Staff & Volunteer Spotlight — Meet Allison Gregory

Allison Gregory

by Allison Gregory, Office Administrative Manager

In January 2020, I came to Ferrisburgh, Vermont to interview for the Education and Interpretation Fellowship. I was never this far north in Vermont. I remember driving along on NY 22A gawking out the driver’s side window at the beautiful view of the Adirondacks in the distance — it was a clear day; rare in January. Rokeby looked charming from the driveway and I thought to myself ‘this is a lot smaller than I thought.’ You see, I had studied the website carefully before arriving and given the diverse programming and initiatives, I thought this place was going to be huge. Of course, I later realized its great importance to Vermont history.

I started the fellowship and moved into the historic house on February 15th. I was excited for a new adventure. I immediately jumped in to assist with a program the following afternoon and was excited for all of the projects, school tours, and the busy season coming upon us.

Then COVID-19 hit. I had been living in Vermont for a month when the stay-at-home order descended. I remember now director emerita Catherine Brooks and I discussing the possibility of postponing the fellowship until things got better — it became clear as the weeks went on that there was plenty to do to connect with the community. I set to work on creating two social media series on the art at Rokeby Museum and telling the stories behind different items in our collection.

New opportunities to learn and collaborate came in the summer. We opened the Education Center to the public in July with a new exhibition called Mending Fences: New Works by Carol MacDonald. Although not as busy as other years, I still got to see how a museum functions on a daily basis with visitors. In early June, I began collaborating with artist Courtney Clinton on the Rokeby Museum Distance Drawing Course. This six-part series of blog posts was modelled after the distance drawing course Rachael Robinson Elmer took at age 13. We focused on Rachael’s studies, her career in illustration, and her independent post card projects.

After months of finding ways to connect with people in the new normal COVID brought on, and learning about the Robinson family and history of Rokeby, I ended my fellowship in late September 2020. Fortunately, my journey with Rokeby did not end there! I was hired back in January 2021 to take over as the Office Administrative Manager. I am thrilled to be back and be able to work for an institution I love, and one that works towards social and racial justice. I look forward to welcoming visitors back this year and learning even more about this amazing place!

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Rokeby Museum’s Visitor Center and Historic Farm Buildings Open on May 9th. Stay tuned!