Behind the Scenes with Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Jenny Bath

February 15, 2021


Many of our members and visitors will recognize our Education and Volunteer Coordinator, Jenny Bath, who has been with the Museum since 2018. A jack of all trades, Jenny has assisted the Museum team in all departments, both as a volunteer and staff member. Let's catch up with Jenny and reflect on her time at MSC.

Why did you start volunteering at MSC?

I had graduated from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and was moving back from Arizona, knowing I still needed an internship for my minor in Museum Studies. Even though my official internship didn't start until May of 2018, I decided to just pick up a few shifts during the week starting in January. Turns out, I loved the museum so much that I couldn't stay away and before I knew it, I'd gathered over 700 volunteer hours in just under a year.

Jenny with a fellow volunteer, serving wine at a Museum reception (2018).

What's your favorite thing about working at MSC?

I love how collaborative we all are. As a smaller team, everyone really has to work together to get things done. On any given day I could be helping in collections, painting walls for an upcoming exhibition, stuffing membership letters, planning future programing, or any number of other tasks and it's so exciting. Plus, everyone is so lovely that it's such a pleasure to work with everyone on our team whether they are staff, volunteer, or board member.

Jenny with fellow MSC staff and community members, preparing the bangka (dugout canoe) for installation in the 2019 Pacific World exhibition.

Are there any exhibitions, events, or projects that you are particularly proud to have been a part of?

I think that being able to have our sculpture garden open over the summer and into the fall was such a special thing. I loved getting to see some familiar faces as well. Everyone that came was so appreciative to have a safe moment of escape and it was a great reminder of why we do what we do. In particular, I loved that we were able to continue our Día de los Muertos exhibition. It felt even more important and poignant this year to honor our loved ones and to carry on the show for its 24th year in memory of Cynthia Leung. Plus the garden looked stunning, especially during evening hours.


Looking back at the last 11 months, what has been the biggest challenge and why?

The last 11 months have been so full of challenges that it's hard to pick just one. For me though, I think one of the hardest things has been the slowdown of our volunteer program. I only became the Education and Volunteer Coordinator about 3 weeks before we had to shut down, and unfortunately it hasn't been safe to provide nearly the same amount of interesting and engaging volunteer or internship opportunities like I enjoyed in the past. I am so thankful to all our volunteers who have stuck with us though, helping to monitor the galleries during the two weeks we were able to open over the summer, making gorgeous butterflies and candles for Día de los Muertos, proofreading our 1918 Flu Pandemic exhibition text, or simply continuing to engage with us via newsletters and social media.

Jenny (center) and fellow volunteers preparing for a Museum event in spring 2018.

Looking forward, are there any projects that you're particularly excited about?

I'm really excited for the next show going into the history building. We're pulling out a lot of the bigger objects from our collection, the ones that can be hard to fit into an average exhibition, and giving them a chance to shine. I know as a museum viewer this would be a show that I would love to see. I'm also very excited to hopefully provide more volunteer opportunities in this coming year.


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Museum of Sonoma County
475 Seventh Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 579-1500

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The mission of the Museum of Sonoma County is to engage and inspire our diverse community with art and history exhibitions, collections, and public programs that are inclusive, educational, and relevant.