Get to know a little more about this month’s Volunteer Spotlight: Georgena Duncan!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Fayetteville, attending University of Arkansas. I received a Fulbright scholarship from the University of Liverpool, England. I then stayed and completed my PhD, and traveled over England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium. Jobs were scarce in the early 1970s as the Vietnam War wound down. I taught at Oregon State, worked as an affirmative action officer at Arkansas Tech, then as a professor of history, and finally Dean of Arts and Humanities. I’m now retired, living in Fayetteville, and supporting my mother who lives here as well.
I am a great reader and supporter of libraries. I am currently President of the Friends of the Fayetteville Public Library Board, a member of Ollie, and have served on the Curriculum and Executive committees there as well as teaching and taking classes. Before COVID, I enjoyed going to the Walton Arts Center, AMP, TheatreSquared, and the movies. At my age, with the virus so active, I am now a house plant connected to my computer and Zoom.
Favorite books? Movies? TV shows?
I don’t have just one favorite in these. I am a big science fiction reader (I like Ann Bishop, John Scalzi, and Martha Wells) and like sci-fi movies. I am eclectic and am currently reading a book about whales. I like everything from Star Wars to Knives Out in movies. I loved Star Trek and Battleship Galactica as well.
Favorite places in Northwest Arkansas?
I enjoy bird watching at various lakes. I enjoy Hobbs State Park, and the Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove battlefields. I also enjoy the Fayetteville and Rogers malls, the Malco Theater, and Fayetteville parks.
Favorite artwork(s) or space(s) at the museum?
I like the entrance from Buckyball down to the tree; I love the spring flowers and seeing deer cross the road. Inside the museum, I like the open area near the entrance and now find myself in the Modern Art Gallery and Contemporary Art Gallery more than anywhere else.
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the museum thus far?
Since 2011, I have volunteered in the Museum Store, as a gallery guide doing museum tours, and also took architectural training for the museum and the Bachman-Wilson House.
What prompted you to become a volunteer?
When I retired, I did not want to sit in front of the TV, and so got involved in the public library, Ollie, and Crystal Bridges. I have always enjoyed art and museums and having an opportunity at a new museum was wonderful.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
I enjoy the people on tours and their different reactions and questions, training sessions, and just being in the museum (before the pandemic).
What have you learned from—or how have you been personally affected by—your experience with the museum?
It has certainly broadened my knowledge of both art and architecture. I have surprised myself by becoming more interested in modern art.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience? Please share with us!
One time a 4-5-year-old girl crossing the lobby yelled to her mother, “Ohhh, look at the spider!” My own funny story is winning two little chunks of rock crystal from Rod at a volunteer dinner…the funny part is that my answer to his question was just a guess, and I won a prize.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
Be prepared for some work, because it’s not all just showing up. But like anything, if you enjoy it and learn from it, it’s worthwhile. Being a volunteer means giving back, and you can certainly do that.