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Summer Interns Reflect on their Time at ARTS

left to right: Bemi and Brittney

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) increases youth and young adults’ ability to pursue careers that pay well and are meaningful to them. This year, two interns joined us for six weeks: Bemi Hailu worked with our Partnerships, Education, and Grants team, and Brittney Ramirez-Osorio worked with our Communications team.

Bemi Hailu

Bemi's long, curly, black hair is up and she wears a yellow hoodie.

As my summer internship at the Office of Arts and Culture (ARTS) comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the transformative experiences and insights that have shaped my journey. These past few months have been a process of growth, discovery, and learning, and I am deeply grateful for the invaluable opportunities that this internship has offered me.

Working within ARTS has been a truly enriching experience, one that has illuminated the boundless benefits of immersing oneself in the world of arts and culture. Beyond the tangible tasks and projects, I have come to recognize the immense impact that artistic expression has on society. The arts serve as a conduit for cultural understanding, a catalyst for social change, and a medium for fostering unity in diversity. This realization has given me a deeper appreciation for the significance of nurturing creativity and artistic endeavors.

This summer, I embarked on a journey of exploration and learning, unearthing the multifaceted dimensions of the arts industry. Each day presented new opportunities for growth as I delved into the intricacies of curatorial work and orchestrated captivating events. Each experience broadened my horizons and unveiled the dedication required to bring artistic visions to life. The wealth of knowledge I have gained will undoubtedly resonate in my future pursuits.

Also, my internship provided me with an unforgettable opportunity to serve as a panelist and gain firsthand knowledge of the grant application evaluation process. Initially, I was unaware of the extensive considerations and significance of each decision that goes into evaluating grant applications. However, taking on this role allowed me to appreciate the meticulousness of the evaluation process and develop a newfound respect for it.

Moreover, I was fortunate to find myself in an environment of warmth and inclusivity, which made my internship even more fulfilling. I would be remiss not to express my gratitude to my remarkable supervisor, Ashraf, whose unwavering support, guidance, and empathy have been instrumental in my growth. The dedication to fostering a collaborative atmosphere has made each day a joy, and his mentorship has empowered me to overcome challenges and embrace new perspectives.

This internship, being my inaugural voyage into the professional world, has left an indelible mark on my journey. While time seemed to accelerate, the memories, knowledge, and connections I have forged will continue to inspire me. As I bid farewell to this chapter, I carry forward a profound sense of accomplishment and a heart brimming with gratitude for this transformative experience.

Finally, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me. The knowledge and abilities that I have acquired during my internship will undoubtedly have a profound impact on my future endeavors. As I continue my path, I will always treasure the invaluable experiences and lessons that this internship has provided me.

Brittney Ramirez-Osorio

Brittney's long, straight hair is pulled tightly back. She wears glasses and a traditional white top with colorful embroidery.

I had an amazing time working with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) through my participation in the Seattle Youth Employment Program. I felt welcomed and everyone was very kind. I am thankful to have had this work opportunity. From the beginning I was interested in knowing a little more about what ARTS does. I have always been interested in art, so I was excited to be in a different environment that was still connected to art. I supported the Communications team as their intern, which was an area that I never considered because I had little knowledge of it, and I thought it was more for extroverted individuals. After working six weeks with the Communications team, I got a new perspective.

I saw that communications is the glue that brought everyone together but also a filter that helps clear things up. Good communication skills take time to learn but they are important to have. I attended meetings and saw how clear and effective the Comms team was. In those meetings I realized how much the team does. Even from other staff I heard that without the Comms work, the projects that get worked on would not be able to get out to the public.

It may seem obvious, but one needs good writing skills when in communications. I don’t think my skill in writing is the strongest, but I learned to make sure to be clear and specific to get your point across. With writing, there’s also a creative and colorful side to it. Comms has to share stories that grab people’s attention. There’s lots of creativity needed in storytelling. This encourages me to continue bettering my writing.

There are many things that go down at ARTS. I was happy to learn all the things ARTS does. As someone who took part in art-centered programs in school, it’s interesting to learn that many of those organizations like El Groupo Cultural Oaxaqueño and Orquesta Northwest are connected to ARTS. These programs are funded by grants that the office offers. I liked how I was able to be on those two different ends. There are many art opportunities that I was unaware of. Grants are very important to many arts, culture-based organizations, and groups. It helps them be able to run their programs and the communications team helps with promoting. At the end I noted that all this work is done so that different communities can share their cultures and community can come together. It was evident that there was an importance in empowering underserved communities, and I appreciate the work ARTS does. I will stay updated in what new programs, exhibits, or projects happen so that I too can help spread the word to my community.