The safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Crystal Bridges will temporarily close through April 17 to support efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Get to know a little more about this month’s Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Pugliese!
Career Information (Past, Present or Future)
My first profession was in Educational Publishing, working for Harcourt Brace. Then at home raising three children, I freelanced for TIME Education and American Book Co., and volunteered in the docent program at a local museum. That led to a full-time position developing and implementing a museum magnet school program. That led to an offer to teach and eventually chair the art department at a wonderful K-12 private school. After 20 years there, I recently retired.
Painting, jewelry making, knitting, reading, cooking, and especially volunteering at Crystal Bridges.
Favorite artwork or space at the museum
Some days my favorite work is a classical still life. Other days it might be something colorful and abstract, but the space of the museum–exterior and interior–is always magical.
How did you learn about the museum and what prompted you to get involved?
We often drove to see family in Iowa, always stopping in Bentonville. Crystal Bridges was first on my list to see. It is one of the reasons we chose to retire here.
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the museum thus far?
Most of my time has been in the Studio or assisting with children and family workshops. I’ve also enjoyed volunteering at adult programs like Sages and Scientists.
What keep you coming back to volunteer?
The staff has been so welcoming and so terrific to work with, and it is a wonderful space to be in.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
I enjoy interacting with visitors from all over the world, but the special treat is the excitement on the faces of the children coming into the Studio for the first time.
What have you learned or how have you been personally affected from your experience with the museum?
I’ve learned from the educators, from watching the interactions of families, and from the other volunteers. Having been involved in other museums, I am grateful to be involved in this environment.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience? Please share with us!
Until a year ago, I lived my life in New York City. I made fun (in a loving way, of course) of friends planning a long weekend in Bentonville. They came home saying I had to see Crystal Bridges. Now, not only am I living here, but I’m telling everyone back “home” they need to see Crystal Bridges.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
It is an excellent volunteer opportunity. Possibilities exist in many departments. There is a very flexible time commitment and rewards of smiles, thank yous, coffee, tea, and even snacks!