How to Find a Host Organization

We all know that looking for the perfect internship or training program can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in one of Monet’s haystacks paintings! Finding the right host organization can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re living in a different country. But it can also be a fantastic learning experience that helps you expand your professional network and pushes you outside your comfort zone! While IA&A can’t find a host organization for you, we can provide recommendations, tips, and tricks to landing your dream internship or training program.

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TECRO and IA&A Celebrate Contemporary Art from Taiwan

On February 3, 2018, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) and International Arts & Artists (IA&A) held an opening reception for the exhibition What do you see? — Meet Taiwan Contemporary Art. The reception was hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Stanley Kao at Twin Oaks, the government of the Republic of China’s property in Washington, DC. To celebrate the 130th anniversary of Twin Oaks, TECRO is hosting an exhibition of contemporary art from Taiwan that represents a dialogue between the estate and modern visual arts. What do you see? — Meet Taiwan Contemporary Art showcases five Taiwanese artists’ works from the collection of Art Bank, Taiwan.

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Taking a Leap of Faith with Megan Shave

While pursuing her law degree, Megan Shave decided to take a huge leap of faith and apply for an internship with Chain Camera Pictures. The production company behind the film The Hunting Ground, Chain Camera Pictures had inspired Megan to write her thesis on how social media can be a catalyst for change in legal culture. She had no idea that this bold leap would lead to the opportunity to work alongside the people she admired on social justice issues that she is passionate about. The fact that she was in Los Angeles, the center of the film and entertainment industry, was just a bonus!

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South Side Architectural boat tour

A Bibliophile’s Guide to the Book Business

Enobong Essien always knew that she wanted to share her love of stories with others. Growing up, she surrounded herself with books and eagerly read whatever she could get her hands on. Her passion for reading led her to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, writing in her spare time for her blog, Coconut Confessions. For the past three months, Enobong has been interning with Booklist, the American Library Association’s review journal for public and school librarians. As an intern, Enobong has received a crash course in magazine publishing and an overview of the American publishing world.

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How to Fund Your Exchange Program

So, you’ve decided to jumpstart your career with an exchange program in the United States. Congratulations! Interning or training abroad is a great way to build your résumé while exploring new cities. But what’s next? Aside from finding a host organization and applying for J-1 visa sponsorship with IA&A, finances will likely be on your mind. There are many costs that go toward making your exchange program possible, from visa fees to travel expenses to housing. Keeping reading for 5 ways to fund your J-1 exchange program and start your adventure today!

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Finding New Meanings in American History and Culture

In her doctoral research at the University of Hull, aspiring curator Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rogers has typically focused on researching the collections amassed by women in the eighteenth century England. But this past summer, Lizzie had the opportunity to expand her understanding of collections by interning at Stratford Hall, a historic American house museum in Virginia. During her internship at Stratford Hall, Lizzie worked extensively on the Margaret Law collection, researching its origins, re-cataloguing it through object research and photography, and creating an online exhibition that included pieces from the collection.

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Alex Campbell on monster truck

Behind the Scenes of Little Evil with Alex Campbell

Filmmaker Alex Campbell has developed an impressive international career that spans film, television, commercials, theater, and photography. Last year, Alex participated in IA&A’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and spent five months as a film production trainee on the set of Little Evil, an American horror-comedy film that was recently released on Netflix. As a trainee, Alex spent his days with the film’s production team, shadowing the director and learning the in-and-outs of post-production. To get in the spirit of Halloween, we caught up with Alex to hear more about his experience working on the set of Little Evil and how his exchange helped advance his filmmaking career back in London.

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Gohar Dashti: Here & There, Then & Now

Gohar Dashti works at the intersection of art and society. The Iranian artist has spent more than twelve years navigating the various social issues of the world through photography, bringing sensitivity and empathy to the art form. Trained at the Fine Art University of Tehran, Gohar often draws on personal life events in order to build bridges between the personal, universal, real, and political. Her work is inspired by her surroundings, her memory, and her personal perceptions, and it sparks important dialogues about conflict, citizenship, and civility. International Arts & Artists (IA&A) is proud to have supported Gohar in her early career as a participant in IA&A’s ArtBridge program.

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Hyppolite Ntigurirwa Speaks at One Young World

#J1Alum Hyppolite Ntigurirwa recently delivered a powerful address at the One Young World summit in Bogotá. As part of the “Peace and Reconciliation” plenary session, Hyppolite shared with the audience how he is spreading his message of peace, using theater as a tool for healing, reconciliation, and peacebuilding in post-conflict communities both in Rwanda and abroad. In 2016, Hyppolite participated in IA&A’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as the first international young leader to be selected for Arts Connect International’s Artist-in-Residence program

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Hitting the Right Notes at Music Festivals Across America

This summer, IA&A’s Cultural Exchange Programs welcomed over forty exchange visitors to the United States as they began programs at three sensational music festivals: the Aspen Music Festival and School, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Each of these festivals has a rich history of musical excellence, creativity, and support for cultural exchange. The programs offered by these festivals have been invaluable in the artistic and professional development of our exchange visitors, who leave prepared to become the creative leaders of tomorrow.

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One City, Two Stories: A Double Feature with Arielle

What could be better than one incredible cultural exchange experience? Two! Just ask Arielle Estrada, an aspiring filmmaker from France who spent the past year in San Francisco, CA, splitting her time between internships at two different host organizations. The first was at the California Film Institute (CFI), an organization that uses the power of storytelling through film as a way to educate, inspire, and entertain. At Canyon Cinema, a foundation dedicated to educating the public about independent, non-commercial, experimental, avant-garde, and artist-made moving images, Arielle was able to enhance her knowledge of film archives and preservation. Through these two distinct, yet complementary, internships Arielle was able to develop the skills that will help her become a well-rounded filmmaker.

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Meet Stina-Laura, Our J-1 Intern from Estonia

Did you know that International Arts & Artists hosts J-1 interns at our office in Washington, DC? We know #WhyHostingMatters and were lucky enough to have Stina-Laura Parg, an art history student from Estonia, join us for nine months to learn the ins and outs of arts management! During her program, Stina-Laura interned with IA&A’s Hillyer Art Space, our contemporary exhibition space that shows both local and international artists. She also spent time working alongside the team in IA&A’s Traveling Exhibition Service, where she researched and archived pieces from the Hechinger Collection.

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How Exchanges are Bringing Sustainable Design to Life

While you might not have heard of Senator Gaylord Nelson, chances are you’re familiar with his legacy. Almost fifty years ago, Senator Nelson coordinated the first nationwide day focused on the environment, now known as Earth Day. But did you know that exchange programs are also helping to make our environment a better place? Several of our J-1 exchange visitors have participated in programs that focused on sustainable art and architecture! In honor of Earth Day, we caught up with Caterina and Francesco, two exchange visitors who are changing the way we think about design and the environment.

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Artist Spotlight: Mia Daniels

At International Arts & Artists, we love keeping up with our exchange visitors through the lens of their host organizations! This month’s artist spotlight features Mia Daniels, a J-1 scholar from Canada completing a residency program with the Textile Arts Center (TAC) in Brooklyn, NY. Mia was recently featured on TAC’s blog, where she discussed her creative background, influences, and time at TAC. Keep reading for more on Mia’s J-1 experience and follow her on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her incredible work!

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St. Patrick's Day - Irish Dancers

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

No matter where you are on March 17th, chances are high that you’re close to one of the many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations! Honoring the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is observed in cities across the U.S. and around the world. The holiday has come to mean different things for different groups of people, whether it’s celebrating Irish heritage and identity, welcoming the beginning of the spring season, or just as an excuse to wear green. While new St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are happening every year, the traditions, myths, and meanings behind the holiday go back centuries.

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Emily - Photo courtesy of Emily Whittingham.

Puppet Love: Pulling on NYC’s Heartstrings

An Interview with J-1 Intern Emily Whittingham

Emily Whittingham’s unique internship experience is a fantastic example of the opportunities available through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program! Challenging the stereotypical idea of an internship, Emily used the opportunity to follow her dream of becoming a puppet maker and hone her craft in New York. She landed an apprenticeship with Puppet Kitchen Productions and spent this past winter working alongside some of the best puppet makers in the business.

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Harrison Malone (1a)

Career, Culture, Cuisine, and Always Saying “Yes”

An Interview with J-1 Intern Harrison Malone

By saying “yes” to every opportunity, Harrison Malone is living out the dream of most young professionals! He combined his passions for the creative industry and sports, landing a dream internship with PadillaCRT, a PR agency based in Minneapolis, MN. There, Harrison has struck a balance between working hard at his internship and enjoying everything the city has to offer! After he finished his first internship, Harrison decided to apply for a program extension so that he could continue to grow his communications skillset and further develop his professional network.

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Building Peace Through Art

An Interview with J-1 Scholar Hyppolite Ntigurirwa

Hyppolite Ntigurirwa has a vision for peace. After witnessing the horrors of genocide, he turned to the transformative power of art to help spread his message of peace. He started a theater group at his school in Rwanda as a way to unite students from different ethnic groups. “We witnessed the power of performing arts to bring people together, challenging the status quo and starting the long process of social change,” he said of the experience. Since then, Hyppolite has continued to use theater as a tool for healing, reconciliation, and peacebuilding in post-conflict communities both in Rwanda and abroad.

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Discovering the Film Industry in LA

An Interview with J-1 Alumna Anna Jane Edmonds

For someone looking to gain experience in the entertainment industry, Los Angeles is the place to be! For Anna Jane Edmonds, it was the perfect place to spend eighteen months training with Silver Pictures, a film production company in Santa Monica, CA. “I had the opportunity to be a part of a large American film production company,” Anna Jane told us, “where the experience I gathered has given me the skills to continue my path in the entertainment industry.”

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Dancing Gatsby with Ballet Palm Beach

An Interview with J-1 Trainee Jessica Dandine

Performing with a premier ballet company is every dancer’s dream, a dream that J-1 participant Jessica Dandine is living with Ballet Palm Beach. Jessica began training at the age of six at the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse and later at the Line Jenny NEEL Ballet Dance Center. She danced professionally with the Ballet Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf before joining the company at Ballet Palm Beach in 2015. This season, Jessica will be dancing the role of Daisy Buchanan in Gatsby, artistic director Colleen Smith’s re-imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby.

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