Visual Resources Association Foundation Announces 2018-2019 Internship Award Recipient

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Board of Directors announces the 2018-2019 VRAF Internship Award in visual resources and image management. This award was generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Adelaide McComb, of Louisville, Kentucky, is the winner of the VRA Foundation’s sixth Internship Award. She will receive $3,000 to work a minimum of 200 hours with the Lakota Dream Museum & Monument (https://www.lakotadream.org/). This is a new cultural center in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the first Indigenous-owned museum in the historic Black Hills. Its mission is to provide an accurate interpretation of The Great Plains tribes through documented resources, artifacts, and local historians with the intention to instill knowledge, a strong sense of identity, and hope into the Lakota and all Native people. In addition to a growing collection of religious and sacred objects, its programs include Lakota language revitalization, internships, workforce development, educational scholarships, small business loans, and more.

Adelaide is pursuing curatorial studies and non-profit management graduate degrees at the University of Louisville. The objective of this internship is to create a database that captures the historical, visual, and culturally significant aspects of the museum’s artifacts. She will work with archeologists, anthropologists, and historians at the Lakota Dream Museum, and with semantic database experts at Semantic Arts on the software platform and ontology design. Her past experience as a software consultant has given Adelaide a comprehensive understanding of database management. This opportunity will allow her to learn the significance of cultural preservation, heritage, revitalization, and how data affect the way this information is shared. Her academic instruction in curatorial studies will provide guidance in collection exhibitions and visual resource management. Adelaide’s proposal includes a plan for Native youth to eventually receive training in visual resources and image management under the guidance of curatorial and anthropological staff, thus ensuring best practices while enabling community members to gain valuable skills and participate directly in this revitalization of their culture.

Adonis Saltes, Chief Executive Officer of the Lakota Dream Museum & Monument, states “under direction from Spiritual Leaders, we elected to not hide our culture. We choose to allow visitors to view personal items which well-known leaders relied upon for strength and direction. They serve to remind us of Lakota who sought protection and direction during the challenging years of their lives…With many experts putting their minds together to help these items continue for generations to come, the historical, curatorial, and cultural context for these objects will help us preserve the culture of the Great Plains. This will be a great opportunity for Lakota Dream to move forward and prosper.”

The Foundation is pleased to support the education and practical training of emerging professionals through this internship award. The VRAF Internship Award Committee received excellent applications for many fascinating and important projects this year, which made the selection process difficult. The Internship Award Committee (Linda Callahan, Beth Haas, Carolyn Lucarelli, Maria Nuccilli, and Elaine Paul, Chair) appreciates the careful thought that went into every proposal. We are grateful to the Kress Foundation for its assistance and for recognizing the potential of this award to foster the next generation of visual resource professionals.

The VRAF Internship Award is part of the Foundation’s mission to advance awareness of important issues for effective digital information management (including intellectual property and copyright); encourage the application of professional standards, innovative technology, and metadata cataloging protocols; and to facilitate workplace training. VRAF supports a range of educational offerings to help ensure that such information reaches a diverse, global audience. For more information about the Visual Resources Association Foundation, its mission and projects, as well as giving opportunities, please visit www.vrafoundation.com, or read the latest issue of our annual report at 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Visual Resources Association Foundation.

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