Portfolio Pieces: One of my favorites

Michael Zimmerman 
Over the past two years I’ve completed, and been a part of, many interesting and fun projects. One of my absolute favorites was for Museum Development 642. This project ran the length of the semester and required a team of three to complete. One of the main goals of the project was to develop programming for a museum of our group’s creation. This programming needed to be compelling and have a clear reason for support. After developing programs our group set about finding funders from in and around Philadelphia and drafting appeals that explained our projects in full, along with a budget and detailed description. After vetting our programs and budgets with the class, we compiled everything into a well-designed book.

What I enjoyed most about the project was being able to bounce ideas off teammates and have our proposals read and critiqued by classmates anonymously. Being able to read and respond to other’s work was a great way of discovering ways to make my own proposal more interesting and compelling. Likewise, having anonymous feedback gave other classmates the freedom to critique elements of each other’s proposals that might not have come across during a presentation.
Another aspect of the this project that made it so enjoyable was its relevance to my assistantship at The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. I was able to try out elements of a grant I was drafting for Landmarks in the class, and get feedback from our great teacher, Mira Zergani. The skills we learned about drafting a budget, using compelling language, and crafting a logical argument were directly used in my grant proposal. Having this safe and friendly environment to try out language and arguments proved invaluable in my work for Landmarks.
While this project has already been helpful, I also anticipate it to be useful in the future. Having a printed product makes the difference here, and I’m looking forward to using it as a critical element of my portfolio.