International Exchange Program Orientation 2024

This year, we celebrate 40 years of the International Exchange Program (IEP)! Since 1984, our organization has worked with partners around the world to provide hands-on training opportunities for emerging cultural heritage professionals. To date, more than 700 interns from over 100 countries have participated in the program.

Prior to the start of their internships, this year’s IEP interns gathered together in Washington, DC, for an amazing few days of heritage-focused tours, visits, and meetings. Share their experience with the photo gallery below.

Day One began with a welcome presentation from World Heritage USA and then Allison Huchko, a 2022 IEP alumna, gave an overview of her IEP experience. Next, the interns met with representatives from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the U.S. Department of State’s Cultural Heritage Center. The entire afternoon was spent inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture. With six enormous floors full of engaging and interactive exhibits, we stayed inside the museum until it closed and still felt like we had barely scratched the surface.

Day Two of the 2024 IEP Orientation started with a tour of the U.S. Capitol building. Inside, our group admired Brumidi’s dome, learned about the meaning behind other artworks in the rotunda, and visited the National Statuary Hall. And of course, we had to take a group picture of this year’s cohort in front of the Capitol building. Next, the group made its way across the street to the Library of Congress and spent some time admiring the architecture, murals, and mosaics. In the afternoon, the group paid a visit to the Department of the Interior to meet with our friends at the National Park Service. First, Heritage Documentation Programs talked about how they create and manage the nation’s largest archive of historic architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation. Next, the Office of International Affairs discussed their role in nominating and monitoring the country’s World Heritage Sites, and the group had the chance to read through some recent World Heritage Site nomination dossiers. Before leaving, we also had the opportunity to visit the Department of the Interior’s Museum to see Thomas Moran’s famous paintings of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

Day Three began with a preservation walking tour led by one of MTFA Design + Preservation’s Architectural Conservators who guided the group through some of her past projects. We learned about stone conservation methods used during the restoration of the Folger Theatre’s marble exterior, laser scanning techniques used at the Library of Congress, and various material analyses that were instrumental in the restoration of the Canon House Office Building’s interior. In the afternoon, we went to the National Building Museum which houses the offices of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Here, we met with the Commission’s Secretary and learned about their role in advising the federal government and guiding the architectural development of Washington, DC.

To see more content from 2024 IEP program, please follow along on Facebook or Instagram! If you would like to support the International Exchange Program, please make a donation here.


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