Volunteer Spotlight: Faezeh Foroutan

In this series, Manager of Visitor and Family Engagement Emily Bray profiles volunteers within the museum. Phillips volunteers are an integral part of the museum and help in many ways: greeting and guiding guests through the museum, helping with Sunday Concerts, assisting patrons in the library, helping out with Phillips after 5 and special events, and so much more. Our volunteers offer a wealth of expertise and experience to the museum, and we are delighted to highlight several them.

Faezeh Foroutan, Phillips Music Volunteer

Faezeh Foroutan

What year did you start volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I started volunteering with Phillips Music some seven years ago.

What do you see as the most valuable aspect of your volunteering?

Coordinating all the volunteers during the Phillips Music season.  We have a large number of volunteers varying between ten and twelve.  For every Sunday concert, we assign two volunteers. This requires careful coordination and planning in advance to make sure that volunteers are available and that they attend the concert of their preference.

What do you do when you are not volunteering at The Phillips Collection?

I am currently retired, but I worked as an economist for the World Bank for over 25 years.

What is your favorite room or painting here?

The Music Room is really my favorite. It is elegant; intimate for concerts; has great paintings on the walls; and most importantly from my perspective, has great acoustics.

If you had to choose one word to describe the Phillips, what would it be?

I would choose two: dedication and passion.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I feel very privileged to be a volunteer at The Phillips Collection.  Every person you meet, from volunteers to interns to the highest-ranking staff, is totally dedicated, knowledgeable, and above all, kind.  The combination of music and visual arts, not to mention the building itself, makes the Phillips stand as a jewel in the crown of Washington, DC.

Staff Show 2016: Travis Ferguson

In this series, Education Specialist for Public Programs Emily Bray highlights participants in the 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show, on view through September 19, 2016.

Travis Ferguson, "We were suppose to meet..."

Travis Ferguson, “We were suppose to meet…”


Travis Ferguson

Travis Ferguson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Travis Ferguson, Photo: Rhiannon Newman

Tell us about your work.

I like to experiment with material and media, ideas and experiences. But most of all making art, learning and having fun is what I do.

What do you do at The Phillips Collection? Are there any unique/interesting parts about your job that most people might not know about?

I am a Museum Assistant and ambassador for the museum. The most interesting aspect of working at the Phillips is interacting with museum visitors; everybody brings their life experiences to museum. Listening to and seeing the reactions of people to the artwork is always fun.

Who are your favorite artists in the collection?

That’s like asking to compare “good” and “bad” art. To me there is no such thing. Art is subjective; sure, technically an artist can master a subject, but to me each piece of art uniquely invokes an emotional response. All of the art at the Phillips are my favorites!

What is your favorite gallery or space within The Phillips Collection?

The Music Room.

What would you like people to know about your artwork on view in the 2016 Staff Show (or your work in general)?

I’m just happy to share my passion for art with others. If you want to know more about me or my art, buy me a drink and we’ll contemplate the intricacies of life together.


The 2016 James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show is on view August 14 through September 19, 2016.

Timo Andres and Philip Glass

Composer and pianist Timo Andres performed Etude No. 16 by Philip Glass at a Sunday Concerts performance in January. See this post for a video of Mr. Andres playing the Impromptus of Franz Schubert, which he paired with new Etudes by Glass in the same performance.