What is the role of art in the history museum? How are the stories of a community collected? How are they told? Who makes those decisions?
For the answers to these questions and more, we turned to Pamela Schwartz, the executive director of the Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando, Florida.
Schwartz led the rapid-response collecting effort following the Pulse nightclub tragedy in 2016, and several contemporary collecting efforts since then. She walked us through her mindset as a curator bringing Central Florida history to the public through artifacts, oral histories, and art.
We asked for her perspective on how artists can explore the relationship of their work to their own personal histories, as well as to historic events. Schwartz also shared her own path into the museum field, and her advice for students looking for how to get started with internships and paid work opportunities in museum institutions.
Lastly, we looked ahead to the History Center's planned exhibit for 2023, which will focus on the experiences of immigrants to Central Florida. Schwartz described the opportunities for members of the community, including artists, to share their stories.
Image: Courtesy of Orange County Regional History Center.