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University of the Arts Takes Over the Penn Museum’s Instagram


Hashtags at the ready: #PennZooseum, #AnimalMuseum, #UArtsTakeover. From Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11, 2015, a team of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts students and their teachers are taking over the Penn Museum—the Museum’s @pennmuseum Instagram account, that is—and it promises to be a little wild out there.

That’s because the students, after brainstorming with their instructors over a theme for their Takeover Campaign, landed upon “Ancient Animals.”

The Instagram Takeover week is a project of four Museum Communication graduate students: Nicole de Jessa, Kara Guderman, Dai Li, and Shuangzi Hu, in collaboration with instructors Joseph J. Gonzales, Director, Museum Communication Program in the Museum Studies Department, University of the Arts, and Jen Dionisio, University of the Arts Lecturer and Digital Project Manager at Curtis Institute of Music. The students are taking “Media for Museum Communication,” a studio lab course designed to provide hands on instruction and training in video, audio, website, email content production—and social media.

Hence the Instagram “Takeover.” For five days, students post their own pictures, captions, and content to the museum’s Instagram feed.

Why animals? “I think every culture in the world displays animals in at least some way and so many differentstyles,” explained Kara.

“It was definitely a way to highlight the entirety of the collection on display, without excluding any particular aspect of it,” continued Nicole. “You could go to Egypt and look at the representations there. You could do it in the Near East. You could do it in Africa or Native America Voices. We were able to cover the whole museum.”

Any favorites? “The pig from the Wanamaker collection in the Roman room”; “a dog from the African gallery”; “the pipe bear in Native American Voices”; “the cat mummy on the second floor.”

Curious to see what they found? Check out the Instagram feed: #PennZooseum, #AnimalMuseum, #UArtsTakeover.

It’s social media, so that means, you can join in:

“We’re definitely hoping that it will encourage other visitors to the museum to try and zoom in on the animals they see as well and join the participation,” said Jen.


Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director