In the summer of 2014, I worked as a Program Intern at the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. In this position, I assisted the Arts Council with program-related activities including grants administration, workshops, and resources for artists and arts organizations. My main project for the summer involved compiling and editing information about arts education offerings from member organizations for placement in the Young Creatives Guide.

About the ACGL & the Young Creatives Program

The Arts Council offers a variety of resources to their members including professional development workshops, grant programs, and networking events. They also act as a major advocate for the arts, culture, and creative placemaking in the Lansing area. When I started my internship, the Arts Council had just finished formulating and rebranding their Young Creatives Program, which consists of three parts:

Young Creatives Scholarships. Providing scholarship money to assist underserved youth in attending arts education programming throughout the year.

Young Creatives Billboards. Displaying the artwork of students from the greater Lansing area on billboards to highlight the importance of arts education.

Young Creatives Guide. Creating a guide with a detailed listing of arts-related classes, camps, and workshops for youth, their parents, and their teachers.

Creation of the Young Creatives Guide

The main purpose of my internship was to compile and edit the information that would be used in the Young Creatives Guide. I attended brainstorming meetings with the rest of the staff to decide what we wanted the purpose and the audience of this new catalog to be. I made decisions on what information we wanted to present, and I created a Google Form reflecting these decisions. Then, I contacted member organizations, informed them about the project, and instructed them to fill out the response form. I corresponded regularly with arts organizations on behalf of the Arts Council and made connections in the Lansing community. Once all of the information was compiled, I collaborated with graphic design intern Matthew Caudell and formatted the information in a way that he could easily use. Lastly, I edited the language of the entries for correctness and consistency.

View Young Creatives Guide

Event Planning & Grant Workshops

In addition to my main project, I also ended up helping with event planning and setup. I assisted with their annual fundraiser, A Taste of Art & Life and one of their creative mixers, an opportunity for members to network with artists and arts administrators. I also set up the 2014 Chris Clark Fellowship workshop, an opportunity for members to go over the grant guidelines, ask questions, and brainstorm together.

Conclusion

This internship helped me develop new skills and gain new insights into arts administration. I learned how to compile and edit information for a publication, collaborate inter-departmentally within an organization, communicate externally on behalf of an organization, and about nonprofit event planning. I also got to observe the inner-workings of local and regional grant programs and fundraising events. This internship prepared me for deeper exploration of the work that arts administrators do.