My name is Talia Siegler. I am a senior in the Advertising Department at Temple University studying Brand Strategy and Research, with a passion for the arts!
This summer, I interned at The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (MAP)! MAP is a nonprofit organization that organizes all of the murals we see throughout Philadelphia everyday. Specifically, I worked in the Communications Department under the director of the Public Programs and Events Manager, Nicole McDonald. This was definitely one of the most interesting and inspiring experiences I have had thus far in my education and I have gained so much knowledge about both MAP in general, and also myself and where my personal career goals lie.
MAP not only organizes all of the murals throughout Philadelphia, but it also has programs that deal with mental health, restorative justice, and art education for the city’s youth. This is an organization that reaches into all parts of Philadelphia and infuses art and inspiration every step along the way.
It took me quite some time to learn how the MAP office works, but after some time I learned that MAP is like a big family of inspired people working together to bringFounder and Executive Director, Jane Golden’s message of “art ignites change” to as many people as possible. There are many different departments at MAP including finance, communications, public relations, and special projects.
I had the pleasure of working within the Communications Department. I got to sit in on their weekly meetings and listen to the Public Programs and Events Manager, Communications Manager, Social Media and Marketing Manager, Director of Communications and Brand Management, and Staff Photographer discuss updates on all goings on at MAP and all of its many projects. This was probably my favorite part of this internship, as I really got a clear idea of what a Communications Department could look like. During these meetings, I started to get a definite feeling that this type of work could fit me very well, and bring a lot of meaning to my life.
In addition to sitting in on various meetings, the bulk of the work I did was related to events, specifically, Mural Dedications. Whenever a mural is completed in Philadelphia, MAP leads an event presenting the mural to the City and honoring all of those that helped with its construction. I was involved in the preparation process of these dedications as well as ensuring the events ran smoothly, and assisting with breakdown of these events. In addition, I was involved with creating spreadsheets of all volunteers who we would call to help with various events and dedications as well as lists of partner organizations to contact and brainstorming ideas for strengthening social media.
Throughout my time at MAP, I met countless inspiring individuals. First off, my supervisor Nicole McDonald. She works so hard everyday to curate exciting events and I learned so much from her about how to communicate with people and problem solve.
Of course, I can’t finish this blog post, without saying something about the ever energetic and inspiring creator of MAP–Jane Golden. This woman has taught me that you should never take “no” as an answer. If you are passionate about something, if you have something to share with the world to make it a better and more beautiful place, then you will not let anyone stop you. That is exactly what Jane did when she founded MAP after working with the “anti-graffiti” network for the City. She turned a frustrating and negative situation into something beautiful and positive, and now, instead of pushing street artist away and labeling them with a stigma, Jane has inspired the City of Philadelphia to hire these creative people to beautify our wonderful city.
Than you, to Jane Golden, Nicole McDonald, and everyone at MAP, who has made my internship experience an incredible and unforgettable one. I look forward to continuing my involvement at MAP and spreading its messages as far as I can.