How Artists Work: My Summer Interning at the Biggest Contemporary Art Museum in the U.S.

Throughout my life, I’ve always dreamed about the prospect of working with creative people in the performing arts industry. As a Theatre major, live performance and the process of creation have always been huge parts of my life. However, I’ve also leaned towards the more scholarly and detail-oriented side of everything, which is where my Public Relations degree has come in handy. It wasn’t until my time as a Performing Arts Administration Intern at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (more commonly known as MASS MoCA) that I was finally able to put a name on what I wanted to do; company management.

MASS MoCA’s internship program at times can be completely surreal. At no point have I ever felt like just another intern coming through to work temporarily. The staff at MoCA truly take the time to personalize your experience at the company and appreciate people for who they are. With a $150 stipend per week and provided intern housing with included utilities, the museum does the best they can to provide the interns with everything they need during their time working at the institution. This summer we have interns coming from all around the United States, so the benefits allow people from all over to take part in the experience. Located in the artistically saturated region of the Berkshire mountains, home of Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Clark Institute, MASS MoCA is a non-profit that truly invests not in itself but in the development of the arts industry. I found myself in the process truly feeling like I was contributing to the creation of something.

I loved walking into work every day not knowing what my day would look like. I had a wide range of responsibilities including stocking green rooms, shopping for artist hospitality, transporting performers in company vehicles from the airport, writing programs for upcoming arts events, and acting as house manager for large-scale events. I learned so much about company management and event logistics. The first time I was able to read artist riders and contracts, I spent probably an hour just flipping through the binder. Them giving an intern those kinds of responsibilities and experiences was truly more than I could’ve hoped for. Not only that, but I got to interact with the educational aspect of the museum as well. As an intern at MASS MoCA, you are required to give museum tours to the public. The first few weeks were full of curatorial training with museum staff, where we were taught the fine details about the work of Sol LeWitt, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, Anselm Kiefer, and so much more. While the beginning had me stressing about these public tours, by the end of the summer I was being asked if I was an art history major.

My absolute favorite part of the internship was working with the artists and getting to talk to various musicians about their work. I had the pleasure of meeting artists like Ray LaMontagne, Courtney Barnett, the guys from Grizzly Bear, and Debbie Harry as well as the rest of Blondie. Through Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, I developed not only professional relationships with renowned musicians but friendships as well. My work helping implement elements of the festival fostered a creative environment where art and compositions could be created. Watching it all come together during the Marathon, a whopping 6-hours of orchestral music, was the best reward.

Grizzly Bear playing live in the Hunter Center on June 16, 2018

Courtney Barnett playing live in Courtyard C on July 12, 2018

My summer at MASS MoCA will stay with me for the rest of my life. There are so many people in that organization I cannot thank enough. I highly recommend that intern experience for anyone that hopes to pursue a career in the arts. My biggest takeaway that can be passed along: Don’t be afraid to create new experiences. If the opportunity is allowing you to relocate for minimal cost, go for it and see what you find. During internship interviews, be the most authentic version of yourself you can present. I read in an instant that my future colleagues had a sense of humor and a genuine nature to the way they operated, so I reciprocated that. Not only did it prove to be a good interview, but I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day because of how the interview went. In the professional world, you shouldn’t be afraid to be who you are.

Introducing Lanie


My name is Luzelena Cespedes, but that’s a mouth full so you can call me Lanie. I am so excited to introduce myself as a new social media intern for SUNY Oswego. To tell you a little bit about myself, I from Westchester, New York which is just 45-60 minutes outside of the New York City. When I first came to Oswego I was a freshman Broadcasting major but now I am a junior and I am majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Business Administration. This year I am hoping to gain so many more skills within both PR and business which is why I am eager to begin this journey as an intern. As well as focusing on school, I am sister of a national sorority called Delta Phi Epsilon. This semester I gained a leadership position in Delta Phi Epsilon. My position as National Panhellenic Conference Delegate means I attend weekly meetings with sisters from all national sororities on campus and report important discussion we had within these meetings to my chapter. I am excited to conquer these new tasks in my college career as well as gain the proper experience to benefit my future.

Now that you know a little bit about me, I hope to learn more about this new community I just became a part of. Everyday you learn something new and that is what I am looking forward to most this semester!

A Humbling Experience

Nine months ago, the island of Puerto Rico was devasted by Hurricane Maria.

Nine months ago, homes were destroyed.

Nine months ago, people were displaced.

Arriving back in the states after helping with disaster relief has allowed me to put many things into perspective. For one, it allowed me to realize how blessed and privileged I am as an individual and as a resident/citizen of the U.S.

Every day, people complain about minor inconveniences in their lives such as slow internet speed, missing their favorite show or even their phones dying. But, for the many homeowners that my service in Puerto Rico has impacted, small inconveniences such as the aforementioned, are laughable.

How can one complain about the internet without power?

How can one complain about missing their favorite show when the very room where you would watch that show, has been destroyed by water damage and mold?

Being in Puerto Rico was beyond humbling for me. It allowed me to see that whenever I feel as though things are uncomfortable for me, there are people who are living through far more serious and uncomfortable hardships.

Living in the states gives us many opportunities to seek the help we need in any situation while others get ignored. Comparing my service in San Juan, Puerto Rico to my service in Port Arthur, Texas, it is clear that one city received much more help than the other. For one, the traffic lights in Texas were up and running while many of the traffic lights in Puerto Rico still remain unrepaired- nine months later.

This trip has allowed me to step outside of my world and add context to what it means to be an American, living in the United States.

Hopefully completing service in Puerto Rico opens the minds and eyes of future students who are a part of the New York “Stand with Puerto Rico” initiative to realize how privileged we are here in the U.S. I hope that it opens their hearts to want to do more for others who are not as privileged and are often forgotten.

Nine months later Purto Rico still remains in need of recovery and yet, the people are so pleasant and welcoming. Truly, a humbling experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.



Lakeside, Johnson Hall

Johnson Hall, as many refer to as the “freshmen” building. Located on the east side of campus, with easier entry to the lake—Truly captures the welcoming “vibe” of SUNY Oswego. Furthermore, as a previous student resident of this hall, I’ve encounter meaningful and unforgettable experiences. When I arrived at Oswego, after the five-hour drive from New York City, not knowing what the other halls looked inside other than Cayuga; I was happy for the upgrade. Johnson was one of the newly renovated buildings and still is in great condition. In my opinion, Johnson Hall is the best dorm hall to live in.

However, many may state otherwise. Individual students often complain about living in Johnson due to the requirement of ten-hour community service (per semester) commitment and a two-credit course (one credit per semester). Moreover, the two credit-course is not hard, most of the time we had activities to get to know the other freshmen in the hall. Many of the coursework was informational; learning about Oswego, clubs, programs, events, and helpful skills for school.

Lastly, one of the many benefits of living in Johnson is having a dining hall right inside the building. Which is extremely great during winter snow! The required work, like the community service, helps build your resume. And, the two credits are useful because you need to have a certain amount of electives. It is an easy course which helps with maintaining a good GPA. Tune in for next time to learn more about the different types of community service I have done and more.

It’s Kev

Greetings readers,

I would first like to say thank you for joining and welcome! I am excited to say this is my first blog. I am here to tell you about my life and my experience as a college student at SUNY Oswego.

Who am I? Yeah, cheesy I know a question I use to hate when I was younger now this is something I love to talk about. My name is Kevin but my close friends call me Kev, so hi am Kev. I am a senior majoring in Marketing and double minoring in Art and Arts Management. I have been on this crazy rollercoaster you call college. Its been an unforgettable four years and I still have a few months left.

Being from New York City and coming to Oswego was something I would have never imaged for myself. I used to be someone who hated school because I had a difficult time learning. Once I went to high school that all changed because I had top-notch grades. I was one of the top 10% of my graduating class and received a four-year scholarship. That did not come easy because high school was not the best experience. I went to three different high schools in three years but that’s another story for another day.

I wanted to come to SUNY Oswego because it was far from the Bronx and my mother. She and I had a difficult relationship and I needed to get away to find freedom and be an adult. I loved that Oswego offered great financial aid even though I had a scholarship but it only covered tuition, not housing expenses. I was also interested in the social life and read that parties were amazing, which was something I wanted to experience. I lived in a Dominican household that was strict and lived by my mother’s rules. Since I had changed so many high schools I did not have many friends and never went to a party other than family gatherings.

I can go on talking about myself but what makes Oswego so great is the environment; that makes it your home. Coming to Oswego helped me become who I am today. I have met many great people and learned many lessons. The view from the lake is like no other and it is something that is always constant. I hope you enjoyed reading a little about myself stay tuned for more!

Vulnerability and strength come together for ‘Not Someone Like Me’

Shana clicks off her phone and greets me as I pull up a chair. We’ve intended to have a lunch date, but as fate would have it we aren’t huge fans of the menu that day. Shana Weiss is a sophomore education student here at Oswego, and we’ve met today to discuss her upcoming role in a staged reading of “Not Someone Like Me” directed by Mya Brown, a professor at the college.

The show is structured as a series of monologues about survivors of trauma and assault within a group therapy session. The play, written by Susan Rice, features survivors of varying ages and backgrounds. Weiss plays Pam, a woman from a lower-middle class background whose mother’s dream for her is to pursue her education, but this dream gets harder after she is assaulted. Shana is no stranger to staged readings; she participated in one for a senior’s capstone last year called the Laramie Project, a show about the bullying and subsequent murder of a young gay man. “It’s different because I’ve never had this intimate of a look into someone else’s life. Laramie was intense, but this takes it to another level.”

The cast of five went through auditions in mid-March, got casted, and went straight to work. Weiss notes that this is a quick turnaround even in theatre, but also mentions that the cast got to spend two hours of alone time with the director, Brown, to develop their characters. “It’s been a very insightful experience. I’ve worked with a lot of different directors and directing styles, and it’s very important to her that you have a very good background on the character. It’s very important that you have a feeling with the character. She very much knows what she wants out of you and has this way of drawing it out of you without feeling like she’s controlling what you do as an actor. It’s very nice.”

In the wake of #MeToo, a national online movement where people who have experienced being sexually assaulted and harassed have shared their stories, this show that was originally selected in the spring of 2017 seems more timely than ever, and that isn’t something that has escaped Shana’s mind. “I feel like it lines up very well with the timing of the #MeToo movement. I feel that it’s very important that we’re having this show, especially around a time where when there’s all these allegations coming out, where there are all these issues… It was talked about before, but now its started to really pick up.”

Event co-sponsors include Artswego and It’s On Oz, an organization dedicated to the education and prevention of sexual and interpersonal violence. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. These statistics are alarming and bring up the issue that inspired an Academy Award nominated film The Hunting Ground. However, this show encompasses an array of experiences, and the production provides resources within their programs for anyone who may need to seek help. It is noted that the “detailed, vivid imagery” within the script that helped prepare Weiss for her portrayal may affect audience members sensitive to this type of content.

The event will take place in the Sheldon Ballroom on April 30th at 7:00 P.M. When prodded as to why people should come, Shana answers earnestly. “It is so important as to what is going on even though some of these stories have taken place 50-60 years ago. The fact that it’s still relevant and it’s still happening is why you should come see this show.”

What’s in Season?

Spring and summer are my favorite seasons because the flowers are blooming, the semester comes to an end, the sun is always out, and it’s berry season! Eating fruits and vegetables when they are in season is good for the environment and you’ll probably like the taste

 better too!

Eating fruits and vegetables in seasons is also easy on your wallet. Head to a local farmer’s market you’ll be able to get lots of fresh produce at a great price!

Look for these spring fruits and vegetables for the best flavor:
Arugula, asparagus, beets, carrots, cherries, kale, peas (snow peas, snap peas), spring onions, strawberries and turnips.

Look for these summer fruits and vegetables for the best flavor:
Fruits and vegetables in season in the summer:
Cucumber, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, bell peppers, corn, arugula, peaches, tomatoes, plums, nectarines, and summer squash.

These are just a few of a long list of fruits and vegetables in season during this time. Check out your local farmers market this spring and summer to see what is offered.

It Finally Feels Like Spring!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve been waiting to make this blog post and it finally actually feels like spring. Whether you attend SUNY Oswego now, or plan to in the future, I’m sure you’ve heard a thing or two about the weather. Our winters are absolutely crazy, but the time right before summer break and right after, is some of the most beautiful weather you will ever witness! Here is a list of things that you can do once the weather gets nice at SUNY Oswego.

  1. Visit the lake/watch the sunset with friends: One huge perk on our campus is Lake Ontario. Luckily, our campus is situated right on the lake which allows you to see the best sunsets that I’m sure you’ll ever see. Chances are your social media will be taken over by the beautiful sunset every night. Students also commonly swim in the lake when the weather is really nice, this is a great way to cool off after a nice hot day or just spend the day there soaking up the rays with friends. 
  2. Go to Rudys! Rudys is a drive-in restaurant known for their fish fry’s, fried food, burgers and awesome picnic-table-style seating right on the lake! This is a staple to being a student at Oswego and is one of the first places my friends and I visit once the weather gets nice. 
  3. Go to Bevs! Conveniently, right next to Rudys is Bev’s Dairy Treat which is an awesome ice cream shop with an even better view. On the really nice days, the lines here are a bit long but it is definitely worth it. There’s no better way to end a beautiful day than with some ice cream from Bev’s! If you really want to treat yourself stop at Rudy’s for dinner then Bev’s afterwards for dessert!
  4. Attend Laker Sporting Events: What’s a better way to support fellow classmates than attending their sporting events? During the nice weather here at Oswego, going to watch a game is a great way to be outside, but not force you to spend too much money! We all know being in college means having a tight budget so this is a great way to enjoy the weather without spending anything. Luckily, our turf field is just a short distance away from campus, with busses going to and from there often. The baseball and softball fields are there as well!
  5. Go for a Walk/Run: Another great way to enjoy the weather on a low budget is to get outside with friends and take a walk or go for a jog around campus. This is a great way to take a break from the homework and de-stress yourself. You may even see a few dogs on your way if you’re lucky!

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Everyone has heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Is that true though? The answer is both yes and no, because there is no perfect way to eat for everyone. Studies have shown those who eat breakfast are more likely to have more energy, have long-term health benefits, and reduce risks of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. That being said, if you aren’t hungry in the morning and eating breakfast doesn’t make you feel good, you have to listen to your body and honor your bodies hunger signals.

Here are some healthy breakfast ideas that are quick and easy with five ingredients or less for your busy morning that will keep you full and satisfied:

  • Whole wheat  toast topped with natural peanut butter, bananas and cinnamon
  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Eggs: scramble with veggies such as spinach, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes for extra color and fiber
  • Avocado toast: top with an egg for extra protein!
  • Smoothies- peanut butter banana, berry, green smoothie, tropical… There are so many options!
  • Greek yogurt, fruit and granola
  • Breakfast burrito- scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa in a tortilla, add black beans for extra fiber and protein

If you love traditional breakfast meat like bacon, sausage, or ham, look for healthier swaps like turkey bacon or chicken sausage, which will be lower in fat, calories and sodium.

If bagels are your vice, try going for whole grain options which will digest slower and will help you feel more energized and full until your next meal.

Breakfast can be as fun as you make it, switch things up and try new foods to figure out what works best for you!

SUNY Oswego Bucket List!

With graduation being just a month away, my senior self is feeling very nostalgic about letting all of Oswego, go. With that being said, I have brainstormed a few ideas for seniors to do before we put on our caps and gowns in a few weeks. Here is my SUNY Oswego Bucket List!


  1. One last meal in the dining hall.
  2. Take a selfie with Sheldon!
  3. Stop by Cooper Creamery, they have the best flavors.
  4. Have a campfire by the lake.
  5. Go to the final Chicken Patty Day.
  6. Go to Old City for $1 Taco night.
  7. Plan a flat rock day.
  8. Get one last panini at Mackin!
  9. Bowling at Lighthouse Lanes.
  10. Visit the Bluffs.
  11. Have a picnic at Breitbeck Park.
  12. Get a burger from Dino’s.
  13. Take the polar plunge into Lake Ontario.
  14. Try and walk through campus with an umbrella during a rainstorm without it going inside out.
  15. Visit the school store to stock up on Oswego Alumni gear!
  16. One last ice cream cone from Bev’s.
  17. Get chicken tenders and french fries from Crossroads with the best honey mustard on the planet.
  18. last free skate.
  19. Go to the dining hall on Broccoli Cheddar soup day.
  20. One last trip to Hibachi.
  21. Visit your first Freshman year dorm.
  22. Get your favorite Fans smoothie.
  23. Thank your favorite professors.
  24. Let the smokestacks guide you home for the last time.
  25. Stock up on Crossroads cookies.
  26. The final all-nighter in the library during finals week.
  27. Walk all the way from West Campus to Shineman and figure out how the heck you got to class on time in the morning.
  28. Do circles in Lanigan because we are seniors and still probably get lost in there.
  29. Grab lunch at Rudy’s and sit out by the lake in the sunshine.
  30. Go to the senior nights of all the sports teams to see your friends play one last time at Laker.
  31. Use up all your dining dollars.
  32. Walk out to the lighthouse.
  33. Find out what a Laker is.
  34. One last movie in the amazing Oswego Cinema Theatre with the reclining comfy chairs.
  35. Last but not least, take a picture in front of the Oswego sign in your cap and gown. (tears)


To all my fellow seniors, I hope that some of these ideas will get you guys out and about. We do not have too many days left here in Oswego. Let’s make the best of our last month!