Intern Spotlight: Alyssa Shotwell
The Education and Outreach team at Asia Society Texas Center works with university interns each semester. We recently began a new relationship with the University of Houston–Clear Lake, working with graduate students pursuing museum studies. Through our internship program, students directly engage with curriculum-writing, program development, and outreach efforts. Interns learn more about Asian art, history, and culture while gaining direct experience in working with students and families.
We'd like to shine a spotlight on one of our graduate interns, Alyssa Shotwell. Alyssa brings energy, enthusiasm, and creativity to the Asia Society Education and Outreach team. Her background in graphic design and media combines with her passion for visual art and education in exciting ways. We love her focus on equity and inclusion within the museum space and her ideas for cross-cultural learning.
Learn a little more about Alyssa and her internship experience below!
I am currently attending my final year at University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) and pursuing the Museum Studies Concentration in the Humanities Graduate Program. Before entering grad school, I earned my Associate of Arts at San Jacinto Community College (duo focus in studio art and music performance), and then earned my BFA in Art and Design at UHCL.
Outside of class, I serve as the President of the UHCL Art Association, VP of the UHCL Black Student Association, and the Online Editor for UHCL's award-winning student publication The Signal. Pre-COVID-19, I volunteered at my local library and Houston artist Joo Young Choi's studio.
My many interests such as storytelling, visual art, music, and history have pulled me in so many directions, and work in a cultural arts institution/museum fits all of those interests together. This opportunity to join the Asia Society Texas Center family is really exciting because their mission of "fostering cross-cultural understanding" is something I really value. That and accessibility for underrepresented communities are central to what I want to do. This introspection and global thinking are something I value at ASTC: the programming challenges staff, volunteers, and guests alike.
Since beginning in August, I have worked on a handful of big projects. One of these projects included creating a pre-lesson introduction video to China so that any student can have some base knowledge before experiencing the current exhibition on view. This helped me refine and experiment with video creation as well as taught me about the production process in a new setting. My background is as an artist and journalist, so this institution is slightly different in that process. Working in the Education and Outreach department has educated me on the different possibilities, challenges, and nuances faced by an education department of a cultural center and nonprofit. This is exciting and forces me to think critically about material, reception and implication, and audience.
Major support for Education & Outreach programs at Asia Society Texas Center comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc., and The Houston Endowment. Additional funding is also provided by the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, as well as through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.