The position’s scope is necessarily broad, as these individuals are key to the Museum’s mission to welcome everyone and foster community. From their posts in the galleries and at our admissions desk, they need to know their way around the building’s multiple wings and accompanying elevators. Their ability to share a basic knowledge of our vast global collection, services, programs, special events, and visitor policies is fundamental. We also ask that they take pride and ownership in answering a wide range of visitor queries, including those about the surrounding area of Newark and its amenities.

To provide this team with the necessary tools to actively engage our public in such a dynamic way, we go deep with our training. Developed by our Manager of Visitor Experience, Natasha Pereira, we offer a full-week orientation to new Visitor Experience staff. Following orientation, training is ongoing with daily morning briefings to ensure this department stays well connected to the organization. These sessions also serve as informal team-building opportunities.

With her considerable talent and experience, Natasha just completed preparing our new Gallery hosts, Visitor Experience assistants, and senior Gallery hosts for our reopening this week. Our Manager of Visitor Experience covered the essentials, including the latest protocols related to the pandemic and new vaccination requirements for large cultural and recreational venues just issued by the mayor in his Executive Order on May 19.

Natasha also invited each internal department in to introduce themselves to her staff and provide an overview of their group’s primary role and how their functions intersect and enhance the visitor experience. In these sessions, our new staff members learned about our detailed Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) commitment, current marketing materials, our Museum’s curatorial strategy, and got a preview of upcoming programming and education initiatives.

The training coincided with our May all-staff meeting, where Natasha proudly introduced her new team to the rest of the Museum. In keeping with our commitment to hire a diverse workforce, these 25 staff members represent a range of ages, races, and gender identities.

On behalf of these ambassadors, I extend an invitation to come visit soon and say hello. I know they are eager to meet you!

With gratitude,

Linda C. Harrison
Director and CEO
The Newark Museum of Art