Eiteljorg Insider: An Experience like No Other
By: Sara Spieth, Eiteljorg Marketing and Communications Intern
Summers at the Eiteljorg are usually filled with the fun and excitement of the Indian Market and Festival, the beautiful music along the Downtown Canal during the Summer Under the Sails Concert series, and so much more. However, a worldwide pandemic changed all of that, forcing the museum to go from in-person events to a completely digital forum. In fact, when I began my internship, the museum was not even open to the public. Although the museum was in a temporary closure, the marketing and communications department was busier than ever, creating a unique, educational internship unlike any other.
While studying communications at Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada has given me a wealth of theoretical knowledge of the field, I wanted an internship to give me practical experience, and I was incredibly lucky to find that here at the Eiteljorg. The marketing and communications department had to quickly pivot at the start of my internship when it became clear that it would be entirely work-from-home. The determined staff did an extraordinary job ensuring that they provided the training and learning opportunities of a traditional internship experience. We moved from in-person orientations to online meetings with members of the different departments to learn how the museum operates. Since we were not in the office, every week each member of the marketing department would spend a day training us.
As the museum had to become entirely virtual during the temporary closure, I was able to contribute to the “Eiteljorg At Home” content to help keep visitors connected with the museum and entertained during quarantine. I have also been able to revamp the museum’s Instagram stories, helping to streamline them and offer the latest updates to guests during these radically changing times. Moreover, I have been able to work on events that have gone entirely virtual during the pandemic such as Juneteenth. One of my biggest projects has been helping bring to life the major art show and sale at the museum, Quest for the West®, which will have a completely virtual format this year. This included creating a brand new, content robust e-newsletter for the event and updating the website.
During this international health crisis, I have been very blessed to have such an enriching experience with the Eiteljorg’s marketing and communications department. They have done everything in their power to help me make the most of this internship experience, and I have learned so much from this that I can use not only in future jobs but also in life. Watching the Eitlejorg staff keep the museum afloat during these unprecedented times has been really inspiring. I am incredibly thankful I have had the opportunity to work with such talented, hard-working individuals. This has really been a wonderful internship experience like no other.