The Smithsonian Inside Out (SIO) program celebrates work culture across the Institution. Each day there will be more than one hundred different Smithsonian staff members inhabiting nine tents. Moreover, each day there will be nine different discussion sessions, many of them involving two or three staff members for forty-five minute periods.
With so many Festival participants to keep track of, it is easy to see why we need ten SIO interns—possibly a Festival record for one program. Lindsay Mulgrew started in March; following in the footsteps of Winter/Spring interns Kaitlin McClure and Julie Dieperink, her special projects became the “Smithsonian Across America” and “The Global Smithsonian” maps. (These amazing maps can be found in the Ask the Smithsonian tent at the Festival.) Brittny Cajacob came next; one of her first projects was researching a sign entitled “Tools for the 21st Century” (nicknamed “Cool Tools”). Then came Julie Laird, who pioneered the process of the “yellow stickees” keeping track of discussion sessions, and Catherine Somerville, who started helping with photo research and advanced to participant identification signs. Safa Bhimdi and Lilly Greenawald arrived in May, with Safa researching the participants in the Mysteries of the Universe tent, and Lilly figuring out which panels of the Panamanian Passages exhibition to repurpose for the Festival. By the end of May, the team included Anna Kaplan, a Festival veteran who worked on last year’s Giving Voice program, helping Julie with the discussion stage schedule. In June, Arielle Weaver, Clementine Wall, and Phoebe Millerwhite hit the ground running with a variety of tasks—from preparing Family Activities materials to sorting out who is who at the Smithsonian Associates and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Of course, this is only a small sampling of the many jobs our “intrepid ten” interns perform daily as they learn the traditional Smithsonian adage of “other duties as assigned.” The Smithsonian Inside Out program could not exist without their hard work, dedication, and good humor. The fruits of their labor and their smiling faces are evident all across the SIO program. If you meet them on site at the Festival, please join us in thanking all ten of them.
Betty J. Belanus
Curator, Smithsonian Inside Out program