Students to sculpt events for Smart Museum

A Student Advisory Council will plan events to attract higher numbers to Museum

By Benjamin Pokross

Aiming to add campus input and involvement, the Smart Museum of Art is enlisting students to coordinate events and encourage their peers to take that short walk from the Regenstein Library to the corner of Greenwood and 56th.

According to C. J. Lind, the museum’s Public Relations and Marketing Manager, the Student Advisory Committee will start planning more quarterly events similar in nature to Study at the Smart that will target the University student community.

“In the past there used to be concerts where there were student music groups,” said Lind, who envisions the Student Advisory Board incorporating the museum space into student life to a greater extent. “Study at the Smart was really successful and the type of program that we’re looking to expand upon.”

Though the Smart Museum became a separate segment of the U of C almost three decades ago, it began as a part of the University of Chicago’s Art History department and has maintained a close affiliation with the University since becoming a public museum, according to Lind.

“Our mission is driven by our academic connections, by our relationship with the University,” Lind said. “We really want to get student input.”

The Committee as a whole will meet once a quarter to plan new programs, Lind said. He also noted that ad hoc groups drawn from the larger committee might meet more often to flesh out the details of particular events.

Third-year Marie Whittaker applied for a position on the committee, attracted by the board’s mission of forming a bond between the museum and the University community.

“Anything that would bring students to the Smart Museum would be good,” she said, pointing out that some students don’t know the location of the museum, or have never visited it.

The Museum currently employs about 80 students in various positions, including baristas, gallery attendants, and business and curatorial interns. Still, even students already working for the Museum were notified about the new positions with the rest of University community.

Though she currently serves as a business office intern, Whittaker applied with the rest of the applicant pool. “They’re just bringing everyone in fresh,” she said.

According to Lind, the museum has received around 20 applications so far and is planning to select six to twelve students.

The first meeting is slated for this quarter, with the first board-planned event scheduled for the beginning of the next academic year.