include programming focused around it and we are preparing to do a lot of promotion for it. Luckily, the Smithsonian provides a graphics package for all of our promotional needs! Unfortunately, it is all Mac based, and here at our humble museum, we are happy to fumble around our pc.
Time to bring out the graphic design hat and learn how to use that Adobe Photoshop program that has been hidden neglected in the All Programs file. Days of cutting and pasting, playing with an eyedropper and paint bucket and I have a folder full of beautiful promotional items that even the Smithsonian approves of and says “send them to print!”. So after diligently price comparing multiple sources, I find both quality and a price that fits my budget. Download this and that, and we are off to print! Take a moment to bask in the pride of overcoming a challenge and then a quick change of hats and on to the next task. All is good in the land of graphic design, until I receive an email notifying me that my order is all wrong. It must be print ready and needs to bleed?
A couple more hours delving into the foreign language of graphic design, and we are back on track. Files are back at the printer, confidence is renewed and graphic design hat is safely stowed away and replaced with a more familiar and comfortable hat. Working in a small museum with a small staff certainly has it challenges, but the reward is learning and growing with the immediate need and being able to adapt to almost any situation.
To Blog or not to Blog? Such a big question. Here at this little museum in a relatively small town, we find ourselves hesitantly dipping our toes into new areas of technology and with so much going on we are attempting to test our hand at the world of blogging. No promises on the outcome that will be reached. All we can hope for is to reach out and keep our readers interested and impart a little information about our ever-changing museum.
Right now we are in the middle of planning for not 1 or 2 but 3 big events, with smaller events popping up around us. We are weeks away from the Jack Hayes Prime Rib Dinner Museum Fundraiser. (Yes, here at the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum, we believe in long titles!) This dinner will be set in a 1930’s theme to complement the private preview of the King City Magic Lantern Slides. The museum has recently acquired a 1930’s Balopticon, also known as a Magic Lantern. We will be providing attendees the opportunity to view firsthand over 180 glass slides of ads from local businesses that range from the early 30’s to mid 40’s that the museum has preserved in its collection.
We are also gearing up to host an exhibition that will be on loan from the Smithsonian from May 31, 2013 to July 28, 2013 called Bittersweet Harvest, The Bracero Program 1942-1964. The museum will focus on the families’ aspect of the exhibit while planning its programming and is working on a Cultural Community Celebration including dancers, music and original artwork by local youth as well as lectures and a movie based around the program. The community opening will be held on June 1, so there is a lot to look forward to with this program.
Of course not to be forgotten amongst all of this planning is the annual community celebration, 4th of July in the Park. This fun day brings the local area to the park to enjoy live music, local food and beverage vendors and a great family activities area featuring fun old-fashioned games and activities. This event is annually a great opportunity for friends and family to connect as well as support the museum.
With so much going on, and being a new blogger, this site will have to be a work in progress. Any suggestions will be appreciated. So, enjoy the story and join me on this adventure into a world of technology that we are hesitantly exploring.