Mentorship in the Arts
In most fields, mentorship is a key educational and professional development tool. For someone new to the field, it's a great opportunity to learn from someone else's experience, to gain new skills and to receive support. For the mentor, there is personal satisfaction from sharing expertise, and opportunities to fine-tune personal skills. By reflecting on their own experiences, mentors may find new inspiration and energy to pursue personal and career goals.
Find e-mentors in the arts who are blind or visually impaired.
Art Beyond Sight has organized a group of blind and visually impaired arts professionals in cultural institutions to become e-mentors. If you are considering a career in the arts, contact ABS Mentors through AFB CareerConnect®, a program of the American Foundation for the Blind dedicated to expanding employment possibilities for people with vision loss. CareerConnect is a free resource for people who want to learn about the range and diversity of jobs performed by adults who are blind or visually impaired throughout the United States and Canada.
Network with blind and sighted museum professionals and educators. Join the Art Beyond Sight Online Community, where you can
- SEEK advice from your colleagues
- FIND out what's available in your field
- NETWORK with blind and sighted experts from other disciplines.
To get information or to ask questions about a career in the arts, join the Art Beyond Sight Museums and Art Beyond Sight Advocacy Discussion Groups. Discussion topics include internship and training opportunities, research projects, accommodations and accessibility tools for vision impairments, accessible programs, and more.
In a collaborative effort with ABS, the following interviews were published on the AFB CareerConnect® Web site.
Interviews: What's it like to work in a museum?
Emily Michael and Gina Bunting, Interns at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, become ABS e-mentors
Art Beyond Sight (ABS) worked with Hope McMath at the Cummer Museum of Art in Jacksonville, Florida, to develop guidelines for employment of people with vision loss in the arts. The Cummer has a part-time employee who is visually impaired and recruits high school and college summer interns with visual impairments.
Emily Michael started working at the Cummer Museum as a summer intern in 2003 and has continued to work there every summer. During the year she also performs regularly as a musician at the museum. Gina Bunting also began her career as an intern at Cummer in 2003. She is an avid art lover and enthusiastic about teaching young children.
Conducted by Associate Director, ABS.
Barry Ginley, Disability and Access Officer at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
As the Disability and Access Officer at the V&A Museum, Barry Ginley works to improve access for all disabled visitors to the collection. After losing his eyesight in 1994, he went on to gain an MSc in Inclusive Environments Design and Management at the University of Reading.
Barry's first work in access was a book for the UK's Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), called Discovering Sports Venues, and a campaign for increased accommodations at sporting events. During his tenure as chair of the Visually Impaired Spectators Association and the RNIB'S representative on the UK Government's Football Task Force, access to sports stadia has greatly improved.
For more, read an interview with Barry Ginley.Conducted by Associate Director, ABS.