Jessica Rassau, 2018 graduate of the Art History MA program in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies, spent her last year of graduate work participating in a unique multi-dimensional museum internship spanning from Tallahassee to the hills of Tuscany.
Working under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy T. de Grummond, M. Lynette Thompson Distinguished Research Professor of Classics, Jessica served as educational programmer for “Lighting the Way to Archaeology,” an outreach program for visually impaired students, and also as assistant curator and exhibition designer for the international exhibition Wells of Wonders: Recent Discoveries at Cetamura del Chianti, at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence. The exhibition showcased nearly 300 finds recovered from two deep wells excavated at the Etruscan site, as well as three-dimensional reproductions of objects that have only survived in fragments.
“Lighting the Way to Archaeology” is a local outreach program designed to directly engage students with visual impairments on the topics of archaeology and anthropology through hands-on activities. The project works specifically with students from the Lighthouse Big Bend Foundation, a North Florida educational organization focused on assisting children with visual disabilities. In 2017, the program brought the Cetamura del Chianti site to participants utilizing three-dimensional printed reproductions of its fragile finds that could be explored through touch.
In 2018 the second iteration of “Lighting the Way” took place during Florida Archaeology Month, in partnership with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, the National Park Service, and several campus organizations. The project focused on Florida history, featuring Native and Spanish-identifying sites such as DeSoto, Newnans Lake, and Manasota Key, as well as underwater archaeological sites including the San Jose and Wedge Shipwrecks.
Following graduation, Jessica spent the summer of 2018 serving as the assistant lab director for the FSU Archaeology in Tuscany program in Cetamura and assisted in the preliminary designs and plans for the Cetamura archaeological site museum opening this Fall in Gaiole, Italy.