Mi McNay es Su McNay: Jenelle Esparza

In our Summer Q&A series, we profile members of the McNay staff to show a behind-the-scenes look at all the people who make the McNay what it is! Today’s post features Jenelle Esparza, McNay Museum Educator.


What is your role at the McNay? Walk us through a typical day in your shoes.
I started out as Education Coordinator and was recently promoted to Museum Educator. As Education Coordinator, I was doing a lot of planning, scheduling, and statistics. Aside from handling the master calendar of the museum, I worked with all the schools, community organizations, and adult tour groups who scheduled a tour of the museum. I facilitated art workshops for student tour groups and facilitated our Teen Art Guide program. Now as Museum Educator, I will be in charge of Family Programming while continuing to help facilitate our teen programs. As a first-time museum employee, I continue to learn so much from my colleagues.

What do you like to do outside of work? What are your favorite things to do and places to go in San Antonio?
I really enjoy being an artist and making art on my own time. If I’m not working on my next show, I’m going to someone’s exhibit. I also help my boyfriend Rigo Luna run Presa House, a local gallery in Southtown. San Antonio has a really unique and vibrant art community so it’s fun to keep up with it all.

What has been your favorite exhibition at the McNay so far? Tell us why.
I really enjoyed Telling Tales in the Fall of 2016. There were some phenomenal photographers in that show whose work I really admire, so I was really excited to see it in person.

What is one thing about the McNay you wish everyone knew?
First, that kids and teens are free until they turn twenty. All day, every day. Second, we really go out of our way to accommodate student tour groups. I’m not sure many realize how influential these docent-led tours are or of the impact they have on the kids who experience them. And when they can all engage in an art activity after that tour experience to expand on what they’ve just learned, it really goes that extra mile. It’s a wonderful thing to see. Also, we give out museum passes to the kids after their tours so they can come back with their families for free AND we offer reimbursement for bus/travel costs to the schools. Can’t beat that!