The important work of educating HSU students is a crucial part of First Street Gallery’s mission. The gallery functions as a learning site where HSU students enrolled in the Museum and Gallery Practices Program gain valuable hands-on experience in all aspects of museum work, especially in exhibition production and curatorial areas. This invaluable experience gives these students an edge in finding meaningful and productive jobs in the arts and for others, it gives them a leg up to graduate school. The gallery also serves as a primary service-learning site where HSU students in the Art Department’s Art Education Program lead classes from the region’s K-12 grades, using the HSU First Street Gallery site and exhibitions to support their curriculum.
First Street Gallery provides a unique environment for Humboldt State University students to experience outside the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Students at all levels and disciplines are invited to participate in gallery activities through classes internships, work-study jobs, and interaction with visiting artists.
Three academic programs run out of the HSU Art Department are supported by the Gallery:
The Art Museum and Gallery Practices Certificate Program: The gallery serves as a hands-on learning lab where student interns learn the techniques, ethics and management practices of museums and galleries.
Directed Studies Gallery Internships: Advanced level student interns assume leadership roles as project leaders in the production of First Street Gallery’s exhibitions, curatorial projects, graphic design, grant research, as well as underwriting and development projects.
Service Learning: HSU Students in the Art Education program of the Art Department lead classes from the region's K-12 grades, using First Street Gallery's exhibitions to support their curriculum.