My name is Akili Hayden and I’m currently a First Year at Antioch College pursuing a self-design major in Social Psychology and Arts Communications. Through Antioch’s Co-op program, I was selected as a Special Events and Development intern for the spring 2019 internship at Creative Time in New York City.
Creative Time is a public arts organization that works with artists to contribute to the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our times (Mission Statement). It is a community that I’m so happy to be involved with.
Since my Freshman year of high school, I have done my fair share of internships which have contributed to many of my interests. These internships have also inspired me to design a major that best works with those interests. While some of the internships I took part in have been awesome and others have been challenging, I was able to network, learn valuable skills and travel, while also observing first hand what my potential career would be after graduate school.
Needless to say, I was able to take a new skill into each internship I participated in, which has made me very confident as an intern. For me, internships are huge a reality check, which is so important because after graduate I’ll be seeking a career where I will need to be comfortable financially and socially.
If you aren’t familiar with this organization, I am responsible for prospect research and data analyzing and imputing as well as basic intern duties, such as delivering mail. While my major now is Social Psychology and Arts Communications I’m not set on this, as I’m still expanding my internets. I’m looking to decide on a major hopefully at the end of my sophomore year (next year).
Creative Time has been a great resource for me to essentially see if this would be the work environment and career direction I’d like to go in after grad school. I’m not completely sure yet if I could see myself working in an environment like Creative Time, since I know I haven’t experienced all of the different careers choices that interest me yet. I love the mission of Creative Time and how it impacts communities. Creative Time’s website states:
“Over the past four decades, Creative Time has commissioned and presented ambitious public art projects with thousands of artists throughout New York City, across the country, around the world—and now even in outer space. Our work is guided by three core values: art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression. We are acclaimed for the innovative and meaningful projects we have commissioned, from Tribute in Light, the twin beacons of light that illuminated lower Manhattan six months after 9/11, to bus ads promoting HIV awareness, to Paul Chan’s production of Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, and much more…We are committed to presenting important art for our times and engaging broad audiences that transcend geographic, racial, and socioeconomic barriers.”
While I wasn’t physically at Creative Time when some of these projects were presented, just being here and working alongside the people here is so awesome because I get to understand the history and impact these projects had on different communities and the world. Even though I wasn’t able to be apart of these projects, I’m happy that I’ll get to see one of the new projects: Risa Puno’s public art commission. I can’t give too much information on it until the project is complete. I can say that Risa Puno’s project will take the form of an escape room game, a popular group activity in the U.S. Puno will use the activity’s format of puzzles and riddles to examine issues of social dynamics.
Check out Creative Times website for more! http://creativetime.org
A day at Creative Time
A day interning at Creative Time looks like this: I start work at 10am. I greet my advisors with a good morning, and ask if there are any tasks for me to complete that aren’t already on my task sheet. Then I go straight to my desk. If there are any tasks, it’s usually for me to prepare acknowledgement letters to be sent out to donors, to prepare orders or to deliver anything that needs to be returned. If there aren’t any other tasks, I work through my Task sheet that my advisor set up for me throughout the day.
I usually take my lunch around noon, there are a lot of great places to eat in the neighborhood, so take advantage of that if you can! I have an hour long lunch. After lunch, I’ll walk back to work. The office space is a very chill and welcoming environment, and everyone in the office is either working on projects or having great conversations. At 5pm I leave from work to go about the rest of my day.
Living in New York
Living in New work for almost three months has been an amazing experience. I remember last year when I was in high school I manifested living in NYC hoping that I would enroll in a college like NYU or Columbia University. This obviously didn’t work because, weirdly enough, I’m at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio doing my first co-op in New York, which is perfect.
The past two months I’ve just be getting acclimated to the city, not trying to look like a tourist, and trying something new everyday (Thanks, Luisa!). New York isn’t much different from Chicago, which is where I’m from, so getting acclimated to the city took all of three days—once I stopped getting confused on which train to take in to work. The first few weeks in NYC I didn’t really know what to do that would be fun to do by myself besides shopping and doing yoga. I just wanted to experience everything with a friend. I got over this in a few weeks and I had to realize that I had to make the best out of this opportunity of being in New York. I pushed myself to go see everything and to try something new each day or every weekend. Luckily, a few of my friends from Chicago, my mom, and my partner came to visit me over the weekends which gave me a lot more to do. New York has been so much fun and I really would love to stay here longer!
While Creative Time hasn’t been my most challenging or difficult internship, it has been awesome to freshen up my skills, learn new skills, and meet new people in a new environment. So far, I have made it to the halfway point of my internship and could not be happier for all the new experiences I’ve made in New York and all the new people I’ve met. That being said I am excited to see what the rest of the summer holds for me.