The Art of Interning

Hi! I’m Bianca, and this semester in the Outer Banks has taught me more than I ever expected. School is great, but my favorite part so far has been my internship.

I’m interning with the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) under the executive director, Chris Swain. My primary project is to help relaunch the DCAC program, the Power of Art.

The Power of Art is a partnership between the arts council and five other organizations that serve adults and children with intellectual and developmental disorders, adults with memory loss, victims of domestic abuse, and veterans.

“The Power of Art is a program designed to serve special groups in need or with limited access to arts programming and education. Made possible by a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, the Power of Art’s objective is to give those with disabilities and difficulties with self-expression the opportunity to create and make critical decisions through unique art programs.”       –DCAC Website

What I’m doing for the program is three main things: creating a system to document all the ongoings of the program, getting teachers signed up (including myself), and getting the word out about this program and the call for art teachers. I’m also setting up an event to get teachers together so they can all discuss their experiences, learn from each other, and get ideas for potential projects in the future.

The classes I’ll be teaching are in fused glass. I’ve worked in the medium for years, and I’m excited to share it with these members of the community. I’ll also be teaching, separate from the Power of Art, a fused glass workshop at the DCAC before I leave in December.

Another exciting thing from this internship was the opportunity to volunteer at the art council’s annual masquerade gala event; this year it was called Black Opal. A group of friends and fellow students donated their time with me, and in return we got to dress up and enjoy a black-tie (or fully costumed) night of live music, delicious catering, a hugely successful silent auction, and absolutely stunning decor.


One angle of the center table at the Black Opal Masquerade Gala

With all that said, my last and most potent remark has to be about the people I’ve met throughout this internship. They’re amazingly talented and committed people whose generosity and love of community has been apparent through every shared moment. I’m so humbled and impressed by this organization, how it functions, how it is so highly regarded by the town, and how professional it is all the while feeling like home.

I’d like to thank this field site and the DCAC for presenting me with these experiences, and I’m excited to stay in touch with this network of people long after I leave.