Creating advocates for history through the stories of greater Los Angeles.
We’re pleased to feature Michelle Galaz for this month’s Volunteer Spotlight. From working special events to handling artifacts in our collection, Michelle does it all, and with a smile to boot! Read on for a peek into what drives her dedication to the Homestead.
Please tell us about your first visit to the Homestead.
My first visit to the museum was for my volunteer interview. I had never been to the Homestead as a guest, but I had seen it everyday on my commute to work and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.
What caused you to begin volunteering here?
I had graduated with my masters in archaeology and although I have a perfectly stable and secure career as a research archaeologist, I always had a love for museums. I had volunteered at museums before, but I thought it would be nice to be able to help a local institution (I live merely blocks from the Homestead). I also thought it would be a great learning opportunity, and it has proven to be.
What are your favorite programs at the Homestead, and why?
I love Ticket To The Twenties and Romance of the Ranchos. Those are my favorite events because, as someone who loves to dress up herself, I love seeing everyone come in costume and playing their part as Dapper Dans & Flapper Dames or Elegant Dons and Doñas. The live music is always so fantastic and I love to take the time and purchase one or two items for my own period costumes too.
How would you describe the Homestead to someone who has never visited the site?
It is a lovely glimpse into our pioneer history as well as the early twentieth century, which was a very exciting time in our early modern era. The museum is unique in that it has two exquisite examples of architecture in both eras, not to mention the amazing exhibits and programs available for free to the public year round. It’s truly astounding!
What keeps you volunteering at the Homestead?
The people are amazing. It’s exciting to be a part, however small, of such a vibrant community of history lovers. Both volunteers and staff love what they do and it shows in the dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work they put into every aspect of the museum. And I love what I do because it is always great to see and interact with an interesting artifact that I’ve never seen before. This work is never boring and there is always something more to learn.
Thanks, Michelle, for your kind words and Public Programs Assistant Craig Chyrchel for contributing this post.