With the goal of running her own community arts center, SUNY-Albany alumna Johnae Galloway is serving an internship through MCLA’s Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) at Pittsfield’s Berkshire Museum this summer, where she’s learning about community engagement from a museum standpoint.
As part of the Berkshire Museum’s communications team, Galloway gets a behind-the-scenes view of what goes on to engage the community, such as the use of social media to keep Berkshire County residents informed of museum happenings.
Although she completes a range of tasks each day, the best part of her internship, according to Galloway, is simply being at the Berkshire Museum.
“I don’t feel like just another intern. I truly feel a part of the team here. I am included in meetings and my opinions are often taken in consideration,” she explained.
Galloway most enjoys working with the Berkshire Museum staff and the responsibilities they’ve given to her. In addition to her work on the survey, she creates museum signage.
“I have designed various templates for what types of signs there should be throughout the museum – the color, the font and the quantity. I am really excited!” she exclaimed.
In addition, Galloway runs the Berkshire Museum’s ‘Big Survey’ by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), to be presented as data for further plans for the Museum.
“I had input on certain questions that needed to be asked, how they will be presented to the guests of the museum, what incentives will be distributed, as well as the display and schedule,” she explained. “It may seem like a small thing, but the survey holds high importance to everyone here and their journey for change, which I will, essentially, be a part of.”
A sculptor, Galloway earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2014. She wanted to participate in B-HIP so she could be surrounded by people in the arts, and because she knew the program would provide her with opportunities to network and learn extensively about arts management as she gains “tremendous experience.”
“I want to be involved in the community in any way that I can,” Galloway said. “I don’t believe there is a certain career that will bring me to my destination. I know that being well-rounded in the arts will be an asset to me, as well as the experience I obtain from many other nonprofit organizations.”
The most challenging part of her position, Galloway continued, is “trying to cram in 1,001 tasks so that I can have that experience. As an intern, you need to perform tasks that will be of value to you, and will give you the experience you need and want. So, letting go of tasks here and there is hard to do, but worth it.”
In addition to providing the work experience she needs to start her career, Galloway expects that B-HIP will lead her to her next big opportunity. In fact, she hopes to remain in the Berkshires after her internship concludes.
“There are so many other opportunities here in the Berkshires for art,” Galloway said.