Hi everyone! I can’t believe it is already the end of the semester. This would usually mean that it would be the end of my internship with Arts Services Inc. but not in this case. I have decided to continue my internship with ASI for the spring semester! I am excited because there is still so much for me to learn about this organization and the WNY arts and cultural community. 

Throughout this semester, I have conducted research on non-profit organizations that were used for an art exhibit, helped plan and participate in two virtual events (Creative Professionals Exchange and Spark Awards), used my photography skills for one of the events, wrote weekly newsletters and an article for their website, as well as collaborated on event logistics. As I mentioned in my blog post in the beginning of the semester, one of my goals was to help out with a little bit of everything. Looking back, I really enjoyed doing this because I had the opportunity to learn more about the organization and become familiar with each position. 

Arts Services Inc. hosted two events, Creative Professionals Exchange and Spark Awards, and they were both virtual. This was the first time they have done virtual events and they did two of them a week and a half apart. It was interesting to see how they transformed both events from in-person to virtual. It was a difficult transition but they made it look easy. I had the opportunity to design social media content, assist with questions for a panel discussion, and introduce a presentation at the Creative Professionals Exchange. For the Spark Awards, I was able to develop the event program as well as take photos of the artist and arts organization of the year finalists.

The internship was a unique experience because I was there during a pandemic. I started working remotely at the beginning of the semester and when things started to reopen, I was able to go into the office and work there. Now, I am back where I started, working remotely. I am grateful to have been able to go into the office and meet everyone in person because it’s just not the same when you meet people on Zoom. We met on Zoom when there was a staff meeting or a meeting about a project. There were hardly any side conversations, and only one person could talk. There was always a goal and there was little reason to have another conversation going on. When I was in the office, I got to know everyone better on a more personal level. I was able to see their personalities more and they got to see mine. This made it easier for us to get to know each other personally. 

Even during a pandemic when the arts industry has been hit hard, I gained a new respect and appreciation for the WNY arts and cultural community, especially Arts Services Inc. They have been doing so much to keep the community afloat during this difficult time. My passion for the arts has grown during this semester and I know it will continue to grow throughout next semester.