Performing arts in the Adirondacks. Sounds pretty idyllic, right? I, along with two other SUNY Oswego students and 3 students from other schools, got to work at View Arts Center in a variety of functions such as graphic design, events, and performances. My specialty was performances, but arts organizations are often small which means that there was a good deal of crossover.
A little background on View: it began in the yard of a woman named Mirnie Kashiwa. Dedicated to her community and its enrichment, she began to display art on chicken wire in her yard and then raised money to eventually buy a building and expand the art gallery. To do this she created the Arts Guild of Old Forge. She established the Kinderwood Preschool program for young children and the organization really expanded throughout the community and area. Eventually, the guild was able to expand even more and buy land and create a LEED certified gallery with workshops and performance space.
As the performances intern, I got to write press releases promoting the shows, work with performers, and handle a good deal of logistics that go along with putting on a show. We would put on concerts and theatre performances that cover genres from opera to folk to broadway. Some of my favorites acts included Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, folk performers who frequently collaborate with Ken Burns (they have Grammy nominations for their work on the Civil War documentary) and the Dan Brubeck Quartet, a jazz act from Vancouver who had their music featured in Baby Driver. I found that performers were kind and generous and very easy to talk to, which made the job more rewarding.
Aside from coordinating volunteers and assuring the venue was prepared for a performance, I also participated in the other events we would host. For the annual gala View hosted, the interns along with the COO and secretaries were responsible for running the fundraising efforts during the gala such as the silent auctions and taking bids for the main auction. We also were man power for the craft show, antique show, and other events.
This internship was more than just working though. I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing people, particularly my housemate Francesca Antonello. She was the workshop intern and a very talented ceramicist. I was also able to learn new skills like glass fusing, pottery making (thanks Francesca!), and yoga classes. During the summer I was able to expand and learn more about myself, both in a personal and professional context. Plus, it helped to do it in such a pretty place.