I am Courtney Gerber and I am the Assistant Director of Education for Tour Programs at the Walker. My main charge is to manage all of our tour programs, which includes managing 100-plus volunteer tour guides. All of our guides are volunteers. The training consists of a survey of modern and contemporary art history, teaching techniques, educational theory, touring techniques. When we educate and train our guides, we are asking them to learn how to work with multiple audiences, which means they are having to learn how to communicate with somebody who is five years old and somebody who is eighty-five years old. So they are developing the skill set to be very flexible and to understand that throughout our lives we all take in information differently, and we learn about different types of intelligences.
Some conversations we’ve been having lately, actually, have been about diversity: What does diversity mean? I think in the Nineties, diversity meant ethnicity or brining in audiences of color, and I think that has since broadened. We talk now not only about brining in audiences of color, but also people with disabilities. It’s broader; diversity doesn’t fit into just one tidy category. So within our discussion of this it’s allowing me to go forth with the access initiatives that we’re working toward.