Get to know a little more about this month’s Volunteer Spotlight: Jane Stevens!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was a registered dietician for 40 years. I worked mostly in hospitals and raised three kids in the meantime. I moved to Northwest Arkansas from Benton, Arkansas to be closer to my daughter and help with grandchildren. I have been in Northwest Arkansas for 18 years now.
I like to read. I am an avid quilter. I used to make my kids’ clothes. I enjoy attending quilt retreats. I also enjoy traveling. I travel with my college roommate on Road Scholar Adventures (educational vacations). Recently, we traveled to Great Falls, Montana. We learned from some Native Americans about their lives and traditions and we heard about Lewis and Clark’s expedition. We visited the studio and museum of Charles Russell (an American artist of the Old American West).
Favorite artwork(s) or space(s) at the museum?
Some of my favorites include Francis Guy’s Winter Scene in Brooklyn, Joan Mitchell’s Untitled, and Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart.
In what ways have you been involved as a volunteer with the museum thus far?
I have always enjoyed working with School Programs. I think education is so important. Many of the children would never get to come here if it were not for school trips. Some of the schools come from great distances.
What prompted you to become a volunteer?
I used to bring my grandson to the overlook regularly to watch Crystal Bridges being built. I just knew I wanted to be a part of things.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience?
I like knowing that I am helping. I enjoy seeing the kids and visiting with the teachers and parents.
Do you have a funny or inspirational story you can briefly tell about your volunteer experience?
I thought it was interesting that a dance teacher brought her students on a trip here. She had them select a painting and then choreograph a dance inspired by the work. Another year, a group of elementary students sang Happy Birthday to me.
On another Road Scholar trip to NYC, one of our tour guides, George, said his favorite painting in all of NYC hung in the Public Library, and he would go there frequently to visit it, until one day it was gone. It was Kindred Spirits! I was delighted to tell him where it went. When the museum galleries were being renovated, I read in the paper that Kindred Spirits had been sent back to the library and I wrote and told him, and he was so thrilled.
Do you have any advice for individuals considering volunteering with Crystal Bridges?
There are many things to choose from. You may not like working with children like I do, but there are a lot of opportunities. We can always use more help with the children. We really are making a difference in someone’s life!