The Addison Gallery of American Art, teaming up with the Community Service Office, will jump-start a community initiative called the Addison Ambassadors Program (AAP) beginning this winter.
The program, which will consist of ten students, hopes to use student input to generate ideas that will help Addison events appeal to a wider audience. The Addison staff will be receiving the help from this select group of students to provide constructive input during the planning of public events such as Family Day.
Hosted by the Addison, Family Day is a once-a-term event filled with educational activities inspired by select Addison exhibitions. Family Days are aimed to increase artistic exposure and values in families. Previous events have included book readings by Artists in Residence and hands-on activities for younger children.
“Family Day is one of the ways we can bring [different] communities together. We want to have people and families from off-campus coming here onto campus to really focus on the ideas of learning and art making,” said Jamie Kaplowitz, Education Associate and Museum Learning Specialist at the Addison and organizer of the AAP.
According to Kaplowitz, in addition to helping organize events like Family Day, volunteers of the AAP will also be responsible for integrating social media in the promotion of events targeted at families visiting the Addison. Kaplowitz hopes that, with the development of the AAP, the Addison will broaden its horizons on an artistic level as well as improve its communication.
“We are really hoping that [the AAP group] will help us think of other ways that we have not been using social media but should be. Social media presents a really interesting opportunity to bring all of these really varied audiences together,” said Kaplowitz.
In recent years, the Addison has been trying to reach out to a wider target audience by announcing events and new exhibitions through popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Although organizing Family Day and promoting Addison events through social media will be the main responsibility of members of the AAP, members will also work to answer questions about the Addison’s role in the Andover community.
“[The AAP] is going to be focusing on [questions like] how museums help families learn, what families do when they come to an art museum and what kinds of information do they process,” said Kaplowitz. “Hopefully that kind of information that we will be exploring with students in [the AAP] would then be applied to what we put together for the community.”
According to Kaplowitz, the AAP will be working closely with the Community Service Office.
“We really were involved in helping the team at the Addison with the start-up. They had incredibly thoughtful objectives and weekly plans already laid out when we met earlier in the Fall Term,” said Monique Cueto-Potts, Director of Community Service. “The community service portion will be running during Family Day at the end of each term.”
The AAP is a two-hour commitment each week. A mandatory interest meeting for all interested volunteers will be held in the Addison Museum Learning Center on Wednesday, November 6, at 5:00 p.m.