M.LiT: Policies and Guidelines


This is a 12-week program in which enrolled students must meet the following requirements to successfully graduate with a VMFA M.LiT (Museum Leaders in Training) Certificate:

The student must:

  • Have an e-mail account and check it frequently,
  • Be able to use Microsoft Word, e-mail, Dropbox, Facebook, and have basic Internet research skills,
  • Attend all required training sessions from March through April,
  • Notify Jessica Bauserman, Teen Program Educator, 24 hours in advance of an absence,

Jessica Bauserman
Phone: 804.340.1573
Email: jessica.bauserman@vmfa.museum

  • Have transportation to and from the M.LiT sessions (if you are concerned about transportation, contact the Teen Program Educator for assistance),
  • Be punctual and participate fully in each session,
  • Practice appropriate behavior for the museum and classroom setting that is respectful to instructors, peers, VMFA trainings, and program objectives,
  • Attend 28 hours of M.LiT training,
  • Complete 22 hours of development, design, and installation of an M.LiT-curated exhibition,
  • Complete 20 hours of Summer Teacher Assistantships at VMFA,
  • Learn to talk about the VMFA collection with your peers,
  • Turn in all M.LiT assignments to Jayna Champeau, jayna.champeau@vmfa.museum and Jessica Bauserman, jessica.bauserman@vmfa.museum,
  • Allow your peers and museum staff to evaluate your progress, and
  • Be receptive to constructive criticism and demonstrate willingness to change as needed.


Leadership Activities

M.LiT students will engage in the following leadership activities:

  • Participate in and actively support and promote VMFA teen initiatives and programs within their own and the larger Richmond metropolitan community
  • Advise VMFA on the development of teen programs, exhibitions, and incentives
  • Attend and participate in lectures, discussion groups, and leadership training
  • Serve as VMFA volunteers through teacher assistantships and community programs
  • Explore the professional roles and functions of museum and art-related careers
  • Design and curate an exhibition of artwork submitted by Virginia teens, which will be on display at the VMFA in the spring of 2014



1. Students will receive free VMFA memberships at Orientation.

All VMFA members receive:

  • Free tickets and previews of special exhibitions
  • Invitations to special members-only events
  • Free parking in the VMFA Parking Deck
  • 10% discount in the VMFA Shop, Amuse Restaurant, and Best Café
  • Monthly member Day — with free member programs, tours, and lectures
  • Discounts on classes, programs, and ticketed events; and
  • Monthly member News e-communications.

2. Free and fun program with students who have similar interests
3. Chance to earn 60+ hours of art-related community service
4. Opportunity to work with exhibition design staff to create an exhibition of artwork created by teens
5. Experience working with professionals in art, art history, art education, and museum studies
6. VMFA Museum Leaders in Training Certificate
7. Special recognition and awards for attendance and outstanding program contributions that include but are not limited to project completion and follow through and community service.


M.LiT Calendar

Thu, Mar 6, Orientation | 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Thu, Mar 13 – May 15, Standard Training Sessions | 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Sat, Apr 26 and May 10, Exhibition Planning Sessions | 10 am – 5 pm

Thu, Apr 17, Go to Work with VMFA Day | 9 am – 5pm
A unique opportunity for M.LiTers to spend a full eight-hour day at VMFA shadowing a staff person.

Fri, May 16, Teen Talent: Beauty, Body, and Image | 6 – 9 pm

Sat, Jun 14, Summer Orientation | 10 am – noon

Jun 23 – Aug 22, Summer Teacher Assistantships (as scheduled)

NOTE: Scheduling conflicts can be discussed with the program coordinator.


Training Sessions

Students must check in and out at each training session. Students should become familiar with training session locations including Pauley Center Lobby and Parlor, Pauley Center Studio B, Art Education Center Orientation Room, Computer Lab, Freeman Library and Conference Room One. Students are responsible for knowing the training session locations as designated on the program syllabus. Parents must complete a VMFA MLiT-Information Sheet, which includes student transportation permission for each child. All forms must be turned in on the first day of a student’s orientation.

Throughout the 12-week training program, students will receive helpful handouts. If possible, each student should purchase a one-inch binder and a package of page dividers. Dividers can be labeled and ordered as follows:

1. Syllabus
2. Policies and Guidelines
3. Agendas
4. Upcoming Programs and Events
5. Artist Research and Reference
6. Professional Development and Practice
7. Exhibition Design and Planning


Especially for Students

Homework: In the requirements, you’ll notice that you’re expected to spend a minimum of 14 hours outside of the VMFA training sessions to complete research and assignments. This means that you will occasionally have some homework. We understand that school work is your priority; therefore, most of your assignments will be completed during class time. Failure to complete the homework assignments may result in dismissal from the program.

Service Learning: While participating in the program, you each have the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of community service. This includes your training hours, summer assistantship,  and research hours. We categorize all these aspects of the program as service because they are essential to your role as contributors and as advisory council members. Contact Jessica Bauserman if you need a letter certifying your service.

Attendance: M.LiT students will be allowed no more than two (2) absences total of which no more than one (1) may be unexcused. An unexcused absence occurs when you (the participant) neglect to provide the program coordinator (Jessica Bauserman or her representative, Jayna Champeau) with a detailed explanation for your planned absence at least 24 hours before the date of the class/program; unexpected illness is an exception. Routine tardiness will accumulate to equal an absence. Failure to meet these guidelines may result in dismissal from the program. 

Behavior Model: In your packets each of you should has a contract, called VMFA M.LiT Program Rules and Expectations. This agreement indicates that you clearly understand what is expected of you and the consequences should you not meet expectations and program requirements.


VMFA Advisory Opportunities

Over the course of the semester, M.LiT participants will have a number of opportunities to shape the M.LiT program and other museum teen programs. These opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Suggesting and adopting a theme that will be explored for the annual program
  • Suggesting ideas for programs and activities that may appeal to teens
  • Designing labels and interactive exhibitions that engage individuals within your age range


Summer Assistantships

Summer Assistants will check in on Monday mornings (8:30 am) or afternoons (12:30 pm) in the Art Education Center Lobby. On the first day, students will receive their volunteer identification badges. An M.LiT Teen Tern or VMFA staff member will escort students to their class assignment and cover assistantship expectations. Starting on the second day, students will independently go to their assigned classes to check in with the teachers. Students who will be driving themselves should use their free member parking in the VMFA deck.

Summer Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Arriving 30 minutes prior to the start of your assigned camp each day and be prepared to stay 30 minutes after the camp concludes to assist with clean-up and check-out
  • Preparing materials
  • Cleaning materials and maintaining an orderly studio space
  • Paying attention to project instructions and relaying them to students
  • Engaging and aiding students ages 2 – 12 years old during activities
  • Setting an example for younger students by behaving in a mature and responsible manner
  • Notifying teachers if a child or another student is demonstrating inappropriate behavior

Summer Assistants will not be left alone with a child or group of children at anytime during their assistantships. Personal cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras are not permitted during the time Summer Assistants are volunteering.

M.LiT Summer Assistants will help summer camp participants understand and follow these guidelines:  

  • Use “inside” voices.
  • Use only graphite pencils while drawing or taking notes in the galleries.
  • Be respectful.
  • Use art materials responsibly.
  • Always stay together as a group.
  • Don’t use flash photography in the galleries.
  • Don’t touch works of art, the pedestals on which artwork stands, or the cases in which artwork is displayed.
  • Don’t take food, drinks, backpacks, large bags, or umbrellas into the galleries.
  • Don’t engage in any inappropriate physical contact while on the museum campus; this includes, but is not limited to, allowing students to sit on your or each other’s laps, performing gymnastic tricks, or engaging in games and sports without the teacher’s direction.