Jessica Lane is the Director of Education and Public Programs at MoPOP.
Join MoPOP Director of Education and Public Programs Jessica Lane in Making Pop Culture a Life-Changing Force
One of the greatest things I love about leading MoPOP’s Education and Public Programs Department is that we are a direct, tangible representation of our mission to make pop culture a life-changing force. Every day, we take ideas that exist on paper and turn them into interactive experiences that bring to life the universal stories of pop culture.
We each bring our own story to the table, so here’s a bit of mine: I was a sci-fi nerd growing up. I was the awkward, smart kid who always felt out of place, and I definitely didn’t see myself in my small community. I started watching Star Trek when I was probably 9 or 10, and it was like… fireworks. Suddenly, there I was! People like me were at the center of the story, and they weren’t teased for being the kind of person who was more interested in doing homework than hanging out at the mall. My love of Star Trek quickly expanded across science fiction and fantasy, and I found others who loved the same things. Suddenly, I wasn’t alone.
Like finding my own sci-fi community as a child, MoPOP’s programs create these kinds of spaces for connection. I’ve seen students’ eyes go wide realizing they can draw comics to express themselves, and others burst into tears analyzing scenes from Wonder Woman. I’ve seen couples in cosplay propose on stage at exhibition openings, and I’ve seen the sparkle in guests’ eyes at seeing themselves represented and finding themselves surrounded by “their people.”
Today, I invite you to be a part of creating these spaces with me — to be a catalyst that helps a young person know they’re not alone and that worlds of possibility exist all around them — by making a gift to support MoPOP, because our work is important now more than ever.
The isolation we have all felt in today’s world is only magnified for young people who are desperate to feel seen and understood. Pop culture is an antidote that provides connection and shared experience. It reflects what is happening in our world today, while also showing us a path toward progress.
Our job in Education and Public Programs is to create those shared experiences that lift artifacts out of cases and turn them into conversations. Our programs, student clubs, and classroom experiences offer the chance to connect physical objects and the written word to real-life experiences and interactions. They are also a chance to meet other people who love the same pop culture that resonates with you — whether it’s music, film, cosplay, gaming, or more.
Though COVID-19 has been incredibly challenging for students, our work at MoPOP provides a safe and intentional space to socialize with peers and geek out together. Participants connect over graphic novels, create underwater adventures in Minecraft, and share their latest cosplay creations. They learn confidence, self-expression, and empathy. They understand new perspectives and the importance of ensuring every voice is heard. And when students feel inclusion, it transforms how they show up for everything else they encounter.
You truly understand what it means to feel seen when you have experienced the opposite, and that’s why your support today matters. When you make a gift to MoPOP, you are supporting a student making their first cosplay, a teacher bringing math to life with tabletop gaming, a young musician performing on a public stage for the very first time, and a drag camp instructor creating the inclusive space they wish they had as a young person.
Give your gift today to join us in making experiences like these possible. Your contribution allows us to serve students, teachers, and community members like you with innovative, exploratory, and engaging programs that celebrate the love we share for the pop culture that connects us.
Live Long and Prosper,
Director of Education and Public Programs
P.S. Curious about everything we offer? Visit our Programs page to find out about the 30+ programs we create with our community, including MoPOP Matinee Takeover, sensory-friendly programs, Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival, remote learning experiences, Sound Off!, summer camps, and a whole lot more.