Summer Centered: VCAM Veteran Emily Dombrovskya ’19 Plays a New Part
History of art major and recipient of multiple Hurford Center-sponsored internships Emily Dombrovskya ’19 is spending the summer working behind the scenes as the Hurford Center summer assistant.
The art world is huge, strange, and complicated, and it takes a lot of unsung heroes working behind the scenes to keep it functioning. History of art major Emily Dombrovskya ’19 is getting an inside peek at what it means to play such a pivotal supporting role.
“I’m the summer assistant at the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities (HCAH) on campus,” they said. (Dombrovskya uses the gender-neutral pronouns they, them, and theirs.) “I’m working on gathering data about HCAH programs from the past year, managing the Center's digital media, and doing a massive office reorganizing project with Noemí [Fernandez, program manager for the Hurford Center].”
This is not Dombrovskya’s first contact with the Hurford Center. As someone with a passion for not only art but also the communities it engenders, they have frequented VCAM and made consistent usage of the channels between the Hurford Center and other organizations that support the arts.
“The Hurford Center supported me in exploring related fields every summer during college, helping me find internships at a theater-presenting organization, a small art museum, and a folk music archive and museum,” said the museum studies minor. “They’re really great at drawing the connections between summer experiences and academic interests.”
For Dombrovskya, this summer marks a transitional moment: after taking advantage of so many of the opportunities offered by the Hurford Center, they are digging into the administrative side of things and getting a taste of what it means to work in-house fostering artistic communities on a day-to-day basis. The summer is a particularly interesting time for this work, since during these months the Center departs from its academic year patterns and refocuses on more long-term projects.
“Being here in the summer is excellent because there’s finally time to devote to projects which get overlooked during the year with the busy schedule of four-to-five public events a week,” said Dombrovskya. “Right now we’re trying to create a more organized HCAH photo archive, thinking about ways to better support student engagement with local arts organizations during the academic year, and working on some collaborations with the Center for Career and Professional Advising around providing more support for students pursuing careers in the humanities.”
This new role for Dombrovskya is a step towards a possible future working in these types of organizations. It’s the jovial, open-minded atmosphere fostered by VCAM that sustains them, and working there has helped them understand what settings they should seek for future employment.
“I love the idea of working with art in a co-curricular environment,” they said. “I love to learn from my environment, maybe more so than working on a focused research project.”
Through this work, Dombrovskya has come to understand what it means to do the work they imagine themselves doing, and they’ve developed the skills to boot: “I’m learning a lot about the arts administration tasks that most jobs I'm looking at require, so it’s been a great fit as a launching pad into the professional world.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.