My name is Akea Brown and I am junior Photography and Humanistic Studies major. I spent this past summer interning at Art With A Heart, as a community service intern. I found out about the internship while looking through the MICA Network and applied for an interview. I interviewed about a week later and was given the internship the same day.
Art With A Heart, is a non-profit organization, here in Baltimore. Their main focus is to positively impact the community through the creation of art. There are many branches of the organization, including the Job Program, which helps homeless and underprivileged youth learn to be professional and market themselves as artists. The youth program, brings together high school students from public and private schools, who otherwise wouldn’t have met, and have them tackle issues about race, politics, and gender, utilizing their different perspectives. The Public Art branch acts as the face of the organization and handles all of the projects out in the community. My direct supervisor was, Jenny Hyle, the director of Public Art and Community Engagement. Her main job was to create, design, and facilitate the community workshops, classes, youth groups, and public art that is conducted in the community. For the duration of my internship, I shadowed my supervisor and did everything that she did. I taught classes, designed and created mosaics, worked on workshops, and created relationships with those in the community.
This experience has taught me so much about myself and a lot about my home, Baltimore. I am definitely most proud of the relationships I made with those in the community, especially the children. Hearing them tell me that I have made an impact in their life made everything worth while. I was very interested in seeing how it all works, as I have plans to possibly continue with community arts, but it was a great experience for me to understand the lifestyle of someone who works for a non-profit, such as Art With A Heart. I didn’t realize until I began working, at Art With A Heart, that this is a 24/7 position and is for those who truly want to make a difference, at the grassroots level.