1. How long have you been employed at Mystic Seaport?
AA: I‘ve worked at Mystic Seaport for 21 years. I’m from Long Island, but I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. It is beautiful out there, but I missed the ocean and I convinced my husband to move back East.
2. What’s the best part of your job?
AA: My job lets me be creative, which is great. I enjoy the close contact with maritime history here at Mystic Seaport, through the collection and the people. Working with those at the Museum who know that history best makes it possible for me to graphically interpret that information for visitors.
3. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
AA: Getting everything done that needs doing. Of course, nothing ever runs smoothly! Also, it’s important to me to try to keep things fresh and new for Museum visitors. Just keeping exhibit graphics in good shape can be a challenge.
4. What’s the funniest or most notable on-the-job experience you’ve had?
AA: There was a period when there were special times for staff sails aboard Brilliant. Sometimes it was just a short-term sail; sometimes an overnight. It was wonderful. As for funniest, once a co-worker and I went to Elm Grove Cemetery to gather nuts for a display in the VRC. We wondered what people who saw us might be thinking! The same goes for anyone who saw us trying to match restaurant oyster shell halves for the Museum’s Oyster House exhibit. Every day is a new experience!
5. What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
AA: Spending time with my family. I have two children, a son and a daughter, who practically grew up at Mystic Seaport – taking advantage of some of the programs offered to youth, and as they grew old enough – working here. I have my own sailboat, so you’ll find me sailing on the Mystic River, time and weather permitting. Other than that, I enjoy gardening, usually with my dog Luna at my side.
Arlene was interviewed by volunteer Trudi Busey and photographed by Dennis Murphy.