I work in the house next door. Every day on my commute I pass the Harvest Smoothie Co. truck and wave a hello to Marc the owner; I’m sure he’s wondering if I will ever buy a smoothie or just keep commenting on the heat. A forty second walk later I enter Carnegie Picture Lab, a small nonprofit often confused for a printing shop. “No, we cannot scan your 35mm film, sir,” I say for the second time today. I hear our kettle click off and direct the man elsewhere so I can make Kristie and myself tea. Kristie is Picture Lab’s new Project Manager. She is agreeable, intuitive, and, most importantly, laughs at all my jokes. I am sitting in our new comfy blue chair by the front window which we carried across the street from Tamarac at the beginning of the summer. We like to look out the window and comment on all the inconsiderate people visiting Marc’s truck that like to double park behind Kristie’s car. Today is a testing day so we are going to start packing up our supplies in a second. There is no arts program in any of the schools in the valley so our job is to create art history lessons and art projects to enhance and encourage arts education for all students. We visit over 175 classrooms at 15 different schools three times a year, bringing lessons taught by volunteers. My job over the summer is to help solidify these lessons and test them, ensuring they are engaging, fluid, and age appropriate. Today we are going to the YWCA Adventure Club to try out our lesson called The Dot. We will learn about five different artists who use dots in their work such as Georges Seurat and Yayoi Kusama. I have been working on building the PowerPoint for a long time now and we have worked through a bunch of different project ideas. We are still unsure of the exact project we want to do so we will be testing three different options today. The kids are a handful and I definitely prefer days with board meetings and research. I like seeing the inner-workings of a nonprofit and meeting all the amazing people who volunteer their time to help teach art.
Experiences like Laura’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff