Vacaville Museum’s new director wants to inspire a love of history – The Vacaville Reporter

The Vacaville Museum is a celebration of the city and its history. Both are areas that Nicole Stevenson knows well, having grown up in Vacaville and studied history in college, so it’s no surprise that she was chosen as the museum’s new executive director.

Stevenson was hired in February to fill the position previously held by Joanie Erickson, who resigned last year due to health issues. Stevenson was happy to serve as steward of Vacaville’s long and rich history.

“I’m really honored, excited and optimistic,” she said.

Stevenson grew up just down the street from the museum on Buck Avenue, which gave him an appreciation for home designs in the area.

“We have incredible architecture here,” she said. “I’ve always loved old Victorians.”

Stevenson’s grandmother was a volunteer at the museum, which meant frequent trips. As a teenager, Stevenson also participated in the annual children’s party.

However, after graduating from Buckingham Magnet Charter High School in 2006, she found herself on a path that took her away from Vacaville. She was recruited to work in Hollywood as a technical post-production assistant for StereoD, a company specializing in visual effects and 3D conversion. It was here that she worked on such large-scale blockbusters as ‘The Avengers’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, ‘Pacific Rim’ and the 2013 re-release of ‘Jurassic Park’.

“We did the conversion from 2-D to 3-D,” she said.

Subsequently, Stevenson attended the University of Leicester in the UK, where she graduated with honors in ancient history and classical archeology and was awarded the John Wacher Dissertation Prize in Roman Studies for her research. It was there that Stevenson said she gained an appreciation for the role museums play in preserving the history of communities and inspiring young people to study history.

Stevenson even sought to continue his education at York University, but that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “long winding road,” as she put it, brought Stevenson back to her hometown. Looking for ways to occupy herself, she decides to do an internship at the Vacaville Museum. When the director position was advertised in January, she decided to go for it.

“I realized I had the skills that would match this job,” she said.

Stevenson’s favorite thing about the job so far has been the people.

“Everyone has been so welcoming, and the community, everyone has been giving me a thumbs up,” she said. “It’s been wonderful.”

In particular, Stevenson said she received a lot of support from museum staff and volunteers.

“It’s been a short time and I already feel like I’m part of a close-knit family that I’ve just been welcomed into,” she said.

Stevenson also likes the idea of ​​the ability to make changes in the community.

“It means a lot to help others,” she said.

Stevenson plans the museum’s next exhibitions. One is a history of aviation in Solano County, but the very next exhibit is “Under Clothes,” which focuses on underwear from the Victorian area up to the 1970s.

“It features our collection and some loaded underwear that has been worn to shape and change the look of most women but also men throughout history,” she said.

The exhibit will also shed light on “the misconceptions we have today about what they wore and how beauty trends have changed over time.”

“Under Clothes” is set to open on May 7.

Stevenson’s main goals are to increase community and school public engagement and try to give back to the community by partnering in toy and blood drives.

“I would like to inspire kids to hopefully think about a career in museums, studying history,” she said.

The museum is located at 213 Buck Ave. Gallery hours are 1 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 447-4513.

About Ryan Headley

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