Students gather at BCRC for arts management internships
One sure sign of summer at MCLA is the arrival of our Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) students. Now in its 11th year, this unique program educates tomorrow’s arts managers at cultural venues throughout Berkshire County.
In addition to MCLA undergraduates and an alumna of the College, additional interns arrived last week from throughout the United States, including California, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, and two each from Texas and Pennsylvania. They also included an intern who traveled from as far away as Japan to work at places such as MASS MoCA’s Kidspace, Berkshire Museum, The Clark and The Mount.
New to B-HIP’s internship sites this summer is the Williamstown Film Festival.
“That’s very exciting,” said Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) Director Jennifer Crowell. “We also are doing a great internship this year that’s a combination of two sites. Our Japanese student is working with the City of North Adams’ Office of Community Events, as well as the Williamstown Chamber Festival and Destination Williamstown.
“So, there’s this interesting contrast of how a city does events and community work, and how a town does it,” Crowell added.
According to MCLA student Maggie Kase ’17 of Newtown, Conn., “The Mount curates very interdisciplinary shows given the fact that they are a historic house. They have sculpture exhibitions, literary exhibitions and historic exhibitions, to name a few.
“The Mount is giving me exactly the kind of experience I want to have as a curator,” Kase said.
Kate Hall ’16, an art history major at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., decided to participate in B-HIP because the program combines an academic study of arts management with real experience from the internship.
“I was excited to have the opportunity to do graduate level coursework and get an idea of what type of graduate degree I might like to pursue, while also accruing work experience,” Hall said.
Ideally, she would like a career as an administrator at a large non-profit cultural institution. This summer, she’s the associate gallery manager at the PRESS Gallery in downtown North Adams.
“In addition to day-to-day gallery administration, the projects I am most excited about working on are creating a plan for the transition of PRESS’s studio back to campus while keeping a presence on Main Street, as well as researching data and metrics on arts attendees in the Berkshires,” Hall said.
Amanda Hinkel ’15, who recently earned bachelor’s degrees in arts administration and art history from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., was looking for an internship to propel her into the next stage of her career.
“I want to use this internship to discover what part of the arts – education, management or curatorial – I am most interested in,” Hinkel explained.
Her position at MASS MoCA’s Kidspace and with the museum’s education department, she said, is the perfect place for her because of her interest in a career in museum education at a large art museum.
“Kidspace is a child-centered gallery and a hands-on studio space,” she said. “My responsibilities include working at the ArtBar in Kidspace, giving tours, developing projects and programs, and working on individual projects for the education department.
“I am lucky enough to not only participate in B-HIP, but the intern education classes and outings MASS MoCA provides, as well. It's really great to meet so many creative and knowledgeable people here,” Hinkel added.
At the Mount, “I'm learning a lot, and I feel like I'm really fitting in at the organization,” Kase said. “I've wanted to get into this field, and into a museum, for such a long time that I just want to soak everything up! I’m extraordinarily excited about finally getting to work hands-on in a museum.”
On the job this week after a two-day orientation last week, the interns will be part of B-HIP through Aug. 12. For more information, go to www.mcla.edu/b-hip.