Postcards from the Field!

Posted by Emma Osore, Jul 27, 2017 0 comments

This summer, 12 Diversity in Arts Leadership interns from all over the country have descended upon arts nonprofits in New York City for ten weeks to explore and build skills in arts administration and leadership. This week, six interns are profiled and next week, six more! For 25 years, the Arts & Business Council of New York has been hosting the DIAL internship program as an investment in a more equitable arts management field. Let’s check in on the intern experience so far …

Mellanee Goodman

Arts Host Site: Free Arts NYC
School: Appalachian State University
Major(s): Art Management
Dream Vacation: Somewhere in Europe. Maybe France or Spain
Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Flavor: CHOCOLATE, hands down!
Creative Outlet: Painting using acrylic paint and watercolor, and making cards

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

Initially, I expected to do a lot of networking to familiarize myself with NYC’s art scene, and the program has exceeded my expectations so far. I am really enjoying my host site, Free Arts NYC, and getting to know my fellow DIAL interns. Also, I have enjoyed all the after-hour events with DIAL. These events have helped me become further oriented with the city and discover cool spots to travel to in the five boroughs.

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

The city has a natural energy that adds to its excitement, not to mention there is always something to do no matter what day of the week. My favorite thing has been going to all the thrift stores the city has to offer (I have found some really cool stuff!). What else I love about the city are the many cultures I am surrounded by; it has been amazing.

Asaiah Puente

Arts Host Site: Green-Wood Historic Fund
School: The University of Texas at San Antonio
Major(s): Public Policy in Public Administration
Dream Vacation: I would love to go to Ireland. My favorite band, U2, is from Ireland, so the chance to run into Bono would be probably the best thing to happen to anyone ever. It sounds ridiculous but ever since I saw P.S. I Love You, I fell in love with the rural beauty of Ireland.
Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Flavor: I love vanilla bean ice cream.
Weird Fact: I collect souvenir spoons wherever I travel.

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

At first, I expected the program to be impossible. Being from Texas, the best mode of transportation is always a car, but NYC does not function the same at all. Being in DIAL means experiencing all of New York and using your walking shoes to do so. Not once have I dreaded waking up to travel to my job or to the next event. It’s fantastic!

After a few weeks at Green-Wood, I’ve learned what kind of job I want to aim for after graduation. One day I hope to run my own non-profit for the arts but I know I will need to pay my dues for some time first. My internship has helped me see what my strong suits are and where I can apply those skills in any arts nonprofit.

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

The most exciting thing about New York (besides the fact that it is not Texas) is every single day is different. Nobody cares about me and I mean that in the best way possible. It is such an independent city with such interesting people. I have so many stories about my adventures on the subway to last me a lifetime.

Doreen Devasia

Arts Host Site: American Federation of Arts
School: University of Virginia
Major(s): Foreign Affairs and Art History
Dream Vacation: I’d love to travel somewhere in South Asia
Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Flavor: Always cookies & cream!
Random Fact: I was born in Bahrain, but my family is from India and I return there often.

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

Before starting the program, I wasn't sure what to expect because I didn't know much about my host site, but I was hoping to bond with the other interns. I've learned so much in the past few weeks about how a non-profit works and about the history of the American Federation of Arts, as well as the type of work the communications department does daily. The best part has been getting to know the other interns, they're all crazy talented!

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

What’s exciting about NYC is that there’s always something to do—I’m never bored. What’s embarrassing is my natural tendency to smile at everyone I see, which isn’t reciprocated often on the streets.

Nadia Halim

Arts Host Site: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
School: Barnard College
Major(s): Dance and Sociology
Dream Vacation: My dream vacation spot is Rome, Italy because I watched the Lizzie McGuire movie one too many times as a kid.
Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Flavor: Stracciatella with chocolate fudge and pistachios :)
Claim to Fame: I went to the same high school as Beyoncé.

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

I came to New York at first nervous yet eager. I expected to be overwhelmed by the number of activities and impressive people I would be interacting with throughout the program. Although it took some time to readjust, the program has already surpassed my expectations in the opportunities offered and connections made.

As a student and an artist, I am interested in the intersection of ecological sustainability and the arts, as well as the development of inclusive community arts programming. Since working at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I had my first experience with working on a large-scale special events team. Preparing for the 2017 Ailey Spirit Gala exposed me to the breadth of the international arts community, which supports the livelihood of the Ailey dancers and quality of their arts education programs. While working with the Development team, I realized much of Ailey’s success as a dance company and a nonprofit organization is attributed to their adherence to a clear mission and public image.

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

Since going to school and living in New York City for the past two years, I have found it is easy to fall into the same patterns in the places I frequent, the neighborhoods I walk through, or the people I spend time with. New York, or any place really, will only be as exciting as you make it. Spending this summer in New York with a group of curious, kind, and socially engaged interns has already opened my perspective of what the city has to offer.

Mikaila Ware

Arts Host Site: Dance/NYC
School: Florida State University
Major(s): Dance
Dream Vacation: I’m just trying to own an island and live there … honestly, truly.
Favorite Ice Cream/Gelato Flavor: Any ice cream with a chocolate flavor is good enough for me.
My Way of Life: Laughter, hip-hop music, and burgers!

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

I try not to come in with expectations, but I knew the program would be a good challenge for me. So far, I have digested so much information about my host site, Dance/NYC, and what it truly takes to make art accessible. I have been a performer for most of my life, so being on the other side of the business allows me to learn about the work that goes into arts advocacy. The program has brought extraordinary people to my life, and I am thankful for the connections we’ve made so far.

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

There is food on every corner! The trains aren’t loyal, I don’t trust them, but they are very convenient so we have a love/hate relationship. People here constantly surprise me, ha-ha! I also love how there are actual dancing clubs here.

Justin Jiménez

Arts Host Organization: The Moth
School: Oberlin College
Major(s): Sociology and Creative Writing with a minor in Africana Studies
Dream Vacation: I’d want it to be relaxing but also stimulating—I get way too jittery sitting on beaches and doing nothing. I guess I’d have to say Cuba!
My Creative Life: Hip-Hop artist and poet. I write or perform with Oberlin’s slam poetry team, record music, perform shows in the local music scene, and longboard around while I listen to 80s classics.

What have your expectations for the program been? What have you learned?

My expectations for the program were to gain a lot of experience in a variety of areas of business administration and the arts through my host site, The Moth. I’ve been learning how to write grants, how to use ticketing and contact databases, how to set up for live shows, and how to pick up the phone with confidence.

What’s exciting about NYC—the good, the bad, the embarrassing?

What excites me most about NYC is the free shows and concerts. Additionally, being able to dance salsa whenever I want, and not feel like I’m running out of city to experience. Since I was young I’ve been visiting the city often.

Find out more about our adventures at the intersection of #artsandbiz on Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #DIAL25.

Emma Osore is a member of Americans for the Arts.

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