Internships can create powerful futures. Just ask Rachel Wen-Paloutzian. In 2009, she held a summer internship at Art Center’s James Lemont Fogg Memorial Library, supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program. The internship proved to be a critical step toward her current career as special collections librarian at Loyola Marymount University’s William H. Hannon Library.
“Art Center was where I came up with the ideas that led to my master’s thesis at UCLA and where I first learned about metadata and digital collections,” Wen-Paloutzian explains. “Today I enjoy working with historical materials and rare books, as well as encouraging academic communities to come discover the hidden treasures of the Library. The Art Center internship was an important milestone for me.”
This summer will be the 10th year that the Foundation has awarded an internship grant to Art Center. The internship program provides full-time summer work opportunities for outstanding students who are members of groups currently underrepresented in museums and arts organizations. Since the program’s founding in 1993, 150 local arts institutions and museums, as well as the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, have hosted over 2,800 internships, exposing these students to career possibilities in the arts.
For Art Center students, faculty and staff, the opportunity to work with individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives enriches the Art Center experience. Diversity and inclusion are among the College’s six governing values and principles and broadly represented throughout Art Center’s strategic plan, and the Getty Foundation grant is helping to expand the College’s efforts in this area.
For Vanessa Samaniego, a senior at the University of Notre Dame, last summer’s Multicultural Undergraduate internship was similarly transformative. “I’m grateful to have learned so much about the Library and the College,” she says, “and to have discovered a whole new field of interest — design.”
Samaniego’s library responsibilities included digitizing images, developing library materials, helping curate student work for an exhibit, cataloging children’s books, planning and promoting library events and color-editing a fashion magazine. “After being surrounded by so many entrepreneurial design students,” she continues, “I went back to school and was able to implement design concepts in an entrepreneurial course this past fall.”
The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the greater understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. More information about the Foundation’s grant-making is available online at getty.edu/foundation.