By Hannah Baker, Social Media Intern


500,000 visitors, 1,400 artists, 1,000 volunteers, 30 staff, 12 interns, and I proudly got to include myself in these numbers. I was the social media intern for ArtPrize 10. For some my age, that sounds like the dream job – get paid for something you already spend hours obsessing over. For me, however, the dream wasn’t the hours I got to spend creating posts for Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or the obsession over the number of likes I managed to get. For me, the enthusiasm was rooted in who these tasks were for – the organization, ArtPrize.

Many dichotomies come to mind when I think about the internet and art. I believe to fully experience art, in any form – music, literature, installations, etc., it has to be done in person. I don’t think the same effect is achieved online. So the question I kept asking myself was how can I represent an art organization through social media? Jaenell, my fearless boss and Communications Manager said it best – Social media is our tool to encourage people to come to ArtPrize and enjoy the art in person. I wasn't expected to give them the ultimate ArtPrize experience in a few social media posts, but share moments and memories that would inspire viewers to come make their own memories and experience ArtPrize through their own eyes.

I recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Art History and German and a minor in Museums Studies and although ArtPrize wasn’t a permanent position, this internship was a great opportunity for me to gain practical experience and meet some unbelievable people. I have been asked countless times before and after graduation, “What are you going to do with your degree?” Sometimes it’s asked condescendingly and sometimes it’s asked with genuine curiosity. The answer being exciting to me and maybe surprising to others, is that I can do a lot of things with my degree. I am not bound to a conventional list of jobs. The ambiguity of my future after ArtPrize is thrilling and intimidating, but I know that what lies after the uncertainty is undoubtedly growth, excitement, and driven by my passion for art.

As this sign perfectly poses – is art worth it? My answer every time is yes.

For most of my coworkers, ArtPrize is so much more than a three week competition – it is a full-time job. All of their time and energy is worth it. ArtPrize is worth it. My career choice is worth it. Art is worth it.

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This post is part of a series sharing the experiences and perspectives of ArtPrize 10 Interns. Developed by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) in collaboration with ArtPrize, the ArtPrize 10 Internship Program provides college students from across the region with paid internships and serves as a way to advocate for professional development opportunities for higher education students in art and design related fields. Together, ArtPrize and KCAD are dedicated to connecting young people to the arts through a variety of learning opportunities, helping to foster a sustainable future for the local and national arts communities.

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