Position Description: Whether detained for further medical examination or held to undergo additional questioning the next day, the Graffiti Columns at Ellis Island represented immigrant hopes and dreams about moving to this country. While forced to stay here overnight, detainees found refuge in these walls in which verbal words cannot describe. Immigrants, often times, expressed their desires to move on to create better lives for this country through pieces of art. The walls spoke of frustration as well as aspirations, once they set foot in the new world.
For immigrants who recently arrived to this country, these emotions still exists today. The idea of community and social resources remain a fundamental part of the daily lives for these residents. Graffiti portraits produced in immigrant neighborhoods today pay homage to people who lost their lives prematurely or to celebrities who serve as community inspirations. In sum, immigrant communities continue to use expressions of art to express their complicated feelings of resettling to a new place. For individuals in detention facilities, the drawings have become an important part of coping and comfort in light of uncertainty.
The goal will be to create an exhibit next to the Graffiti Columns as way to start a conversation on immigrant detention. The Graffiti Columns, prominently displayed on the 3rd Floor at Ellis Island, stands alone - without context, currently a powerful artifact that fails to create connections for visitors to the difficulties of immigration.
The DHA intern will utilize children's drawings in detention facilities as a way to foster a conversation on immigration, past and present. Working with the New York Immigration Coalition and other immigrant justice organizations, the DHA applicant will create an exhibit that explores select children's drawings in modern immigration detention facilities and compare those to the inscriptions that Ellis Island immigrants composed (while held overnight) historically. As immigrant communities continue to use art as a medium of expression, the project will result in a larger conversation on immigration detention.
At the end of the DHA internship, the participant agrees to:
- Complete four-to-six panels that explores the richness of the Ellis Island Graffiti Columns and connects those themes to the artistic expressions that immigrant communities have composed today
- Create a set of on-site (as well as pre-and-post-visit) activities that will supplement the educational component of this project.
- Identify potential partners where immigrant populations reside and engage with them on the conversation.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate their skills and experience through their resume and application and be in pursuit of, have a 4-year degree, or have graduated within the previous 2 years with a degree in history, anthropology, public history, cultural resource management, or relevant field.
Interested candidates should share a passion in developing personally relevant, authentic, inclusive interpretive products that will be of interest and engage with diverse individual communities, and underserved demographics.
- US Citizenship or Permanent Resident
- Intern must be between the ages of 18 and 35
- Intern must be a current student or recent graduate (within two years of internship end date)
- Ability to undergo a federal criminal history check
- Effective oral and written communication skills
- Precise attention to detail
- Self-motivated and ability to work independently
- Efficient and able to effectively manage personal time
- Experience in museum education
- A desire to create programs and products relevant to diverse communities
- Be versed in Adobe Creative Suites or Microsoft Publisher Design software
- Strong familiarity to Common Core Standards
- A strong command of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms
- A fluency in Spanish is highly recommended