For the last two years, I have volunteered with the Outreach Subcommittee of the Communications Committee
- a fairly new addition to AIC's volunteer working groups. The Communications Committee oversees many different aspects of communication within AIC, including publications, wiki, and the website. Our goal as the Outreach Subcommittee is to help conservators with... outreach!
What is outreach? Good question. We believe that conservation outreach has (at least) two directions it can take: spreading awareness of the field, and sharing our expertise with those who are seeking to preserve their collections, heirlooms, art, or really anything. So we've been working on a two-pronged approach to outreach. The first is revising the "Caring For Your Treasures
" series into a more digestible format aimed at the general public. The second is developing programming aimed at helping AIC members work with journalists and the media.
The subcommittee meets once a month with maybe 1-2 hours of work outside the meeting. The work involves brainstorming events and resources; liasing with specialty groups to revise "Caring For Your Treasures" into our new series, "How Do I"; connecting with people who have a special expertise to share; and reviewing and editing the new "How Do I" series.
Personally, I've gotten a lot out of my time volunteering with this subcommittee. I'm passionate about making conservation more accessible to people. I love that the new "How Do I" resources are aimed at providing practical tips for people caring for heirlooms in their home, rather than lofty "best practices". It shows that conservators can make a difference no matter what resources a person (or organization) has at their disposal. I also know that working with the media is a hot topic in the field right now, and it's exciting to be working on ways to help AIC members feel more comfortable with journalists.
There are open spots on the Outreach Subcommittee right now, and I hope you'll join us. Outreach is becoming more and more understood as a crucial part of conservation practice rather than an optional add-on, and we're here to help AIC members feel more comfortable with it.#Featured