In under a year, Lindsey Horowitz ’12 went from busy intern at a small arts nonprofit to steadfast board member who helped lead the organization after it lost its director and several board members.
In the spring of 2011, Horowitz received a $4,000 stipend from Community Matters in Maine, a McKeen Center summer fellowship program, to work for Five Rivers Arts Alliance for 10 weeks. Five Rivers Arts is a Brunswick-based nonprofit that organizes Friday night ArtWalk in Brunswick and Bath, as well as other arts-based community events.
A French and English double major, Horowitz also minored in visual arts, and says she took the internship to gain experience for a possible career in the arts or arts administration.
Last summer, Horowitz helped Five Rivers Arts with its publicity and programming, bolstered membership by connecting with local artists, helped build a new statewide website for ArtWalks across the state, and wrote grants — doing basically “everything under the sun,” she says. She worked alongside Five Rivers Arts’ only paid staff member, its director.
Donna Parkinson, a volunteer and former board member of Five Rivers Arts describes Horowitz as very “self-motivated” and assumed multiple jobs within the organization. Parkinson also praised Horowitz for meeting artists in their studios to take photographs of their work to promote their art at upcoming ArtWalks. “For a big part of the summer, she was the face of Five Rivers,” Parkinson says.
At the end of the summer, the board asked Horowitz to join them. Soon after, the director stepped down, followed by several board members.
Over the past year, while Horowitz captained cross-country team and ran track, worked as a McKeen Fellow, and volunteered as a student mentor at a local public school, she attended monthly board meetings in Brunswick. As board members came and went, she provided much-needed continuity and institutional knowledge. Over time, Horowitz became the longest-serving board member. “She brought a lot of the knowledge of the organization, which the board needed to know,” Parkinson says.
The past few months have been especially important for Five Rivers Arts as the board had to carve out a new path for the organization. Horowitz and other members came up with a new strategic plan for Five Rivers Arts, deciding that instead of hiring a new director, the organization would be best run by volunteers. Horowitz says this way, there’s broader oversight, and people with different skills can be matched with the task that best suits them, such as writing grants or organizing downtown art events. She says she’s confident that the engagement and passion of the people committed to Five Rivers Arts and to fostering the arts in the community will ensure that the organization remains strong.
Horowitz says her experience with Five Rivers Arts gave her a range of skills, from learning membership-management software to thinking through different options to ensure an organization’s well being. She says she has been “truly inspired both by the mission of [Five Rivers Arts] and by those committed to supporting the organization. These two together enable our vibrant, cultural community to thrive.”
This summer, Horowitz will intern at Boston Ballet, working in administration and community relations, before heading to France to work to be a teacher’s assistant at the Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand.