Meet Danielle: she has been with us for almost two years as a Museum Educator. Danielle brings an enormous amount of enthusiasm and curiosity to the position, and we’re thankful to have her here even after she graduated from UIC. Look for Danielle in the museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays and be sure to say hello!
What is it like to be a museum educator at the Hull-House Museum?
I love working as a museum educator at the Hull-House Museum! As an advocate for social change, it is an honor to be so closely connected to the institution that began so much of the dialogue around social change/social justice that we continue to engage in today. It is an honor to work alongside others that are so passionate about social change as well.
Working at the Hull-House Museum has enriched my life in so many ways, especially because I get the opportunity to think critically about social change every day. I enjoy interacting with visitors and engaging the public in dialogue regarding critical social issues such as immigration, democracy, diversity, peace and equality.
What do you like about this work and what are the challenges?
The work that I do here ties in perfectly with my background in Urban and Public Affairs and Gender and Women’s Studies. I enjoy being a part of a social change museum and interacting with the diverse visitors that the museum attracts. It is also exciting to work in a museum that tackles such a rich, complex history. There is always more to learn and research and new information about Hull-House history is discovered every day.
I believe that educating others about social issues through Hull-House history contributes to social change and keeps the Hull-House mission alive. The biggest challenges to being a museum educator are finding the most effective way to convey and illustrate complex concepts and adapting the information to make it relevant to every audience. Each tour group and each visitor is different. Fostering dialogue around these issues can be both challenging and rewarding. It is rewarding to feel that a tour group or visitor may leave the museum thinking more critically about social change as a result of something that you said during a tour.
Any memorable encounters with the public?
Working at the museum has provided me with many memorable experiences including my first experiences in youth education. My most memorable encounters have been working with younger student groups, because they are often more participatory during tours, they usually have genuine responses to my questions and there is just something so special about engaging future generations in dialogue around social change.
What is your favorite artifact in the museum?
That’s a tough one! If I HAD to choose I think that my favorite artifact would be Ellen Gates Starr’s bookbinding tools, because they give me the opportunity to talk about the connection between art and democracy, a fascinating topic that I wish more people were aware of and discussed more often.
What do you do when you aren’t hard at work at the museum?
When I’m not hard at work at the museum I love to read, paint, practice yoga, and dance to live music!
If you were a Hull-House resident, who would you be?
Ellen Gates Starr, because I identify with her radical approach to social change including her socialist political views, her belief that art is essential to fostering a democratic society, and her community organizing efforts.
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
In the future, I see myself continuing to be an advocate for social change. My experience at Hull-House has helped me to realize just how much I enjoy educating others!