As my internship at Arts Services Initiative comes to an end, I’m proud to say that I feel prepared to enter the communications and marketing field after graduation. This is a big statement for me to make, as throughout my time at Canisius I was constantly questioning whether or not this was the career path I wanted to work towards. ASI has had a huge impact on me this semester. They’ve given me the opportunity to refine my digital media arts and communications skills, explore the arts and cultural sector of Buffalo, and made me feel more confident in my abilities.

I came into this internship with no idea of what an arts council was, or that there are other organizations that are similar to ASI across the country, and I now have an understanding as to why it’s so important for our community. They’re a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the arts through funding, awards, and organizing events, and working to make the arts accessible for everyone to enjoy. I always felt like the work that I was doing was greatly benefiting our community, even if it was something as small as highlighting local artists on social media twice a week for the #ShowUsYourArt campaign.

Despite the pandemic, working remotely wasn’t as difficult of a change as I thought it would be. I was mostly disappointed that I couldn’t see them in the office each week and talk to them in person, but we adapted by having weekly conference Zoom calls and reworking some of my goals from the beginning of the semester.

They were always very open to having me suggest ideas for projects I could work on or offer my help on assignments that they discussed during the staff meetings I attended. I loved this, as it gave me a chance to get what I wanted out of the internship. During my time, I was able to create a series of videos about the DEC grant for their social media, revamp the Arts Access website, create a blog post on Earth Day for their website, handle the #ShowUsYourArt campaign, take portraits of the staff, learn how to use Constant Contact for weekly newsletters, learn how to write a grant, join them on staff meetings and events, see how an arts council operates each week, and so much more. 

I always looked forward to coming in each week to see what project I could work on next! There was never a moment where I felt I wasn’t doing something worth my time or learning something new. Everyone was incredibly helpful, kept track of my goals statement, and made sure to include me in anything I could help with. I can’t thank them enough for such an amazing opportunity.