Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Summer Internships at the MAH: Come Do Something Exciting


We've gotten a little more organized at The Museum of Art & History, and we've now released opportunities for summer internships. These are unpaid part-time and full-time opportunities to help design public programs, develop new uses for the museum, perform visitor research, and pursue unusual projects.

I'm personally most excited about the two types of interns who will be reporting to me:
  1. Community Research interns, who will start developing a methodology for us to use to understand how people in Santa Cruz connect with arts and culture experiences and what role the museum can play in satisfying their interests. This could be a serious research opportunity for someone interested in impact assessment, community attitudes towards the arts, and the role museums can play in transforming communities.
  2. Special Projects interns, who will do, well, whatever you want. This internship is for the truly self-motivated person out there with a brilliant idea for making museums more participatory, welcoming, community spaces who just lacks an institution at which to try it out. Our internships have generally gotten more structured. This is the Pigpen in the family--the internship for the wild-eyed but highly effective person who wants to make something amazing happen.
But I would be remiss if I did not say that the community programs internships are all rocking. Stacey Garcia, our Director of Community Programs (who began as a graduate student intern) is the queen of working with interns to produce truly inspired events. Community programs interns work with artists and historians, families and adults, to make everything from mini-participatory exhibitions to full-blown concert series. While we offer very few exhibitions-focused internships at the MAH, community programs interns often have the opportunity to do the kind of research, design work, and prototyping that exhibitions folks do--and their work ends up on the floor far more frequently.

At the MAH, interns are most successful when they are highly motivated people who like to work collaboratively and can deal with a little chaos. Based largely on your feedback, we've gotten more explicit about intern supervisors, expectations, and roles. But we're still a group that thrives on spontaneous craft material trips to the dump and sudden breaks to help wheel a piano in the door. Sounds good? Good. Come join us.
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