When it came time for Leslie Brewer to explore internships for her senior year, she decided to think outside the box. For her, outside the box meant looking outside of Charleston, to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., where she is currently spending her spring semester in the Center’s Development Department.
Read more about her internship experience below, and then check out all the other internships available to arts management students.
1). Describe the Kennedy Center internship. What is an average day like for you?
I work in Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR), which is a part of the Development Department. Throughout the day I work on various projects assigned by members of my team. Those projects can range anywhere from prospecting for an upcoming event or writing a solicitation letter to a potential donor/corporation. We are also provided with various “look-ins,” which are informational seminars about specific topics within art management.
Every Wednesday I go to a required KC class with my other interns. In that class we discuss issues within the non-profit sector and talk out possible solutions for the future. By the end of the semester, we are expected to perform a gap analysis on a DC art organization and present it in front of a panel of judges. The opportunities here are endless and I’m just extremely grateful to be a part of KC.
2). What specific area of Arts Management is your focus? How are you applying the skills you learned in the Arts Management program to your internship?
As of right now, my focus is in the Development Department. CofC’s Arts Management program does a really good job exposing students to real life situations that managers see all the time within the non-profit sector. Their hands-on approach has benefitted me in every project that I’ve worked on at the Kennedy Center. To be more specific, the Fundraising and Grant Writing class requires you to write a grant, solicitation letter, and an acknowledgement letter which are all projects I have worked on here.
3.) Do you have any plans as to where your Arts Management degree might take you in the future?
My original plan after getting my degree was to start my own non-profit art gallery, but after seeing everything you can do with an Arts Management background, I would love to someday work for a foundation. I think that would really be a rewarding experience in the long run.
4.) Why did you choose to study Arts Management at the College?
Growing up I was always heavily involved in the arts. Whether it was sketching, painting, or going to theater functions you can bet I had a hand in it. So when it came time to pick a major, working somewhere in the arts field was a natural choice. I chose Arts Management because I can work in a field that benefits the community as a whole and also work closely with what I love to do most.
5.) What advice would you give to a new student or someone considering the program?
I would honestly say just go for it and don’t let anxiety or silly “what ifs” get in your way. This internship offers so much and can truly change your life, if you let it.