Remaining Human and Keeping My Promises
This entire academic year for me has been about getting out of my comfort zone and taking advantage of all the wonderful opportunities Cleveland State and the city of Cleveland have to offer. #CLE
I participated in the Mentoring Program organized by Senator Grace Drake in the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs. Fortune paired me with Frank Fecser, CEO of Positive Education Program (PEP). He allowed me the chance to see how PEP ran as a nonprofit and explore the many facets that contributed to its success. I mentioned The Cleveland Foundation internship to Frank and he immediately offered to write me a letter of recommendation and championed my cause. I was both humbled and determined to make him proud. So began my interview process that ultimately landed me in the wonderful world of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA). I now have the privilege of going to work and doing exactly what I want to be doing- no more latte art for this ex-barista!
Interning at a museum is a visual feast for the eyes and a nonstop flurry of activity. Deidre McPherson, my knowledgeable supervisor, has given me ten projects to work on that will occur throughout the summer and into the fall. Currently, I am helping with the planning and developing outreach strategies and evaluative analysis for The Beat Uptown, an outdoor Thursday night concert series. I am also researching and brainstorming program ideas for artists Nevet Yitzhak, and Do Ho Suh coming to MOCA this fall.
This past Friday was the summer opening night party for the exhibit How To Remain Human. I got to experience the oh-my-god-its-opening-night feelings with the rest of the staff as we set up the museum for an estimated 600+ guests! My favorite part of the day was getting a walkthrough of the exhibit from Megan Lykins Reich, Deputy Director of Program, Planning, and Engagement. She took the staff though the entire exhibit and explained the major talking points and themes. After the walk through, it was time for last minute setup. I setup the stages for the bands and made a quick wardrobe change!
“Keep your promises.” Artist Tony Lewis, whose solo show is currently on view at MOCA, (about) took the line from a book his mother had around the house while he was growing up entitled, Life’s Little Instruction Book. I look at this piece every time I use the stairs in MOCA-which is quite often, and I find this installation to be extremely relevant to my career path as well as my journey into the post collegiate world. During my Summer Internship experience, I promise to soak up as much information from as many professionals here as I can; I promise to challenge myself mentally and give my creative mind the workout of its life. Most importantly, I promise to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. Now that I have made my promises, all I have to do is keep them! #Summer ofPromises #SummerofPurpose
Melissa Haynam, a senior at Cleveland State University, Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs, majoring in Non-profit Administration, will be placed at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland. Melissa assists with evaluating MOCA Thursdays, including the BeatUPTOWN summer concert series; evaluating the success of MOCAs programming which includes visitor experience, engagement and satisfaction as well as coordinating on-site management with the Event Production Manager for public programs.