Staff Profile: Featuring Tori McNish

Next up on our staff profiles, Tori McNish, Education Programmer.

Tori having fun with the newspaper guy on our cake.

Hi! My name is Tori, and I am the newest Education Programmer at the Musée Héritage Museum. Originally studying contemporary Chinese art history in university, I came to work in a heritage museum in a bit of a roundabout way…

After graduation, I had the opportunity to take part in the Alberta-Smithsonian Internship Program, a work abroad program at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. I was pegged to work on the Ai Weiwei (a contemporary Chinese artist) retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where I was exposed to developing and delivering formal museum education programs for the first time. Upon my return from the United States, I decided to try something a little different, and was offered a job working in education at Fort Edmonton Park – a far cry from interpreting contemporary art! Yet I had a great time “getting back to my roots,” learning about the history of Edmonton and the surrounding area, and sharing this newfound knowledge and enthusiasm with a young audience. So it wasn’t so much of a leap when I started working here, at the Musée.
My main job as a Programmer consists of delivering curriculum-based education programs for students in elementary through high school. I also assist in developing community programs and special events, and in creating interactive content for exhibitions (including our children’s gallery, the Discovery Room). That means I get to create programming materials using Adobe, something I learned through taking visual communications design courses in university.

Tori helping out in the Discovery Room during the Snowflake Festival in 2013.

Outside of my position in programming at the Musée, I spend a good portion of time writing on my own blog, PrairieSeen, which chronicles the visual arts in Edmonton (I guess you could say I have a foot on each side of the fence!) I have also recently applied to do a Masters program in Museum Education, and hope to start working towards that next September.