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What’s Bees Got to Do with It? AmeriCorps Week at the Museum

by Erin Robichaud, AmeriCorps Member


AmeriCorps , ServeOhio , Ohio History Service Corps , Queen City Pollinator Project

Happy AmeriCorps Week! This week ServeOhio (Ohio’s commission on service and volunteerism) celebrates and recognizes AmeriCorps members who serve Ohio communities.

Did you know the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) is a host site for the Ohio History Service Corps (OHSC)? This AmeriCorps program in the country dedicated to preserving local history and building capacity at cultural organizations. (The other is in West Virginia!)

My role at the museum is to plan and host CAM “Community Connection” events. I invite community groups to the museum—often groups likely to visit CAM, but not coming in the door—for personalized experiences, so they feel welcomed and excited to visit us again.

Since starting this past September, my main focus has been presenting CAM’s green and sustainable initiatives to community groups. We know from visitor research that respondents want the museum to do more to “go green.” But many don’t know about the initiatives that CAM already has in place to become more environmentally conscious. One great example: the museum has planted native and pollinator plants to support two beehives located on museum grounds!

I coordinated with the Queen City Pollinator Project (QCPP), who manages the CAM hives, to present an educational program for student groups dedicated to green and sustainable initiatives. The QCPP program, “Redefining Community: What I Learned from Honeybees and Fourth Graders,” featured the CAM bees and explained how they can fly up to a five-mile radius of the museum. So, pesticides that gardeners might use anywhere in the city   can affect the health of the hive.

The bees help symbolize a larger sentiment: taking care of the environment means first recognizing that we are all part of one community. My hope is that the student groups left with a new perspective on CAM, learning how the museum gives back to our communities.

My next CAM Community Connection event is the Volunteer, Docent, and Affiliate Group Open House! At this event, individuals are invited to learn more about the museum’s volunteer opportunities, docent recruitment, and affiliate groups. You can learn more about the event here!