Earlier this month, one of our dedicated volunteers, Taryn Chiong, assisted our exhibits team in adding brand-new secrets to the San Diego Secrets section of the PostSecret exhibit. We sat down with her afterward to learn about why she started volunteering at the Museum, and her connection to the PostSecret project.

Hi! Please introduce yourself and tell us what you’re working on today.
Hi, my name is Taryn. I’m one of the volunteers here at the Museum of Man, and today I was helping change out the San Diego Secrets [in the PostSecret exhibit].

What drew you to volunteer at the Museum of Man?
Since I’m from San Diego, I really love going to museums and learning more about arts and culture in San Diego. When I found that the PostSecret exhibit was coming to the Museum of Man, I was interested in getting involved.

What is your connection to the PostSecret exhibit?
I’ve actually been following PostSecret for the last couple of years — ever since middle school. I was in a bookstore, and I saw this book called PostSecret, where people shared secrets anonymously. I thought that was really amazing that people would send in their secrets to someone they didn’t know.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
I also work at the Living Coast Discovery Center. I work with animals, marine life, reptiles, sharks…besides that, I’m also involved with the Samahan Philippine Dance Company. I play live music for them, particularly in the rondalla (an ensemble of string instruments played with picks).

Do any of the new secrets stand out to you?
One of the last ones we put up stood out to me. Someone’s husband was going into surgery – I’m not sure when the secret was submitted – and they were concerned that he wouldn’t make it. He’d wanted to come to the PostSecret exhibit on his last day [before the surgery]. I thought it was really powerful and moving that they wanted this to be the place they visit on what could have been his last day.

How can people submit secrets to the exhibit?
Visit museumofman.org/postsecret to learn how you can pick up postcards! You can also come to the Museum – we have a big table for you to fill out postcards on, with magazines (and art supplies) so you can get as creative as you want, and submit it to our exhibit mailbox.

How can someone start volunteering at the Museum?
When I wanted to get involved with the Museum, I just went to the website to look up any volunteer opportunities that were available.

As I was looking at what I wanted to do, I saw that there were also opportunities to volunteer and help out with the Living with Animals exhibits and programs.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Since we just changed out the San Diego secrets, we hope you guys can come back to check out these new ones. I hope you all enjoy them and all we have to offer here at the Museum of Man.

Photo by Stacy Keck

See Taryn in action and get a sneak peek at some of the new secrets below:

Read more about our PostSecret exhibit here, and learn how you can become a volunteer.