With my educational background in art history and international affairs, along with my work experience in public programs and communications, this role at the Foundation was almost tailor-made for me. Working for the Foundation has been a rewarding, challenging, and educational experience.
Kelly Scandone (BA ’17) entered a new position this year in a new Washington, DC museum dedicated to American diplomacy. In her role as programs and communications coordinator for the Diplomacy Center Foundation, Kelly puts into practice the talents and skills she honed at FSU and in post-graduation positions as a leader, guide, and museum professional.
Kelly graduated from Florida State in 2017 with a BA in Art History, a BS in International Affairs, and a minor in Museum Studies. She was actively involved in the Undergraduate Art History Association and College Leadership Council for the College of Fine Arts, respectively serving as President and Co-Chair during her senior year.
During her time at FSU, she also participated as a Digital Learning Volunteer at the British Museum for the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre in the summer of 2016 (SDDC). The Samsung Digital Discovery Centre provides the British Museum with a state-of-the-art technological hub for children and young people to learn about and interact with the Museum’s collection. During her internship, she spent her time between assisting museum educators or leading SDDC daily primary school programs and independently developing new learning programs for families. She independently worked on the ‘Stories of Krishna’ and ‘Teens Game Design’ programs, which uses coding technology to recreate stories depicted on the Vrindavani Vastra and Maya lintels from the museum’s collection. From conducting her independent research to leading student organizations within the Department and College, Kelly was able to take her knowledge and passion for art history and use them in meaningful ways after graduation.
Kelly went on from Florida State to King’s College London, where she earned an MA in Arts and Cultural Management. Building on her education in art history and work experience at the British Museum, Kelly focused her graduate studies on museum practice and theory. As part of her curriculum, Kelly and her colleagues had the opportunity to develop their own heritage-based public program and pitch it to the National Trust’s London team. Their group was selected to work one on one with the National Trust for the remainder of the semester to learn about heritage programming. Her graduate program culminated in completing her dissertation on the display and interpretation of the German War Art Collection, thus combining her education in art history and museum studies.
Kelly is now the programs and communications coordinator for the Diplomacy Center Foundation, the private-sector partner to the United States Department of State in creating the U.S. Diplomacy Center. Set to open in 2022, the Diplomacy Center will be the first national museum dedicated to telling the history, practice, and challenges of American diplomacy. Through the museum’s exhibitions and programs, the Diplomacy Center will encourage visitors to explore the historical and present impact of U.S. diplomats. In her role, Kelly is responsible for organizing the Foundation’s events and programs that are focused on stewarding current donors, cultivating future donors and engaging the public with stories of American diplomacy. Kelly also oversees the development and implementation of the Foundation’s public communication efforts, including their donor newsletters, website, and social media platforms.
At her new position, Kelly says she enjoys “the flexibility and creative experimentation that comes from supporting a museum still in development, and the challenges that come along with working at a young institution has allowed me to grow as a museum professional. It is especially rewarding that, despite being so early in my career, I am in a position where I can leave my mark on the organization for years to come.”