Volunteer spotlight: Joel Wright, AmeriCorps VISTA


Americorps VISTA, Joel Wright, packs up a Traveling Trunk

The UM Museum benefits greatly from the generosity of its volunteers and celebrates the dedicated service of Joel Wright. Born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Joel graduated from Hendrix College in 2005 with a B.A. in History and Education. Before obtaining his Master’s degree, he taught high school for four years in the Arkansas Delta and Holly Springs, MS. Joel graduated last May at the University of Mississippi with a Master’s in History with an emphasis on 20th Century K-12 Education and Race.

He is currently the AmeriCorps VISTA at the Museum where he has been working alongside Curator of Education, Emily Dean. He focuses on the Outreach programs, especially the Traveling Trunks.  Joel states, “I have tried to bring my experience as a school teacher to expand our program to include more options for middle school/junior high students, and to create new long term partnerships for bringing art into the surrounding communities, like we have with an afterschool group in Como, MS.”

Joel has taken up the tedious responsibility of writing grants on behalf of the Museum and has already been awarded his first grant, a Mississippi Arts Commission Minigrant, to send Emily Dean to the National Art Education Association Conference in Fort Worth, TX. Thank you, Joel, for devoted commitment of service to the Museum and the community!