Dinosaurs, Apes, Fundraising and Programming

Alyson Wilkins embarked on a wide-ranging and eye-opening internship this summer, in addition to volunteering in the KU Biodiversity Institute Paleo Lab and presenting posters and papers at professional conferences.

What do dinosaurs and apes have in common? I spent the summer interning at the Museum at Prairiefire learning how museum run themselves. The Museum at Prairiefire is located in Overland Park, Kansas, and they do museums a little differently. They have one central rotating exhibit and the theme during my time was The World’s Largest Dinosaurs. Part of my internship included helping to create docent guides.

Props for Planet of the Apes movie night and talk: ape and human skulls, a Prairiefire shot glass, and all-access passes to the museumI enjoyed helping create a movie outreach event revolving around the summer hit, War for the Planet of the Apes. It was a movie screening and talk with a specialist in ape biology and evolution. This project also provided me the opportunity to learn A speaker discusses primates after the Young Professionals group watches Planet of the Apes.more about Young Professionals organizations in Kansas City and meet all the fantastic people involved in them. I also helped begin a programming series which will evolve into its’ own Young Professionals group.

Working with the fantastic group of people at the Museum at Prairiefire was a wonderful learning experience. I learned everything from direct mail fundraising to program design and more, from a group of people who excel in their respective fields. I enjoyed working with them and look forward to seeing what the Museum at Prairiefire does in the future.


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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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