internships

Caitlin Spara at Assets for Artists

Summary:

The mission for Assets for Artists (A4A) is as follows, “to equip artists with the tools to sustain the creative work they love throughout a lifetime.” As a key member of a small team, the Assets for Artists intern will be involved in a wide variety of tasks. The intern will help with all aspects of program administration and development. This includes, but is not limited to; artist outreach, data analysis and management, research for grants, grant writing, content development for social media, website maintenance and redesign, as well as researching and promoting artist opportunities to A4A’s network. The intern will collaborate with the staff of A4A, all incoming/current residents, and Tupelo press.

 

Experience:

This internship has been an incredible learning opportunity for me. From the interview process to my final day, the entire team has made me feel welcomed and has treated me as an asset. Over the course of this internship I have been given the opportunity to engage in many aspects of what Assets for Artists is, a program that I honestly knew little about until I joined the team. Prior to my interview I had done extensive research on this program, but nothing is quite as telling as being there and experiencing the work that is being done first hand. I have seen many residents walk through our studios and have had the chance to see their work come to fruition before my eyes. Being a part of this program has been an honor.

At the beginning of my time here I was wary that I would be given work that was challenging or fulfilling in any way. A main portion of this internship was data entry and analysis and usually when most people hear data entry it doesn’t sound very appealing. Honestly at first I thought I would just be doing busy work. However, as my time here comes to a close, I have realized I weirdly enjoy data entry and analysis and that it is crucial part of what A4A does. (This can also be true for many other nonprofit organizations as well: evaluation is key!) During my time here I have found myself working with excel again and again – a program that most people are intimidated by, but honestly it’s a program that you will use and should take advantage of, especially in this field. Assets for Artists holds workshops, this is a huge part of what they do. At these workshops, attendees are given tests and evaluations, this is how we measure our success and see where room for improvements can be made.

These tools of evaluation are not only for personal use though, it’s for our funders and partners who help to make this program possible. Part of what A4A does is providing artists with the necessary tools and skills to grow their creative practice through a multitude of support services, workshops are a huge part of that and so it’s imperative that there be an effective way to evaluate how well these workshops are doing. At A4A a huge analysis is conducted every other year, this so happens to be the year a new evaluation report on the work that is being done will be released. This work needs to be precise and accurate as some funding depends on these numbers.

This program does so many different things and it has been neat to be able to dip my toe in –so to speak. I’ve done many different things from data entry and analysis, to website maintenance, content updates, research for grants, as well as getting the new website development underway. The things I have learned here I feel will be useful as I proceed forward in life and in my career trajectory. This program does wonderful things for artists and I hope it continues to grow and develop.

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