Montpelier Engagement Fellow

Matthew Fosdick

Matthew Fosdick has a BA in Political Science from JMU. He is "excited to be a Fellow at Montpelier because it will be a great opportunity to gain both knowledge and experience in the fields of Archiving and Communications." He will be able to work hands on with documents of historical importance to preserve them and make them accessible to the public while working alongside experts in both fields of Archiving and Communications at Montpelier.


The Position:

The 2019-2020 Montpelier fellow is tasked with taking on a broader role with historic Montpelier. Matthew is responsible for archiving and indexing the numerous documents pertaining to Montpelier's House Restoration Project; recording, editing, and contributing to on-site podcasts hosted by visiting scholars and speakers, and presenting at several civic and public engagement events.   

Work Objectives

Montpelier embraces its unique identity as a monument to James and Dolley Madison, a museum of American history, and a center for constitutional education that engages the public with the enduring legacy of Madison’s most powerful idea: government by the people. As the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, Montpelier’s mission is to communicate Madison’s role in creating our modern, democratic government. Matthew will work across multiple departments at the Foundation in order to gain a better understanding of core operations and maintenance of cultural institutions.


Museum Programs

A central function of Montpelier’s museum programs is the care, preservation, and interpretation of the Montpelier house and other exhibition spaces in the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center.

  • Assist the museum team with routine maintenance and preservation activities, including maintaining stability, cleanliness, and safety of the historic interiors and collections in Montpelier’s exhibition and collections storage spaces
  • Learn best practices in the field in the handling of museum collection objects and in the cleaning and maintenance of historic house interiors and other exhibition spaces.
  • Fellow may elect to undertake a research project on an object or objects in the museum or collection.


Marketing and Communications

The Fellow will assist this department in creating, developing, and executing foundation-wide marketing and communications strategies internally and externally. With an emphasis on writing and content creation, this position requires the ability to think creatively and write for various audiences, including visitors, donors, and prospective donors.

  • Draft stories for website and press releases around major Montpelier news and events
  • Assist digital marketing manager in social media campaign creation and execution
  • Assist in the creation and deployment of email campaigns
  • Assist tourism marketing manager in project management of We the People (We the People) Magazine
  • Other duties as assigned


Visitor Services and Visitor Engagement

Museums and cultural institutions rely on feedback from visitors to improve their programming, enhance their visitor experience, and strategize their outreach. At Montpelier, visitors have the opportunity to complete a survey after their visit, allowing them to share details about their experience at Montpelier and suggestions for improvement.

  • Analyze over 1,000 responses to Montpelier's visitor survey and develop a report summarizing key findings and trends in the data. The report will be presented to the Vice President for Museum Programs and will be used to inform programming, interpretation, and visitor services decisions.


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