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Head, Heart, Hands, Health

Posted on 10/08/2020 at 04:00 PM by Sydney Marshall

Happy 4-H Week! (October 4-10, 2020)

I was a 4-H kid in the Twin Cities (MN) from the ages of 10-20, so my experience was very different from what is pictured in Christian Petersen’s 4-H Calf. Agriculture and livestock were not easily available to me within the city, but I was particularly interested in leadership and the community-based aspects of my club. I loved that youth were key leaders in the decision-making processes for my club and county. 4-H gave me the skills to communicate my ideas and interact with youth and adults from all walks of life in order to accomplish our goals for the year. In my current work as an Assistant Curator, this ability to lead a vast array of people is particularly helpful. Working with departments throughout Iowa State University in Art on Campus committee meetings, I am able to bring people together around the shared goal of acquiring public art for campus that represents their research and their community values.

Throughout my life my great loves have all surrounded informal learning- libraries, museums, and of course, 4-H. I love the freedom that these organizations provide me to explore my own interests and explore new skills in a very low risk environment. In 4-H, as long as a project I completed allowed me to learn in some way and I could communicate what I learned, it was considered a success in the eyes of 4-H. Visiting museums has a similar purpose for me now. You are free to dive deeper into specific aspects of an exhibition, or perhaps skip a room or exhibition altogether, without consequences. You can challenge yourself to learn something new or find comfort in returning to works of art you have always loved. These spaces for informal learning, such as 4-H and University Museums, are here for you to take what you need to grow.

I hope you all have a great 4-H week, and I encourage you to get out and join a club, or find ways you can support your local clubs with your expertise.

Learn more about Iowa 4-H, ISU Extension and Outreach


IMAGE: Assistant Curator Sydney Marshall cleans 4-H Calf by Christian Petersen, which is located in Anderson Sculpture Garden. The 4-H Calf was inspired by, and is a tribute to, Iowa’s youth who learn and labor on farms. Petersen originally sculpted in 1941.

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