Intern Spotlight: Shannon Hebert Waldman
By Matt Gorga
The Museum’s internship program provides engaging educational opportunities to students and individuals from across the country, but today the Museum family is celebrating one of Asheville’s own, Shannon Hebert Waldman. Shannon has recently been accepted into multiple graduate programs and has chosen to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for their dual graduate degree program in modern & contemporary art history and arts administration & policy.
A graduate of Warren Wilson College in May 2016, Shannon holds a degree in integrative studies. “I centered my studies on the idea that the visual arts are a tool for social justice, which led me to write my thesis on the emerging field of socially engaged craft. I am the first Warren Wilson graduate with the newly established art history minor and have returned to my alma mater to lecture to art history courses on contemporary art research.”
Shannon is no stranger to the Museum. Growing up in Asheville, her relationship with the Museum started early. Her mother was a docent and encouraged her exposure to the arts. Shannon has participated in three internships with the Museum and is currently working with Adult Programs Manager Kristi McMillan.
Shannon’s most recent efforts at the Museum have focused on creating dementia friendly programming. “I began by looking at the demographics of people living with dementia in the 21 counties the Museum serves to demonstrate that there is a substantial need for this programming. I’ve been able to research other art museums’ dementia-friendly programs and have looked to organizations such as Dementia Friendly WNC as guides for the Museum’s programming. Kristi and I have met with several community partners to ensure that this programming is sustainable and effective in providing a guided experience at the Museum for people living with dementia.”
In the process of these internships and the relationships with Dementia Friendly WNC and Club CarePartners, Shannon gained the inspiration and ambition to continue her studies. She was recently published in Social Objects, a catalogue and collection of theory, actions, and conversations about socially engaged craft by the Socially Engaged Craft Collective.
Her interest is to keep writing in these fields of study, and incorporate them into a career in art museum education and interpretive programming. “I know I want to work with artists and institutions that are driven by both artists’ relationships and community partnerships, and I am open to new models of administration that incorporate art-making and community-building. I hope to stay in Chicago after graduation, but I am open to seeing where my studies lead me!”
Shannon has truly been an asset to the Museum, and her presence will be missed. We are excited for her future, and we are grateful that the Museum could be a part of her success.