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Volunteer Spotlight: Barb Wenger

Career Information (Past, Present or Future)

I’m a Medical Technologist who has been involved in science-related ventures throughout my career. Most recently as the Director of Bioscience at a small technical college, I helped develop a Biohazardous Risk Reduction program for facility technicians of Critical Environments.

 

Hobbies/Activities/Interests

I’ve been accused of being a curious person – I like to explore! I enjoy just about anything outdoors – gardening, walking, hiking, golf, visiting museums, TRAVELING!

 

Favorite artwork or space at the museum

There are so many that I narrow them down into the different ways they inspire me. The current favorites are Nari Ward’s We the People – a noble goal, Maya Lin’s Silver Upper White River – a great adventure, and William Righards’s Along the Shore – so completely calming!

 

How did you learn about the museum and what prompted you to get involved?

We love Arkansas, art and the outdoors, so we have followed the construction and development of Crystal Bridges for years. Actually, the fact that it’s located in NWA was part of the reason we chose to retire here. Volunteering seems to be a bonus benefit!

 

In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the museum thus far?

When I did the Volunteer Orientation I intended to volunteer in many areas: the library, culinary, guest services; they’re all so interesting. But I began with being an Avant Gardener and just haven’t pulled away to do anything else. It seems I couldn’t be happier than when I’m outdoors on these great trails.

 

What keeps you coming back to volunteer?

The opportunity to engage with other volunteers and staff while learning.

 

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?

There’s so much, but I’d like to think that I’m contributing, albeit in a very small way, to an organization that does so much for the local and extended community.

 

What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with the museum?

I’m an Arkansas native who’s been away for decades, but each time I volunteer I learn more about the state and its natural treasures – native plants, places, and people! I view volunteering as a fun way to pay tuition for the education I’m getting!

 

Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience?  Please share with us!

A friend that I had lost track of from decades ago, but incidentally who is also a volunteer, reconnected with me after seeing my name on the volunteer sign-up sheet. What a fun surprise!

 

Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?

Volunteering at Crystal Bridges is so unique. I don’t know of anywhere else that your volunteer time is completely flexible, totally appreciated, that you get to learn about topics you care about and you’re contributing to a worthy adventure. It’s a win/win situation for everyone!

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