Student Summer Workshop – Learn & Help Curate Museum’s Exhibition on Juana Briones

By March 28, 2018Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (March 28, 2018)–Today the Los Altos History Museum opens enrollment to students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade for “Juana Briones Summer Workshop“, a free two-week, hands-on summer workshop on museum studies. Students will apply what they learn to create installation pieces for the bilingual exhibition, “Inspired by Juana: Doña de la Fronteraon display October 18, 2018 through April 20, 2019.

The workshop will be held July 9-20, 2018, from 10am to 3pm at the Museum.

Co-curators of the exhibition, Dr. Perlita R. Dicochea and Halimah Van Tuyl, will lead the workshop. In addition, guest presenters will include local historians specializing in California history: Dr. Albert Camarillo, Emeritus Professor at Stanford University, Dr. Bobby Vaughn, Professor of Anthropology at Notre Dame de Namur, and Dr. Kyle Livie, Associate Professor of History at Ohlone College.

Workshop applications are available online at: and due April 20, 2018.

High school students will have an opportunity to design displays, create artistic pieces to convey a historical theme or question, build an app, write and perform spoken word poetry, interview community bridge builders, or make a video or audio piece for exhibit. Each topic will be a “block” in understanding what goes into preparing an exhibition for a historical museum. Group projects will be incorporated into the October exhibition.

“Telling Juana Briones’ story will serve as an inspiration to all members of the community but especially to the Latina and Latino students throughout the Silicon Valley. The installation pieces created in the workshop will demonstrate how her story resonates with today’s youth,” observed Dr. Elisabeth I. Ward, the Museum’s Executive Director.

The story of Juana Briones is a tale of resilience, ingenuity and business savvy – the hallmarks of Silicon Valley. Juana Briones was an early entrepreneur who owned several businesses, many parcels of land, was a talented midwife and traditional healer in what is now Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, San Jose, and San Francisco. As the daughter of members of the DeAnza Expedition, her life spanned from the early days of the San Francisco Presidio, to California statehood, to the building of Stanford University near her final home in Mayfleld, now part of Palo Alto.

“The life and story of Juana Briones is a treasure and is of local, state, and transnational significance. At the heart of our vision for showcasing Juana is a unique, community-centered exhibit that will include contributions from local youth and promises to elicit intergenerational conversations about California’s roots. Juntos podemos abrir las puertas de nuestra historia y conectar nuestra comunidad multicultural a un futuro brillante — así como lo hizo Juana Briones en su vida” commented Dr. Dicochea.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,