Bloomberg Arts Internship: A Homecoming
Every year, alumni of the Bloomberg Arts Internship–an Arts for Learning Maryland-managed program for rising seniors in Baltimore City Public Schools that connects young people with Baltimore’s arts and cultural organizations and supports their college and career readiness–step into roles to work and stay involved in the program. These young people prepare slides and presentations about the program and host question-and-answer sessions to recruit new students. They return to be college mentors. They return to talk with interns about their journeys through college and what they’ve learned.
24 Bloomberg Arts Internship alumni returned to work in the program in the summer of 2023.
Alexandra (Alex) Miller, a 2021 graduate and current student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, returned as social media manager. She spent the past several months documenting and sharing stories from the program as well as using her marketing and graphic design skills to create digital content for recruitment.
Before the summer even started, Alex collaborated with other alumni to plan and create a recruitment video. She shot the footage, then whittled it down, stitched the clips together, created and inserted graphics, cleaned up and layered sound, and captioned the finished video. It was the first of many videos she created to get the word out about the program.
Once the program began, Alex was right there with the interns. “The most interesting thing is watching the interns do something I once did. Being a social media manager is like you are a fly on the wall,” said Alex. “I think it’s interesting that a lot of the time I stand quietly and simply observe and photograph the interns in this program. As I watch them grow closer throughout the weeks, learn new skills, complete their tasks, and better themselves within the program, I remember being in their shoes.”
She shared these moments through the program’s Instagram account–a place where current and past interns can stay up to date with what’s happening in the program, read alumni news, and get notice of cool events and get-togethers planned just for them! “I really enjoyed partaking in the trips and going to the office,” said Alex. “My cohort was in 2021 and many of our experiences were virtual. It is a pleasure to be able to see everyone’s faces in person and see their excitement for this program.”
By shadowing interns, Alex used her photography and video skills to capture joyful and meaningful moments. “I noticed that the one thing that never fails to excite interns is the amount of opportunities they learn about by going on these trips,” said Alex. “They got to go to places like artist studios, tour murals in the city, tour different colleges in Baltimore and Philadelphia, see the Station North Tool Library, and so much more. The people they meet tell them stories that inspire them to be better artists, present them with jobs or volunteer work, and offer opportunities to practice their crafts in a public or private space. The interns also get a chance to introduce themselves, not only by talking to new people directly but by handing out business cards they created. This gives them a chance to put their name out there and talk to new people about something they love doing, or something they are interested in, which helps them achieve their goals as young adults. When I was an intern that was always my favorite part.”
24 Bloomberg Arts Internship graduates returned to work in the program in the summer of 2023. Six of the 24 joined the Advisory Council and provided guidance and support in the planning, training, and documentation of the 2023 program in order to ensure that youth voices are guiding decision-making and that the program continues to evolve and improve. Five returned to be youth ambassadors. They facilitated information sessions at Baltimore City Public Schools, supported peers in completing the Bloomberg Arts Internship application, helped interview internship applicants, and served on the Alumni Panel. Two joined the Bloomberg Philanthropies Alumni Network Chairs to work with partner cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies to recruit for the Alumni Network and design alumni events. Four were hired to be Adobe apps assistants and worked with 2023 interns to expand their knowledge of Adobe applications. One graduate served as a program assistant. Five were college mentors and worked one-to-one with interns to support their college research and build their portfolios. And one–Alexandra Miller–was the social media manager.
You can find photographs from 2023 on our Flickr page and read student reflections from over the years on the Bloomberg Arts Internship blog. Learn more about the program on our website at artsforlearningmd.org/bloomberg-arts-internship.