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  • Graduates Explore Career Opportunities as Part of Worcester Art Museum's 7th Annual Minority Internship Program

    (Worcester, MASS., July 5, 2002) - For the past seven years, the Worcester Art Museum has provided great opportunities for young minority adults, instituting a summer internship program that explores a wide range of career options available in the museum field. This year, two recent Central Massachusetts high school graduates, Jonathan M. Rivera, of Winchendon, and Kwame Owusu-Kesse, Worcester, were selected from an applicant pool of 18 for the Museum's 7th Annual Minority Internship Program.

    From June 17 through August 9, Rivera and Owusu-Kesse will be integrated in the Worcester Art Museum's five major departments: Curatorial, Marketing & Development, Education, Finance, and Protective Services. The two will participate in many behind-the-scenes operations, such as researching for exhibitions, writing press releases, shadowing security guards, and facilitating studio arts programs.

    The ultimate goal of the program is to increase cultural diversity in museum staffing. Furthermore, it heightens cultural awareness about the Museum in the Worcester County community. Each year, a committee of Museum staff and community members selects two graduating high school seniors to partake in the eight-week, concentrated, paid summer internship. The selection process involves evaluation of submitted applications accompanied with letters of recommendation, as well as a panel interview of selected semi-finalist candidates.

    Rivera graduated from Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fitchburg. He has a passion for graphic design, photography and interactive media. Rivera was a member of Student Advisory, editor-in-chief of his school newspaper, and photographer and an editor of the yearbook. He will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in New York this fall where he plans to “study graphic design and take advantage of all opportunities dealing with the arts.” Rivera has enjoyed his time so far at the Museum. “I'm learning a lot from behind the scenes. I'm really surprised of how much artwork is out there and how much of it gets shown. I really like the people and the different aspects they all bring to the Museum,” he said.

    Owusu-Kesse is a Saint John's-Shrewsbury High School graduate. He loves playing basketball and spending time with friends and family. At Saint John's, he was vice president of the Student Activities Council, a Student Ambassador, a captain on the Varsity Basketball squad, and a member of the Volleyball team. He will attend Harvard University in the fall. Owusu-Kesse is currently undecided on a major and future career plans.

    “That is why I feel this internship is a great fit for me,” he said. “Since I am undecided, the program provides a wonderful opportunity to explore differing fields of concentration. I want to go to school in the fall with an open mind. The world is full of opportunities, and I do not want to limit myself.”

    Owusu-Kesse continued, “These past few weeks have been a pleasant surprise. I came to the Museum with false stereotypes. I've discovered that the Museum staff is very cordial and down-to-earth. They are the chief contributors to the Museum's great atmosphere for learning.”

    Honee A. Hess, director of education at the Worcester Art Museum explained, “We're fortunate to have this program that helps the Museum broaden its reach into the community, while introducing two young people to the Museum as a workplace.”

    The Minority Internship Program is a part of the Worcester Art Museum's Discovery Program made possible through the Helen Stoddard Discovery Fund, and the Booth Family Fund for Education and Outreach of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Additional support is provided by Harriet M. Hight and the Museum's Diversity Committee.

    To interview the interns or for more information, contact Danielle Kane at (508) 799-4406 ext. 3073 or daniellekane@worcesterart.org. Photos available upon request.

    Museum Background

    A cultural jewel of New England, the Worcester Art Museum first opened to the public in 1898. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Its extensive four-season studio arts program enrolls 6,000 adult and youth students each year. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (sponsored by Commerce Bank), and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and full-time college students with current ID, and FREE for Members and all youth 17 and under. Admission is also FREE for everyone on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m.-noon (sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company). The Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St., Worcester, Mass., easily accessible from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), Route 290 and Route 9. Expanded parking is available near entrances on Salisbury, Lancaster and Tuckerman streets. For more information, call (508) 799-4406.