DC Take Two

Another summer–another DC internship. My name is Valeria Parada and this will be my second time interning in Washington, DC. It seems as if, for the past few years, all roads lead me back to the east coast, and to the nation’s capital, specifically. Last year at this time, I was interning at the Smithsonian under a conservation internship. This year, I will be working at the George Washington Memorial Parkway as a museum assistant. There, I will be concentrating on various sites along the parkway but, mainly, I will be working at Fort Hunt and Arlington House. I will be helping with collections and research at both sites, making sure that the public has the best access and the best interpretation of the narratives at both sites.

I believe museums have a duty to tell an accurate and diverse narrative. A big push for me to go into the museum field was because I believe museums are great sources of education. They appeal to a larger group of people than traditional schooling does. Further, museums have more of a chance of bringing contrasting views of popular narratives. Such is the case with Arlington House. A rotating exhibit will be created on the grounds, giving the public a new perspective on the plantation, and history itself. The exhibit will bring a more inclusive story about the house and its lands by sharing the accounts of all those that lived, worked, and cared for Arlington House. Just like the narrative of this country, the one for Arlington House brings together different people from different walks of life. Their stories are contrasting and distinct, but intertwined to create one larger story. Arlington House is a historic site that formerly represented only one version of history. But, now, it will be a place where a diverse field of accounts on history are given and preserved for the public to enjoy and learn from.

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