Video: “No Food in the Galleries”

Project Background

When Melissa started her internship at FS, Jen had been working with the visitor experience manager, Brooke Rosenblatt, and media specialist, Hutomo Wicaksono on creating training videos for security staff during their formation meetings. The first video they made was on the vulnerabilities of the Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery of Art. Inspired by this work, Melissa started brainstorming with Brooke, Jen, and Hutomo about potential topics of interest to address real preservation communication needs. In the end, the group decided on addressing the risks of eating food in the galleries based on the following reasons:

  • A new cafe was slated to open in the Sackler lobby just outside the galleries
  • The museum was hosting more and more catered special events within or near the galleries

  • Jen was in the process of developing a new integrated pest management program for the museum

The project started with an aim at reaching security staff, specifically, but the intended audience for the video expanded beyond security staff to be more general for staff members (including café workers and volunteers) to emphasize the collaborative effort to minimize food consumption in areas with collections.


  1. Completed a comprehensive review of existing resources and videos for inspiration
  2. Melissa met bi-weekly for several months starting in 2020 with Hutomo to come up with a script and storyboard for the video
  3. Once the video concept was mostly complete, Melissa and Hutomo met with Brooke and Jen to run the idea by them and get approval on the message and the tone of the video
  4. Once the concept was approved, COVID-19 prevented immediate filming, however, Melissa and Hutomo continued to meet virtually to discuss other options that might include green screens and animations with the hope of eventually returning to the museum to film
  5. The script, concept, and some of the animations are complete and ready for filming if the opportunity arises