One thing that I have learned from being in the non-profit world with an organization like  Arts @ Large, that brings the art community together with the public school, is that you must have a passion for whatever it is that you do and that you what your company stands for. That is why attending this year’s Americans for the Arts Summit in June was an eye opener for me.

One day in March, I walked into the office and one of my bosses, Teri Sullivan, asked me if I would like to go to Baltimore this summer for an art conference. To be honest with you, after the words “Do you want to go”, I was pretty much sold on the idea. I mean being a college student, one doesn’t expect to be sent anywhere within the first couple of months of employment, so when the chance was presented, I was game.

From day one of the summit, I was embraced by people from across the nation that live, breathe, read, write, paint, dance and more, all in the name of the arts. People who would literally cry at the drop of a dime if you told them that art will be taken from our children’s school. People who would form an angry, yet very artistic, mob to march to the local government’s headquarters to demand that funding for the arts is continued. These warm-hearted people are about empowering the arts at all cost. The people that I met at this conference are more than passionate about the arts; they are all in love with the arts.

After figuring all this out, I spent at least ten minutes a day during the trip wondering, “Why would they send me?” Why would they send the 21 year-old, communications intern to this nationally known arts summit to represent our growing Midwest organization. And then (ironically, on the plane ride home) it all came together- I was sent on the trip because I am the young 21 year-old intern.

In order for me to ever truly be the best-suited candidate for this position, I would have to know and love the arts the way everyone at the summit did. Everyone here at Arts @ Large has the arts and education on the brain 24/7, and if I am to ever really become apart of this team, I will need to realize that I too am in a love affair with the arts. Realizing the role that Arts @ Large plays in spreading that feeling into art education and what that means for children is easy to do when you figure out that everyone is really connected to and through the arts.