The Rufus Porter Museum officially opened for its fourth season on Tuesday, June 3.

Because of the anticipated high volume of visitors, the museum has added to its volunteer docents a staff assistant and three student interns. The Museum’s internship program provides college juniors and seniors, recent graduates, graduate students, and beginning museum professionals with practical work experience and in-depth training in the museum profession. Working with the volunteer staff, the interns contribute to timely projects, gain insight into the functions of a museum, and learn about the its various collections, exhibitions, and programs for visitors.

During the summer, interns are encouraged to supplement their work hours with trips to other museums, galleries, foundations, alternative spaces, nonprofit organizations, and artists’ studios. These visits provide interns with opportunities to examine the roles, functions, and activities of a wide range of art professionals and institutions.

Filling the position of staff assistant at the Rufus Porter Museum is Tashia Dare of Lawrence Kansas. Dare holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Kansas and has extensive experience in museum function, research and preservation of artifacts. Her job will be to schedule and coordinate the volunteer docents and helping to arrange for

large group tours as needed.

Suzanne Brennan joins the staff at the Museum’s gift shop, helping to maintain accurate merchandise stock and sales records.

Brennan lives in Canandaigua, N.Y. and is experienced in all aspects of retail management, covering sales, marketing, purchasing, customer service, budgeting and computer systems. She has a strong background in merchandising, sales, store design and trade show representation. Brennan is a member of the Historical Society for Early American Decoration and is a

student of Ruth Flowers’ Early American Decorative Arts School, located in Rochester, N.Y.

Stella Smith, of Athens, Ga., is currently a graduate student in historic preservation at the University of Georgia. She has completed two undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia, one in art history and the other in classical culture, and is interested in learning about all aspects of museum presentation. She is comfortable interacting with the public and will provide meaningful museum tours and interpretation.

Brianna McNelly comes to the museum from Battle Lake, Minn., and is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She has a Bachelor of Arts in history and art history. In studying Rufus Porter, she has noted that he appears to have been a hard working and exuberant man of all trades, leaving behind a

pictorial and personal history of early American culture like so many folk artists. She looks forward to using her interests and experiences to help the Rufus Porter Museum in its daily operation. She is pursuing a career in museum education.

The Rufus Porter Museum is located at 67 N. High St in Bridgton. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bus tours and groups are welcome by prearrangement. Please call 647-2828 to schedule. The museum is air conditioned and handicap accessible. The museum is included with ten other museums in the 2008 Maine Folk Art Trail ( Please visit their Web site

( for a complete listing of this summer’s classes and other outstanding events in the Bridgton area.

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