We asked our PR and Marketing Intern, Joel to reflect back on his summer with us, and this is what he had to say.
Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with Grand Performances this summer. As a recent graduate with a degree in public relations (PR), I was very nervous to jump into the job market and begin my professional journey and development. I wasn’t completely sure of what to expect when I started with Grand Performances. Previously, I had experience pitching and writing on behalf of consumer, corporate and entertainment clients. However, PR for a non-profit organization that aims to provide world music and artists to a diverse audience of Angelenos is something that I had never attempted. It was a challenge that I eagerly accepted and I flourished doing. I had the opportunity to gain substantial press coverage in the Los Angeles Times and work with reporters from NPR, KCRW, Billboard Magazine and many others. This was a rare opportunity that is definitely unique (and I really despise the use of that word) to Los Angeles.
With the help of the amazing staff, I quickly learned the logic behind the programming for the entire season, which helped me prepare and gain publicity for each show through out the summer. More importantly it taught me the most valuable lesson of the summer: No matter how much someone thinks they know about music and art, they will never know everything. There will always be room to discover, flourish and grow in the arts.
It’s important to give back. Most people don’t think that it takes money to make art, but it does and artists deserve to be paid to create the beauty that they exude into the world. Often artists are solicited to do free events and donate their time to charities. However, they have bills just like the rest of us. Grand Performances pays their artists well and then presents them to Angelenos for free, relying on sponsors and Red Bucket donations. My summer with Grand Performances was made possible with the support of Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Internship program.
I met many people during my time here, but it was not just the professional contacts that moved me to appreciate this internship. It was the woman who collected perfectly good desserts people left behind after a fundraising event to give to the homeless on her bus ride home to Compton; the woman who came and danced alone on her birthday who lives nearby; and the man who told me what he thought about each artist after every show he attended. Grand Performances creates not just a place to showcase music, but a place that creates compassion and community. It’s downright spellbinding
I am leaving this internship with a much greater respect and appreciation of art that the average person could not understand without first experiencing it the way that I have this summer. From visual to performing, I have had the opportunity to further explore and gain perspective behind the programming, hard work and dedication of the teams across L.A. who curate and host productions and galleries that infuse the city with vibrancy and life. It is an honor to now know the wonderful people who work tirelessly to provide one-of-a-kind experiences at Grand Performances. Everyday I am blown away by their generosity and dedication to providing the community with FREE live music that caters to a diverse community. Every show was a different world and every evening I had the opportunity to meet the wonderful people who attended these events.
I will truly treasure the time I’ve spent here this summer, come back for next seasons diverse and eclectic program and I will definitely donate.
*This internship was funded in part by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.