After Hours @ The Burke

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $2,335

Letter of Intent:

The student advisory board of the Burke Museum will collaborate with SEED's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle committee to present an "After Hours @ The Burke" event for UW students in conjunction with the Burke's upcoming exhibit, "Plastics Unwrapped."


"Plastics Unwrapped" will be on view at the Burke Museum from December 20, 2012, through May 27, 2013, and then travel to other museums around the country. It introduces visitors to the history, science, and engineering of plastics; impacts on human health, wildlife, and environments worldwide; and what we can do to make a difference as responsible consumers and recyclers.

The displays include:

  • Wall-size installations of plastic waste, such as: the number of plastic water bottles used every second in the US, the pounds of e-waste discarded in a similar time, the amount of plastic collected on a Washington beach in a single afternoon, plastic bags consumed in a quarter-second—and more!
  • Information on how plastics are made from fossil fuels.
  • Large-format video of plastic waste in world environments
  • Objects from the Burke collections, from pre-plastic raingear to wildlife killed by plastic pollution
  • “Cracking the Code,” display on the meaning of recycling-code numbers on plastic containers
  • A wall of “Better Choices,” including reusable bags and water bottles, biodegradable plastics, products made from recycled plastic, those with no plastic packaging, etc.
  • A Learn-More Lounge, with information to explore on composting, recycling, and other steps that visitors can take to reduce their plastic footprint
  • A Studio Lab space for hands-on activities, including trash-sorting challenges presented by SEED and the UW Garbology Project


“After Hours @ The Burke” is a quarterly evening event for UW students and their friends, hosted by the Burke Museum’s student advisory board. Each event includes a variety of creative, educational, and social activities organized around a central theme.

This proposed event will be held in Spring quarter, 2013, and focus on plastics and recycling. Activities will be presented by students involved with the Burke, SEED, and other campus partners, such as:

  • Trash/recycle/compost sorting game, presented by SEED
  • Making art from plastic trash, presented by SEED and students enrolled in Burke 101 (earning UW credit for leading visitor activities in the museum)
  • Information on other campus resources related to plastics and recycling
  • Refreshments
  • Other activities, TBD by student advisory board (The final program will be developed over the coming months.)


This event, and the associated Plastics exhibit, will be widely publicized across the campus through posters, e-lists, UW media, departmental mailings, and networking with campus groups. By attending the event, students will gain an increased awareness of the environmental issues surrounding plastics and recycling and leave with increased knowledge about how to make changes in their own lives and on campus, promoting a more sustainable community. It will also increase visibility and awareness of sustainability activities on campus among student audiences, boost student attendance for the Burke's educational exhibit, and build mutually beneficial partnerships between the Burke and student organizations that share the museum's sustainability goals.

In the past, "After Hours @ the Burke" Events have been funded by UW Undergraduate Affairs and an IMLS grant, both of which are no longer available. The Burke can cover some costs of these events but routinely seeks outside contributions for programming and publicity. Since this subject matter seeks to increase student engagement with sustainability efforts within the campus community, applying to CSF seemed like a logical funding option.


Danielle Acheampong, primary contact, is a member of the Burke Museum Student Advisory Board and is focusing on the Plastics exhibit for her thesis in Museology. Cassandra Sandkam is a program manager in the Burke Education office; her duties include coordinating the student advisory board and their events. Primary contact at SEED is Rachel DeCordoba, the Reduce Reuse Recycle committee chair.

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Danielle Acheampong