Committee work is an important part of the job for any curator. These committees are formed to involve both staff and the board of directors on certain aspects of the museum so everyone can work together to achieve a common goal. While most committee members come directly from your board of trustees, committee members can also come from other people involved in the museum or from the community at large. These can include other staff, volunteers, or other community leaders.
Currently I am involved in two committees: collections committee and building committee. Each of these has its own focus to help Cowtown move forward. First, the collections committee focuses on the artifacts and hands-on collections of the museum. We meet every three months to discuss any updates that occurred, new items processed into the collection, and any concerns that need addressed. This committee consists of three standing board members and three non-board members, along with the executive director and myself.
Second, the building committee deals with the planning of the new exhibit building. We are currently in the final stages of creating a new permanent exhibit to represent the Wichita Carriage Works. To better house and showcase our rolling stock collection, we decided to construct a new building for this purpose. Board, non-board, and staff sit on this committee as well.
Things are going well. Funding and planning comes from the board and staff. Engineers are currently looking over the plans. We hope to have the foundation of the building installed by the end of 2021. With his pace, the completion of the project is set for the spring of 2022.
In conclusion, committees are an important part of a museum’s development. Instead of all staff and board members getting deeply involved in all aspects, committees let smaller groups do all the minute detail work before presenting findings to everyone as a whole.