New learning curves

Hello world!

To be honest, working virtually is difficult.  When working at an in-person internship I received more help as my advisors were only an office away. In addition, I had more pressure to stay motivated as everyone else was focused on their work around me. Finally, there was a clear separation between work and home, and as a result, there were fewer distractions like my bed or my family.

However, I feel that one of the values of this virtual internship is preparing me to work from home in the future. This internship highlights the fact that working from home requires more effort: one creates one’s own schedule, there isn’t the same social aspect to one’s job, and there are more distractions. This knowledge is extremely beneficial as more and more professions, especially after COVID, will be based at home and freelancing will become more common.

The World of Work has differed from my university life in many ways. First of all the idea of deadlines is completely different. In university, deadlines appear almost arbitrary. Assignment deadlines appear to be placed randomly, many times inconveniently, throughout the semester. At the BarnArts internship, deadlines are focused around events. Most of the promotion work I have been doing has three or four projects due around the time of an event. 

Secondly, Brandeis is centered around acquiring knowledge while WOW is about utilizing your knowledge. At Brandeis, we spend hours in lectures absorbing new knowledge and learning skills on how to research and acquire new knowledge. At BarnArts, I spend most of the time utilizing my knowledge and skills I have gained in life in order to complete the tasks assigned to me.  

Thirdly, the social dynamics are completely different. At university, there is a clear hierarchy between the professor and the student, and with that comes an immense amount of respect. Given the distance between students and professors naturally, closer bonds are formed between students on campus. At my internship, there is less of a strong hierarchy between me and my supervisor. Part of the reason for this is that there is less of an age difference between my supervisor and me, only nine years difference. In addition, there is a more laid back atmosphere at the organization compared to the university setting. This is contributed to its small size as there are only three employees and the fact that it is located in Vermont. 

I have learned many important digital tools during this internship. I have become a pro at iMovie. While this is basic movie editing programming, I hope that it will provide a basis for other more advanced movie editing platforms in the future when I have more money and space on my computer. I also have become very adept at social media platforms and the basics of marketing. In addition, I have become more courageous and outspoken in the working sphere. I am more willing to email my boss first and ask for work instead of just having her assign me tasks. Finally, I am getting more comfortable with reaching out to our performer base. One of my jobs is to communicate with musicians who are performing at our events.  I was intimidated at first to do this but over time it has become easier. 

Mikahely. Malagasy musician who I’ve been helping expand their bio.

While virtual internship brings with it a new learning curve it has strengthened my digital skills immensely and prepared me to work from home in the future if need be.

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

This summer I am working for the organization BarnArts Center for the Arts. BarnArts is a nonprofit arts organization located in Barnard, Vermont. Its mission is to bring the arts to rural Vermont. Under normal circumstances, its programming includes a summer Thursday Night Music Series, indoor and outdoor plays, a Summer Youth Theater Camp, and a 5k race-fundraiser around Barnard lake.

The Thursday Night Music Series takes place at a local farm. It features musicians from Vermont as well as out of state, hosting a number of different types of genres including world music. This year the music series has been able to operate at low capacity, featuring only instate bands.
The Summer Youth Theater Camp and race-fundraiser have also been able to function in modified ways. This year the race-fundraiser, Race Around the Lake, occurred at a social distance. Every racer ran by themselves within a week’s time frame, recording their own finishes.

As their intern working remotely my main role has been to promote events, as well as, communicate the changes to the structure of the programming during the summer. In my first week, I created an Instagram account for the organization. I also helped make a survey for BranArts patrons, inquiring about their thoughts on attending programming during the COVID-19 outbreak and what precautions they wanted to see in place. BarnArts added the survey to the first Instagram post and website. My other posts on Instagram have been about upcoming events including the Summer Youth Theater Camp and Race Around the Lake. Because Race Around the Lake was socially distant, Instagram promoted the event. I even created a photo contest centered around the race. The results of the contest will be up next week!!
Aside from being the guru of social media, I have also been responsible for promoting the organization in other ways. One of my main responsibilities has been editing and creating promotional videos for various art grants. This requires splicing together footage from previous music performances. Next week, we are releasing one video, I created, on the BarnArts Instagram which features musicians from last year’s Thursday Night Music series in order to promote this year’s series. Stay tuned! The main impact my digital media work will have is to build the organization’s outreach.
The third project I am working on presently is planning a Social Justice Event. After the events in April BarnArts has wanted to get more involved in the BLM movement and promote musicians of color. As an intern, my responsibilities have included finding and contacting musicians, poets, and speakers for the event. My supervisor is also working separately on a lullaby project with the organization GlobaLocal. This project goal is to bring together immigrant Vermont musicians with nonimmigrant Vermont musicians to create multilingual lullabies. I am responsible for helping find and contact performers who would be interested in the project. My main impact of the two projects will be to create more opportunities for diverse artists in Vermont to share their art.

My academic goal for the summer is I want to familiarize myself more with the Vermont music scene, who the famous artists are, and who is up and coming. By organizing and running the 18-week community series I will get exposure to many different groups. As a result, by the end of the summer, I will have a greater understanding of the Vermont music scene.

My career goal is I want to improve upon my fundraising and grant writing skills. One of my jobs as an intern will be fundraising as well as researching and writing grants. As a result of the feedback, I will receive from Chloe on my grant and fundraising work, my fundraising and grant writing skills will improve over the course of the summer. My personal goal is I want to connect and form friendships with multiple types of people. During their summer music series, BarnArts hosts up to 600 people. They also have various employees that run their farm stand and organic kitchen. While it is unknown if we will be able to meet in large groups during the summer, I hope these concerts will give me the chance to meet people and form friendships especially with those that work at the farm. Some of these goals will need to be modified as the internship is now virtual because of COVID-19.

I have learned a lot so far about the art world in rural Vermont and look forward to continuing my work with BarnArts over the summer!