Friday, March 6, 2009

The Intern Speaks

Some of you may not know me, but I am the current intern at the COPPeR Office. My name is Brett Garman; I am a senior at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, graduating in May with a double major in Professional Writing and Media Management. Bettina asked if I would like to post something to the blog about my experience so far, and I jumped at the chance! Let me give you an idea of a typical day in the life of a COPPeR intern.

When I arrive in the morning, the first requirement is to check the intern email. I’m currently working on confirming all the information for the 2009-2010 COPPeR Pages Directory. Click here to download the 2007-2008 Edition. This directory is filled with area arts organizations that work to promote creativity and support art appreciation. It is a valuable tool for the community as there is no other publication like it. It's particularly helpful for newcomers to the community. Combine the COPPeR Pages and PeakRadar, and any new resident will find him or herself with lots and lots to do. The listings featured in the COPPeR Pages provide the public with contact information and descriptions to help connect individuals to opportunities to participate in the arts in El Paso and Teller counties. I know I consider myself a person who is aware of the culture in our city, yet I find myself overwhelmed, surprised and delighted to learn about so many arts organizations.

Every day I when work on the directory, I discover the existence of a new arts organization in Colorado Springs. For example, just today I found out that there is an organization called New Vue Productions, Inc. that uses multi-media projects to encourage teenagers to engage in arts practices. As a Media Management major with a strong interest in all things multi-media, this organization immediately gained my enthusiasm. Also, there are more venues and creative outlets for music, visual and performing arts, and culture than I had ever been aware of. Just this month I’ve been to a couple new locations to look around. They include Smokebrush Gallery and Foundation and ARTSpace at Hillside Community Center. Since beginning my work with COPPeR, my horizons in just the Colorado Springs area alone have greatly expanded.

Back at COPPeR, I sit at my glass-top desk, working with updating contacts and organization descriptions. I believe I’ve added about twenty new organizations to the already substantial list of more than 170 organizations! And, more are brought to our attention everyday. Then, I usually work with the Peak Radar mailing list and postings. Kevin has to come to my aid on a regular basis as I bother him with questions about technology.

The day always seems to fly by when I am in the office. I really enjoy working downtown, where I find the atmosphere busy, yet calming. I’m always comfortable in the COPPeR Office and while I’m outside running errands. The location also presents the opportunity for several individuals to come in to the office. I’ve met a few board members, all of whom are kind and outgoing. I’ve also had the chance to meet several artists, such as Tom McElroy and Daisy McConnell. Both of these artists have items in the office and gallery at this time, so getting the chance to meet them and place a face with the creativity they present is exciting. Everyone is so friendly, and often very funny! I definitely feel like getting the chance to complete my internship with such intriguing and nice personalities is spoiling me. A lot gets done, but there is also time for important discussion of music, art, and the Colorado Springs community with my two favorite coworkers.

On February 6th, I had the opportunity to stay late at COPPeR for the FAC Modern Art Gallery opening of Atomic Elroy’s Hometown. The event was a great success. People filled the office and gallery, and everyone was having a great time. That night has been one of my favorite moments with COPPeR. I met some of the board members and got to enjoy some great food from La’aus. The exhibit is still at the FAC Modern. I definitely recommend coming to see it if you haven’t already! Link to PeakRadar listing

Thankfully, slave labor and irrelevant tasks are seldom in my daily requirements. Bettina and Kevin are an absolute pleasure to be around, and the work environment is always enjoyable. I feel so privileged to have gotten the chance to intern at COPPeR. I’ll be sad when I have to go in May. Don’t worry though; I should be around for more gallery openings, volunteering, and random visits.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Great observations, Brett! Thanks for all you do for COPPeR.