Postcards from America’s Future Arts Leaders: Part 2

Posted by Emma Osore, Aug 03, 2018 0 comments

This summer, 12 Diversity in Arts Leadership interns from all over the country are working at arts nonprofits in New York City for ten weeks to explore and build skills in arts administration and leadership. In this post, six interns more interns are profiled. Check out the other six profiles here. For 26 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.

Trey Burke

(He/Him)
Host Site: Sing for Hope
Hometown: Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan
School and Major(s): Michigan State University, studying Clarinet Performance
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: Quite honestly, I would listen to Strut by the Cheetah Girls or Chun Li by Nicki Minaj!
Best meal you’ve ever had: The best meal I have ever had in New York City was Je'Bon! I had so much sushi and other seafood dishes. Sushi is like my heaven.
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? Angelina Jolie

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

This fall I am going into my final year of undergraduate studies and I have been dealing with what is the next plan for my life. I want to be in the arts as a performer but I want to be versatile as well and learn about new cultures and potential places I would like to live for a while. This program is helping me broaden my career path and as well as giving me a chance to feel out the NYC lifestyle. It has really helped so far get a grasp of what I want in my future endeavors post grad.

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

I learned about how to use your community as a greatest resource instead of looking at trained or people who are already successful. My host site relies on volunteers for many of their programs and concerts that they put on and I think that it is wonderful because, not only does it show that this organization has a good connection within the community, but also it helps the community build leaders from scratch.

How has it been living in New York City? 

I love it! maybe a little too much because I don't want to leave. Haha!

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

I have had many exciting moments since this program has started. I really enjoyed going to the Pride parade with one of the people in my cohort—that was just an amazing experience. I have also enjoyed having opportunities at events that I would never thought I would get into to connect with and get to know higher profile people. This program is so exciting that I don't think I could pick a #1 moment. 

Rachel Kim

(She/Her)
Host Site: American Federation of Arts
Hometown: New Hyde Park, New York
School and Major(s): Mount Holyoke College, majoring in History and Critical Social Thought
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: IV. Sweatpants and This is America by Childish Gambino
Best meal you’ve ever had: Tteokmandugook, which my family eats every New Year's Day following Korean tradition. It's a hearty bone soup with rice cakes, dumplings, and soy-marinated beef.
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? Awkwafina!

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

It's the people at DIAL I'm so grateful to have met: passionate students, mentors, supervisors. By actively engaging with the arts and business community, I'm inspired to continue my personal and professional pursuits with reinvigorated confidence and clarity.

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

How to Excel. The importance of details (!), emails, and communication. I would say the level of independence was challenging at first, but quickly grew into a valuable experience of learning how to problem-solve in the professional space.

How has it been living in New York City? 

I'll answer this question as a Long Islander who pretends to be a New Yorker. It's always thrilling to be breathing the city (note: not subway) air, but my wallet isn't too happy.

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

Shakespeare in the Park!

Karen Angelica Navarrete Montejo

(She/Her)
Host Site: Bronx Museum
Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas
School and Major(s): Trinity College, majoring in International Studies and Studio Art
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: Podcast: Bodega Boys by DESUS & MERO, best podcast hands down. Song: anything Frank Ocean
Best meal you’ve ever had: Esquites from Sunset Park
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? Maite Perroni

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

I am two years away from graduating college, and I am at the stage where I need to establish, broaden, and solidify the networks of professionals that are working in fields related to what I want to do. The DIAL internship is very important in that it provides support systems that are mindful of difficulties that minorities/poc face in getting internships and in networking.

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

I have learned about the day-to-day responsibilities of different positions at museum and a non-profit organization, and that has allowed me to see how much administrative work goes into the running of the organization, as well as how individually the employees are able to incorporate creativity in their daily tasks.

How has it been living in New York City? 

New York City is exhausting, but in a really good way. I am very curious and love to explore different places so, I have really loved always having options for things to do and places to see since there are always events going on. The Bronx is the birthplace of Hip-Hop and has very diverse demographics so it has been a really good fit for me.

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

Getting to interview a photojournalist from the Bronx!

Citlali (Lali) Pizarro

(She/Her)
Host Site: Opening Act
Hometown: Santa Clara, California
School and Major(s): Swarthmore College, studying Theater as well as an individualized major called Race and Gender in Education and Society
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: Okay there are so many but the albums I've been stuck on are the "In the Heights" Soundtrack, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy.
Best meal you’ve ever had: THESE QUESTIONS ARE SO DIFFICULT. I think my mom's tacos or tamales.
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? This is actually a really difficult question to answer because there are not many prominent Latina actresses playing dynamic roles out there right now (although not for lack of talent or dedication) and ideally I would play myself, BUT if I had to pick I'd say Gina Rodriguez.

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

I'm trying to determine how to turn my belief in art as a force for social change and activism into a career!

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

I've learned that running a non-profit is incredibly difficult and requires a lot of energy, time, commitment and passion. I'm also learning the importance of effectively telling the story of your organization, and that when working at a non-profit, there lies power in always remembering the communities you're serving and the communities of which you are a part.

How has it been living in New York City? 

Fun and confusing and overwhelming and lovely and humid.

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

Seeing Othello at Shakespeare in the Park was fun but I definitely can't pick a MOST exciting moment because being in New York is very exciting all around.

Alexis Simmons

(She/Her)
Host Site: Classical Theatre of Harlem
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
School and Major(s): University of Alabama, majoring in Theater and Communications
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: Empire State of Mind. Cliche, I know.
Best meal you’ve ever had: Kree's Bacchanal Chicken Tenders with sweet chili sauce at Sugarcane in Brooklyn. Wow. Just wow.
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? I would, of course! (...or maybe Beyoncé)

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

I am at a very significant turning point in my life. I graduate college in a year and will be pushed out into the real world. The DIAL program is helping me to pinpoint exactly what it is I want to do, and giving me the skills to achieve it. Prior to this program, I had no idea what goes into managing a theatre non-profit. DIAL has not only expanded my knowledge of the intersection between arts and business but provided me with hands-on experience, all before graduation. And for that, I am very grateful.

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

Trying to get local businesses to sponsor our production has definitely been a challenge. Each business has their own agenda and priorities, but I've learned persistence and consistency wins the race.

How has it been living in New York City?

The people here are bold and unique. The trains are annoying and unreliable. The scent of pee lingers on every corner. There's no such thing as personal space. But, I wouldn't change any of that...actually I could do without the pee thing. I never want to leave. After a couple weeks, New York City feels like home. I love it here, and never want to return to Alabama!

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

Partying with Lupita Nyong'o, Danielle Brooks, and Samira Wiley!

Sruti Suryanarayanan

(She/Her)
Host Site: Dance/NYC
Hometown: South Brunswick, New Jersey
School and Major(s): Rhode Island College of Design, majoring in Furniture Design, with concentration in Regional Studies of South & Southeast Asia.
Your “go-to” commuting song or podcast: Heavyweight / Yo-Yo Ma's Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites
Best meal you’ve ever had: Homemade Fettuccine Aglio e Olio
Who would play you if you had a biographical film made? Sonam Kapoor

Why is the DIAL internship important to you at this time in your life?

I am interested in taking research past its existence in a database or analysis site, and creating actionable responses with tangible results. My work at Dance/NYC is helping me understand and maneuver through the realities of working within a system to take it apart.

What have you learned since being at your host site? Have you had challenges or breakthroughs? 

The work that is to be done regarding equity and justice will always require sharing, listening, and collaboration. I've realized that in this field, we are all kindred souls with the same goals. It is important then to understand your collective's strengths, as well as each individual's strengths, and use them to move towards equity and justice.

How has it been living in New York City? 

It has been busy and hot! But nothing beats the museums, shows, and experiences that await you around every corner.

Most exciting moment since DIAL started? 

Getting my NYPL card!

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