In this series, we profile our 2019-20 Sherman Fairchild Fellows. As part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, the Sherman Fairchild Fellowship is a comprehensive, yearlong paid program that includes hands-on experience, mentoring, and professional development. Over the summer, fellows gain experience in all facets of the museum, then in the fall and spring semesters, the fellows focus on projects of their interests.
Jordan Chambers is pursuing an MA in Museum Studies at Marist College’s LdM Institute. She has completed graduate work towards an MA in Experimental Psychology and holds a BA in Psychology from Georgia Southern University.She is interested in how museums can contribute to the well-being of visitors, and is researching methods and programs that are inclusive to visitors with mental disabilities.
Why are you interested in working at a museum?
I have always loved the atmosphere within museums! To me, museums are very calming places where I can visit objects, art, and history that I wouldn’t normally get to see in my daily life. I love getting to experience new things, and museums have always offered this with their exciting, ever-changing exhibitions.
What brought you to The Phillips Collection?
DC is such an incredible city with so many vast opportunities! I did research on local institutions and The Phillips Collection really resonated with me. The art is phenomenal as I have a penchant for Impressionism. The Phillips also offers so many unique experiences such as Creative Aging, gallery talks, Phillips after 5, and so much more. There is truly a little something for everyone here and I couldn’t think of a better place to begin my museum career!
Please tell us about your work at the Phillips over the summer.
Over the summer we did an immersive campaign into the area of DEAI or diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. I heavily researched this topic and gained a lot of knowledge on what is being done within museums, as well as what institutions can do to improve this aspect. I created workshops and toolkits about issues such as Visitor Service and Inclusive Leadership, while also co-creating workshops on both Microaggression and Accessibility which will ultimately be implemented within the institution.
What is your fall project and how did you choose it?
During the fall I am working in the education department, specifically in the area of wellness within the museum. We are still flushing out ideas, but I am interested in how we can make the museum a truly inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy; a space where anyone and everyone feels welcomed and non-stigmatized. I want to create a place for decompression and reflection, where visitors can take a pause. Stress in general is increasingly prevalent within our society and sometimes museum galleries can be overwhelming experiences. Therefore this type of space is necessary and can be really therapeutic for visitors.
What is your favorite space/painting/artist here?
My favorite space within the museum is the Music Room in the original house. It feels like walking through time and always seems to leave me in awe.
If you were to describe the Phillips in one word, what would that word be?
Daring. The Phillips Collection is always daring to go beyond the norm of what a museum should be and who its services are for.
What is a fun fact about you?
I play the tenor saxophone.