The Arts Council for Long Beach is celebrating its second semester placing California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) art students in paid internships at Long Beach arts organizations. The program, called “Creative Long Beach,” launched in Fall 2015 with funding from Linda Gunn of Gunn ǀ Jerkens Marketing.
Creative Long Beach placed five students in fall, six this spring, and aims to grow to 20 internships for the 2016/17 school year. The program is expanding to Long Beach City College students in fall. Through their internships, students develop a deeper understanding of nonprofit arts administration and the role of the arts in the community.
“This synergistic approach to creative learning benefits students and organizations alike; and we are hopeful that, as the internship program develops and prospers, other patrons of the arts will share in this worthwhile endeavor to enable more students and host sites to participate,” Linda Gunn said.
Louise Nguyen, the development intern at the Long Beach Opera, said her internship sparked her interest in development and inspired her to expand her field of interest beyond her graphic design major. Through the internship, she is learning about grant research and writing and uses her design skills to create marketing materials for the development department. “This program is unlike any other,” she said. “I have gained the support of people who inspire me to change the world.”
Kelly Ruggirello, executive director of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, praised the program. “Our Arts Council’s Creative Long Beach internship grant has provided Long Beach Symphony with a semester of greatly needed staff support for our music education programs throughout the city, allowing us to fulfill our mission to impact children’s lives and nurture the cultural vitality in our community.”
The Symphony’s education and community engagement intern, Connor Bogenreif, added, “Coming from a background in performance, this internship has taught me to appreciate how much work goes into the production of a performance off-stage as well as on-stage. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity to work with the staff of the Long Beach Symphony, who have all been great mentors to me in this learning process.”
Participating organizations gain the assistance of motivated students and help develop new arts leaders for Long Beach. Creative Long Beach expands the city’s internship capacity and also better positions local students for future local jobs.
“Too often, talented CSULB graduates leave the city for jobs elsewhere,” said former Arts Council Executive Director Victoria Bryan, who helped start the program. “We’re trying to help remedy that by expanding job opportunities for future graduates.”
For more information about the Creative Long Beach internship program, please visit www.artslb.org/education.