JMAM board plans background checks
by Hawkins Teague
Nov 08, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At their monthly meeting, the Janice Mason Art Museum Board of Directors examined the need for a policy mandating background screenings for museum employees and volunteers. The background screening would attempt sexual offenders from working with children.

“This is something that other museums haven’t been too concerned with yet, but there are individuals in close contact with children through museum programs and there is a need for a background check,” said Policy Committee Leader Paul Fourshee.

Museum Director Paula Lisowsky said that the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, which provides volunteer staffing for the museum, already conducted background checks, though other volunteers and teachers at the museum were not a part of RSVP.

Fourshee presented the idea to fellow board members, though did not have a final policy written to vote upon. He plans to have the policy written by the December board meeting. “We need to make an effort to screen across the board. The world is getting to be a weird place.”

Lisowsky announced a big month in October for the museum. The popular Japanese Paper Art exhibit combined with walk-in traffic from the Ham Festival brought 400 counted visitors into the museum. Two pieces from the current Todd Birdsong exhibit have also been sold to visitors.

The Halloween Safe Night pumpkin-carving contest was termed to be an “abysmal failure” by Lisowsky, who proposed canceling future contests.

“What killed it was when we opened it to adults,” said Board Member Portia Ezell.

Currently, the museum is offering lessons in stained glass, though no more classes are scheduled for the rest of 2006. Lisowsky announced that new classes would be scheduled in the New Year.

The Japanese Paper Art exhibit was praised by board members and credited for attracting guests to the museum.

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