On a hot summer day, I met with George and Barb Grilley over lunch to learn about the incredible work they do at Hancher. George and Barb have organized the building tour program since 2015. They recruit volunteers to lead guided tours, train volunteers, and organize weekly tours for the public. Barb told me that the best tour guides are the retired teachers because they tend to have the interpersonal and interpretive skills to put on a good tour.
As a public-facing scholar who is dedicated to revitalizing the relevance of the university in today’s world, I am researching what publicly engaged work means post-pandemic and how arts-based approaches to public engagement work could help facilitate conversations about the “future proofing” of community engagement.