My internship, this summer, has been at Art House, Inc. I work in the archives and have been working towards creating a short documentary for the organization. Art House is located in the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood, it’s mission is to make the process of making art accessible to the community, along with the rest of the Greater Cleveland community. Through outreach and partnering with other organizations and schools, classes are funded to make the arts more available to those who otherwise would not have this exposure. There are also classes offered at set prices for different age groups to take and learn different skills or have open studio time.
I grew up attending classes here. My school partnered with Art House when I was in elementary school. I had numerous friends who would attend classes here through school as well as on their own time. As you can imagine, it’s kind of strange learning the other side of the operation. I’m still a student here, in a sense, but more so behind the scenes. Working in the archives has been a bit confusing. There are boxes filled with old papers, these papers can contain testimonials, tax information, past employee’s information, grant applications, receipts, and so on. I’ve even come across photos of my friends when they were children!
I’ve slowly begun my other project for the summer, creating a short promotional documentary for Art House. This is really more my speed. I enjoy contacting people related to the organization and setting up meetings to interview people. Being able to film people and take pictures at events has been a lot of fun, too. I feel less nervous about doing this project. With the archival work I tend to overthink things and get nervous about whether I’m filing papers correctly or not. I’m the person who’s in charge of throwing away past documents, if I throw the wrong thing away, I’m in serious trouble! With filming, editing, and interviewing the stakes are less high.
I will say this much, going through the archives has given me a newly found respect for non profit organizations. The amount of time and paperwork that goes into applying for a grant that you never fully know you will actually receive, baffles me. All this effort put into something and you don’t even know if it will wind up benefiting you, all the while you still have to continue to manage and organize programs for the organization! I hadn’t put much thought into what goes on in a non profit organization before I started this internship.
I’ve been gaining more knowledge about what potential paths are open to me. I enjoy this atmosphere I work in so much. I feel accomplished working in an establishment that works so heavily with the neighborhood, and with art, two things I’m passionate about. Making art more accessible to a community, not just to be seen, but study the craft and have the opportunity to create something, is extremely valuable. Especially when most of these opportunities are free of charge. Not every family has enough money to contribute towards such fees, which is unfortunate, but true. At least in my experience working on art projects with children in my community. Giving the public this connection to something that is often pushed aside, but still valid, is crucial. It opens up the art community to so much more potential. Art House makes art more available and understandable.
Studio Arts Intern