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Bubbles, Yarn and Community
Posted by Stacey on September 11, 2012
Written by Brittney Maruska, 3rd Friday Community Programs Intern.
Bubbles, yarn and community. This was my summer internship at the MAH.
I came to the MAH via a graduate Arts Administration program at the University of Oregon. I want to plan museum events, good and worthwhile ones.
This summer I’ve spent my internship working on 3rd Fridays. 3rd Friday events are centered on rotating themes, they strive to build collaborations to reach new audiences and to bring alive the art and history of Santa Cruz. They are also done on a shoestring budget, hence the yarn and bubbles. From my first day I had the opportunity to sit in on meetings with collaborators from all over the county. I met local artists, city officials, arts administrators, local business owners, professors, musicians, writers, non-profit leaders and even athletes. I helped make signs, prepare activities, set up the event, organize volunteers, troubleshoot crafts, evaluate our efforts and did I mention I got to play with bubbles and yarn a lot?
I spent days in “intern city” talking over ideas and helping interns from all over the world on exhibits, programming and education. We also spent many afternoons in the sunny back patio prototyping family activities. The MAH plans events under a wide encompassing theme, with loose association, big dreams and a few funds; it makes for a lot of work and a lot of fun.
My favorite moments of my internship were the ones spent talking to visitors during 3rdFriday events. I met museum members, board members, friends of event collaborators, families of museum volunteers, and people that had wandered in from all over the world. They told me of their friend’s art on display in the museum and of the crafts they had done at previous events. They were all so excited about the museum. I had one museum member even tell me that if Nina Simon could put more Fridays in each month she would, just so she could plan more events. It was awesome and encouraging to see a community so proud of their museum.
Before I head back to Oregon to finish my degree I wanted to take a moment to encourage people to think about a MAH internship; there are some great ones posted right now. Some days it’s hard being an unpaid graduate intern, especially days I look at my bank account. But this summer was an invaluable experience. I high recommend spending some time in this city, on the beaches, in the redwoods, and in the MAH learning how a museum can become focal part of community and how fun it is to facilitate learning, new experiences and new friendships.
Learn more about MAH internships here.