The de Young Museum Ambassador Program

by Olivia A. (’14)

For the past two summers I’ve worked at the de Young Museum as a Museum Ambassador—which is an imposing name for a whimsical job (in a constructive, healthy way that occasionally involves doing impressions of Picasso or throwing modeling clay at coworkers). When my coworkers and I weren’t playing word games or debating the quality of various frozen yogurt shops around the city, we were teaching art lessons to elementary school-age children in their camps or schools, and learning about the art in the museum.

During the school year Ambassadors are either in a presentation group or a tour group. The presentation groups go out to schools to teach art lessons related to the collection the tour group presents. The tours are very different from normal museum tours—they are based on the students’ observations rather than on historical context and scholarly interpretations.

I’ve learned so much over the past two years about public speaking, professionalism, and art history that I don’t know who I’d be without this program. To apply for this school year session fill out an application (found at and go to the de Young on Monday, October 1st for an orientation. You may have to arrange to miss one class period every week to go out and teach—though I know that two years ago when I worked during the school year there was an afterschool team to accommodate Ambassadors who weren’t able to miss class. If you’re interested I highly recommend at least going to the orientation–it’s not an opportunity you want to miss.