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What an SPNN Internship Meant to Me

December 21, 2018

By Rajine Williams, SPNN Intern through the HECUA program Making Media, Making Change

My intern experience at SPNN has been significant in my progression as an artist. Coming into this program I didn’t know what to expect, but my expectations were very high because I heard nothing but great things from people who have done the program. When I first applied for HECUA, I was going to do the Art For Social Change program. But with further research and due diligence I decided on Making Media Making Change with an internship. MMMC appealed to me for a number of reasons: it was ‘hands on’ learning that I have been accustomed to. Being an art student allows me to be creative and work with my hands to translate something on canvas that otherwise no one would see. I wanted to experiment with media to see if I could express myself in the exact same way and secondly I wanted to have real world experience, back in the day all you had to do was go to college to be secured a job when you graduate. Today it’s more competitive than ever. Employers are looking for you to have career skills before you even have one. I was ecstatic when I found out MMMC offered an internship. Lastly I wanted to do this program because I am interested in digital arts/media. I have always enjoyed making videos and editing them. I wanted to learn even more, with a technical background. Emily Seru and Erin Walsh were great segways into MMMC. I met with them during the summer months, to talk with them and figure out what exactly I wanted to get out of my internship. They knew SPNN would be a place that I would benefit greatly from.

In the beginning of my internship I met with my supervisor Bonnie Schumacher, who is the community access director of SPNN. We laid out the projects I was going to be working on the duration of the semester. A few of the projects that I have been assigned were: Candy Fresh, Girl Scouts PSA’s and Semester Long Video assignment. Candy Fresh is a public access variety show for Black entrepreneurs, artists, youth and scholars. I helped behind the scenes by operating one of the studio cameras and editing the episode I filmed. I was anxious and excited to get started. I had never heard of Premiere Pro nor used it before this. I HATED it, at first. It was so daunting and so cumbersome to me. It was way more advanced than any editing software that I've ever used. The promo that I made for the Twin Cities Black Film Festival and Candy Fresh: Filmmakers was my first attempt at premiere. I also worked on number of side projects too. Bianca Rhodes, the production and sponsorship coordinator asked me if I wanted to assist with taping of a cool show called TLK AVE. The show stars one of SPNN members Georgia Fort. TLK AVE consists of a panel of Black and Brown women discussing issues in the Twin Cities that predominantly affect minorities and marginalized communities. During my internship, my semester long project loomed over me. I had several ideas flooding my head. I first wanted to do a piece on how the makeup industry has evolved to be inclusive. Not even 7 years ago the darkest shade available (in drug stores) was about two shades darker than Beyonce (I’m exaggerating). But you know there’s a problem when my mother and I were wearing the same foundation shade (her complexion is lighter than mine). I was planning on doing interviews with several girls on their makeup journey. Maybe even get people who work in marketing and sales to get their POV but I came down from that cloud real quickly when I learned how to do a professional interview. With cameras, lighting, etc. Then trying to coordinate my schedule with potential interviewee’s, it would’ve been too much. After a couple months of working on intense topics in my MMMC class I was drained. I wanted to do something light and fun. So I came up with a concept of making a video that highlighted what I learned with premiere pro and also show my artistic aesthetic. It is three parts, the first paying homage to 1950’s sci-fi genre. The second is a visual representation of a poem I wrote about a year ago, the last part is just playing around with green screen and combining the things that I have interests in. I don’t want to give too much away, if you’re intrigued then watch it for yourself!

Overall my time at SPNN and with MMMC has been the most fulfilling higher education school experience I have had. Classes were fun and engaging, it never seemed like we had busy work or just going to get a grade. You actually learn from people who are making and creating change each and every day. We were taught things that we most likely wouldn’t have been in our regular courses at our home schools. HECUA is a great opportunity and I recommend anyone considering to do it, you won’t regret it.