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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NEWS: Utah Certificates of Museum Practice Awarded

Utah Certificates of Museum Practice Awarded
Jane Beckwith of Topaz Museum and Alison Fox of Brigham City Museum are first recipients

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Certificate of Museum Practice was awarded to Jane Beckwith of the Topaz Museum and Alison Fox of the Brigham City Museum on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

Beckwith and Fox completed four distance-learning, university-level courses in museum studies offered through a partnership between Utah Arts & Museums and Utah State University Regional Campus and Distance Education. The certificate is recognized by the Utah Museums Association and is designed for museum professionals, board members, and volunteers.

“We are proud of Jane and Alison’s accomplishments,” said Margaret Hunt, Director of Utah Arts & Museums. “They have invested significantly in building their own capacity as museum professionals and in advancing the value of Utah museums. They’ve set a great precedent.”

“I think the classes are a great opportunity for people working in museums,” said Beckwith, “especially for people in rural areas who don’t have access to universities.” Participants choose four courses in three emphasis areas, such as exhibitions, fundraising, public relations and marketing, museum history and theory, education and interpretation, collections management, caring for collections, governance and leadership, and curatorship.

“I jumped at the chance to go back to school to get my Certificate of Museum Practice,” said Fox. “I’m very glad I did it, because it got me into the museum community, where I met and worked with lots of wonderful people.” Museum professionals are partnered with students to complete real-world projects strengthening Utah museums. For example, Fox helped organize the Weber County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers into a collections database. More than 20 scholarships have been awarded to museum professionals over the past two years, and individuals aged 62 and over were able to audit the courses for $10.

The next round of classes will run January 7 through April 29, 2013, and will be moving to an online format. Those wishing to apply for scholarships can find the guidelines at artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by contacting Wendi Hassan, whassan@utah.gov, 801.860.6396. Scholarship applications for spring semester are due December 1, 2012.

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