November 20, 2018
Above, Cassandra Lavoie ’18 stands in front of a collection of menagerie carousel pieces on loan to the New England Carousel Museum from the Kiley Brothers.
A minor in public history proved to be the perfect choice for Cassandra Lavoie ’18, who landed a job shortly after her graduation last May as the manager of the New England Carousel Museum in Bristol, Conn.
In the public history program, “I learned some wonderful researching skills through the historical methods and theory course, and my academic writing really developed through my history courses,” said Lavoie, who majored in arts management. “I’ve already been able to apply these skills and my writing numerous times at the Carousel Museum, in just the last six months!”
In addition to its collection of antique, wooden carousel pieces, the Museum features a working carousel. It also includes a carousel restoration workshop, a Museum of Fire History, a Museum of Greek Culture, a fine art gallery, a children’s craft center, and a gift shop.
“If anyone is interested in working in the museum field, I highly suggest a minor in public history, especially if you’re already an arts management major,” Lavoie said. “The two really go hand-in-hand.”
As the Museum’s manager, Lavoie helps to plan and run events, supervises the staff and the events schedule, oversees volunteer and visitor services, takes care of the writing, proofing and editing needed for grant applications, and handles marketing efforts that include writing press releases.
Lavoie loves the collection of carousel animals and other memorabilia on display at the museum. “I've developed a love and appreciation for the figures and the skill it takes to craft such magnificent pieces,” she said. “It’s a bit of a dying art form, and at the Carousel Museum it is our job to educate others.”