From left - Daniel Schoch, Hannah Gaston, Yvonne Pruitt, Emmanuel Vozos, and Gary De Noia stand in front of the portrait of William Livingston.
Hannah Gaston, a student pursuing her M.A. in Museum Professions, a graduate program within the College of Communication and the Arts, recently collaborated with College alumni on a short film as part of her internship at Liberty Hall Museum in Union, New Jersey.
Gaston, a Museum Education track student, participated as a cast member in “Liberty Hall 360,” a reenactment of the 1774 wedding of John Jay and Sarah Livingston at Liberty Hall. Four College alumni were involved with the project, including Gary De Noia ’08, Yvonee Pruitt ’18, Daniel Schoch ’07, and Emmanuel Vozos ’07. Vozos, the 2018 receipt of the College’s Distinguished Alumni award, produced and directed the short film. The film was shot in 360 degrees and will ultimately become a virtual reality experience for visitors at Liberty Hall Museum.
Read about Gaston’s experience:
“I applied for an internship at Liberty Hall Museum because of its intimate setting and rich history. It is home of New Jersey’s first elected governor and signer of the Constitution, William Livingston. The short film project, ‘Liberty Hall 360,’ shares the story of John Jay and Sarah Livingston’s wedding. John Jay eventually became the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and Sarah was one of William Livingston’s daughters. They were married on April 28, 1774 in the Great Hall of Liberty Hall.
I initially learned about museums utilizing virtual reality to enhance visitor experience in my coursework. So, when I discovered that Liberty Hall Museum was developing a virtual reality experience, I was excited to learn more about how the technology could be applied in the museum setting. We filmed the reenactment in the very same room where the wedding took place, which will allow visitors to feel like actual guests at the wedding.
I found the three-day filming project both challenging and rewarding. The most challenging component of the project was filming the three outdoors scenes on a cold winter day. The most rewarding part of the experience was the opportunity to network with the cast and crew, many of which were College alumni.
As a museum educator, I strive to bring people together in the interest of learning something new, and this project complemented that goal. Education is a core component of nearly all museums, so museum educators play a vital role in the success of any institution. Museum education is so much more than just guiding tours for school children, it is about taking available information and making it accessible to all. Educators need to be creative, outside-the-box thinkers in order to develop programs and activities that will excite and engage different types of visitors. This filming project perfectly captured this idea and will provide future visitors a deeper layer of interpretation.
I encourage aspiring and current museum professionals to experience virtual technology and incorporate it into their institutions. I am excited to see how Liberty Hall uses this short film to enhance their visitor experience and I am confident that when I design education programs in the future, I will reflect on my time on the set of ‘Liberty Hall 360’ for inspiration.”
The M.A. in Museum Professions is designed for individuals interested in pursuing careers in museums or related cultural institutions. Students in the program select one of four professional tracks, including Museum Education, Museum Registration, Museum Management, or Exhibition Development. All students in the M.A. in Museum Professions program complete a 200-hour-for-credit internship. A dedicated internship supervisor assists with placement and an internship directory is available to students.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.