An Intern's Perspective
I began my internship at the Broward Cultural Division in August 2014. My first day was a day of new faces, navigating G drive folders and trying to remember a seemingly endless list of acronyms. But beyond this, it was a day of welcome and excitement.
Since that first day, I have rediscovered my love and appreciation for the arts from an angle never before considered. Having just returned from a month in Italy, my mind was flooded with art. I couldn't stop thinking about changes in style, the use of color and the larger-than-life characters of people like Da Vinci.
Then I stepped into the Cultural Division's office and witnessed contracts being formed, artists being interviewed and committees meeting to discuss the progress of projects. It was hectic but it did not shatter my "illusion" of art. I already knew that Michelangelo had a close relationship with the Medici family, and I knew that art was not always just art for art's sake. It is business and it usually has a purpose. Suddenly, I was part of the world that established that purpose and where it would be fulfilled.
I found that while many days were not too different from working at any other office and while I spent numerous hours working on divisional charge spreadsheets and numbers it was always in the back of my mind that I was working with ART and that made every day fulfilling.
I am one of many people that has fallen victim to the belief that going to school for the arts would not benefit me. I wanted to help and inspire people with what I created but I feared that I would instead end up jobless and doing something that I hate. I was probably wrong but I chose to study international relations. I am continuing to my master's degree in public administration so that I can work in government and still help people. However, I never considered that my job/internship could still be connected to the arts.
For example, I never really considered how the ArtsPark at Young Circle in Hollywood came to be; to me, it was just there one day. Over the course of the last few months, I have witnessed the work that goes behind making art in public places possible. I have become so much more appreciative of public artwork and notice it in new ways. A colorful utility box on the side of the road struck me as nothing more than interesting before August; today I actively keep an eye out for them and the occasional mural along the walls of Broward's cities.
Like many job opportunities, I heard about my internship through word of mouth. If I did not know someone working for the County, I may not have received this opportunity because when I tried to Google Broward County Internships, nothing like the Cultural Division popped up. I hope that the County will make its VIP internship program more accessible and give more people the opportunity to find their passions in surprising places.
Then again, maybe it is that sometimes the secret surprises in life are a little hidden from plain sight for a reason.
The Broward Cultural Division is Broward County’s local arts agency, designated by the State of Florida with a mission to enhance the community’s cultural environment through the development of the arts. It’s a lofty mission nestled in a hub of the Broward County government administration. In this swiftly developing business community - home to millions of annual tourists, regular “snow birds,” and a growing population of residents - there lies a unique backdrop of sand, sea, and miles of environmentally-friendly, lush natural swampland, as well as a strategically-central location in the South Florida region. Today, the Division consists of 21 individuals, each independently and uniquely passionate about the concept and application of arts and culture into the daily life of a developing community with a unique predisposition.