Every year, the College of Arts and Letters puts out a ‘meet the interns’ page, and this year it’s on the college’s website. If you want to learn a little bit about my job, my coworkers, and why I like working for CAL so much, then go meet the interns.
One of my friends is studying astrophysics here at MSU. It’s always fun to catch up with each other because we have such different perspectives because of the contrast in what we’re studying. As we were walking across campus, we came across an art project that another student created by the Red Cedar River. It was a series of berries, flowers, sticks, and stones arranged with a note inviting others to add their own pieces or rearrange the artwork. She thought that the project was stupid. I suggested to my friend that we could add to the artwork, but I couldn’t convince her until we had walked a considerable distance away from the river. So, I convinced her to make our own instead.
After completing the artwork I explained the value that participatory public art can have for a community and the sense of ownership that develops from that level of engagement. My mini-lesson on art and engagement made her want to give me a mini-lesson about what she’s studying, so we went to the planetarium and watched a show. Our walk became an opportunity to give each other a taste of what we’re focusing on in our undergraduate studies. It was refreshing to interact with a STEM major in this way, which I hadn’t gotten to do since I was working on Project Re-stART with engineering majors. I think this sort of exchange is extremely important because knowledge shouldn’t be limited to what’s written on one’s degree. Just because my degree will read “Arts and Humanities” doesn’t mean that I can’t know about physics or coding languages, and just because her degree will read “Advanced Mathematics” doesn’t mean she can’t know about public art or the specifics of the English language. Specialization is important, but I think there’s something to be said for establishing a base knowledge in several distinct disciplines.
Today I had the opportunity to participate in the City of East Lansing’s Paint the Aves Initiative with fellow members of my student-run theater group, the Roial Players. To celebrate MSU’s homecoming, student organizations were assigned a shopfront in downtown East Lansing and given washable window paint. It was a fun event that helped connect MSU with the East Lansing community and local businesses. I painted Roial Crew’s mascot, Oklahoma, a piece of scrap wood left over from set building that resembles the state of Oklahoma. It’s in the bottom left corner of one of the pictures in the slideshow below.
In addition to working on Project Pop Up for the Lansing Art Gallery during my arts administration internship this summer, I helped the gallery prepare for their 50th Anniversary Celebration. The celebration took place yesterday, and it was an extremely enjoyable evening full of great art, music, food, activities, and speeches.
One of the walls in the gallery’s education center was transformed into a giant anniversary card for the gallery, where you could write a personalized message about how art inspires you. There was live music and small gift bags to provide people with a “creative spark.” They also had a room with a 50th anniversary video-tribute that I wrote and edited playing on loop.
To watch the video and see the rest of my work this summer, visit my portfolio page. Additionally, I encourage you to visit the Lansing Art Gallery’s website to learn more about how you can participate in their 50th anniversary.
One of the most intriguing aspects of RCAH is the wide range of disciplines that people explore in the realm of the arts and humanities. Everyone has varying degrees of interest in traditional humanities disciplines like history, philosophy, or ethics while exploring an art form like graphic design, music production, or ballet. After summer has ended and school starts in the fall, students return to campus having pursued their interests through varying experiences, giving the RCAH community the opportunity to learn by interacting with each other and hearing about these summer experiences.
With so many interesting experiences to share, the RCAH started a blog on Tumblr called Summer of RCAH where students can write about their summer internships, jobs, and travel adventures. My post about my work on the HASTAC 2015 Conference was recently posted on the blog. Check it out!
One of my favorite parts of a production are auditions as an actor or casting as a director. Today is the final day of auditions for the Roial Players fall 2015 season. I’m directing a collection of one-act comedies called Lives of the Saints by David Ives with my assistant director and twin brother, Randy Fields. For this production, all of the one acts are performed by the same six actors, so we’re looking for a group of people who can work well together and adopt a range of wacky characters. I’m looking forward to making casting announcements tonight after auditions!
Today, I completed a small event as a part of my events management internship with the College of Arts & Letters. It was a gathering of about 30 MSU faculty to go over the steps and best practices for applying for funding through the Humanities Without Walls consortium. I coordinated the food, beverage, and technology requirements for the event. Then I spent the day today providing technical assistance and making sure our contract with the Kellogg Center was being fulfilled.
Two summers ago, Humanities Without Walls 2014 was the event that I helped with on the first day of my events management internship with the College of Arts & Letters. I spent most of the time doing research about digital humanities and HASTAC, an organization that would bring its 2015 conference to Michigan State University through the planning committee at the College of Arts & Letters.
On my first day as an events intern with CAL while working the first HWW event, I remember getting to hear interdisciplinary teams develop elevator pitches and presentations about their projects. A year later, I would hear some of these same teams present their successful projects at the HASTAC 2015 Conference, which became my primary and most successful project while working on events at the College of Arts & Letters.