The Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) gives students the opportunity to gain experience working in the field of arts management.
B-HIP involves working with an upper-level arts class, and is available for both international students and students from the United States.
Students attending B-HIP “are placed at full-time upper-level internships tailored to their interests and skill sets,” according to the MCLA website. “They have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in development, marketing, film editing, arts education, programming, and more.”
Melody Rolph and Jenny Beers, two seniors from the College who attended B-HIP this past summer, enjoyed working with students from around the globe while learning more about the field of arts management.
“It’s an upper-level internship, a really intensive internship program that has a class portion, so every Wednesday we would have a three-hour class in the morning that was sort of an intro to arts management mixed with a general upper-level arts management course,” Beers said. “We covered everything from grants to fundraising and all of the basic arts management techniques.”
Rolph added that the class primarily focused on the latest term in the art world.
“We started the class by reflecting on our internships, and then faculty would come in and teach various lessons,” Rolph said. “It was mostly revolving around the new art term, the most popular art term right now called creative placemaking, and the whole class was based around that.”
Rolph’s internship involved marketing and development.
“My internship was at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, and I was a marketing intern, so I worked hands-on with the marketing coordinator and then I also worked a little bit in development,” she said.
Beers’ internship involved coordinating camp programs.
“I interned at IS 183 Art School in Stockbridge,” she said. “I was their camp coordinator, so I was in charge of their whole summer camp program, and I talked with the teachers for those programs as well as the other interns and coordinated everything.”
One of the benefits of the program is being able to work in the field and share experiences with one another, according to Rolph.
“I learned a lot about how an arts organization runs, because I had never spent that much time in a full-on non-profit, so it was really helpful to work in an office and see everybody’s roles actually going together and attending all of their meetings,” she said. “At the same time, when we go home at night we bring home our experiences and then we talk with all of the other ‘BHIP-ers’ and hear about their experiences in their institutions, so it’s helpful to see where we want to be in the future.”
Both students said that their favorite part of the program was getting to interact with all of the other members of the program, including students from Pakistan, Japan, England, France, Italy, and other U.S. schools.
“My favorite part was meeting the different people. It’s an international internship. Meeting them was probably the best part – people from all different cultures,” Beers said.
Rolph added, “We all live together, we eat together, we do everything together; we’re basically best friends throughout the whole summer. It’s just really interesting because we all come from different artistic backgrounds and we’re all from different cultures too, so just merging those things is really interesting.”
Beers and Rolph encouraged students interested in arts management to apply for the internship to find focus in their artistic careers.
Beers said, “It seems intimidating, but go for it. I knew that I needed to be sure that I could handle it and that arts management was something I really wanted to do. It’s a good way to see if it’s something you want to do. It’s a good way to put you right in. It’s like a job – you don’t really feel like an intern.”
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