UVA Career IDEAs Externship Program: New City Arts

Career Administrator

Over this January externship at New City Arts Initiative in Charlottesville, Virginia, I had the opportunity to learn more about how a non-profit arts organization is run.  New City Arts Initiative is an amazing organization that links together art and community in ways I did not know possible.  From Housing2Home, Artists in Residence, to New City Arts and Crafts, their programs assist all ranges of the Charlottesville community.  Even more incredible is how only two people, Maureen Brondyke and Lindsey Leahy, staff this important organization.  They are two powerhouse women I am so lucky to have worked with, even if it was only briefly.  I found this organization to be a perfect overlap between my interests in the art world, as well as my interests in engaging with communities.  My major is Anthropology, so I have always found cultures to be very intriguing, and I especially enjoy the overlap between art, culture, and community.

While there, I worked most closely with my externship host, the astounding Lindsey Leahy.  As the Program Manager, given the extensive amount of programming they do, Leahy is a very busy woman.  Her expertise spans from setting up an art gallery to working with people of diverse backgrounds.  I learned so much from her, including how to spackle a wall, the creative process that goes into designing a gallery wall, and how to set up an eclectic array of art to make a visually appealing space.  I have always been really interested in art, and I plan to pursue a career in the art realm, so being able to help design a gallery for an art opening was invaluable to me.  It was the first time that I had a say in how art would be displayed to the public, and I discovered that it is something I really love.  What I find truly remarkable about New City Arts Initiative is how they find ways to give back, educate, and foster community in a way that shows just how integral art is to Charlottesville.  In my future endeavors in the arts, I hope to take the important values that New City Arts Initiative so strongly upholds in regards to community engagement and art and apply those values to wherever my career takes me.


The Career IDEAs Externship Program aims to connect students with meaningful externship opportunities in J-Term and during the Summer months. Students apply to the program via Handshake and get selected by an externship site that will help them explore the industry of their choice. The program is open to all students, but priority will be given to those who have not had an externship or internship experience. The following groups are especially encouraged to apply: 2nd and 3rd years who are first-generation college students and part of under-represented populations.  Learn more about the program.  Applications Open In March for Summer 2018! This program is made possible due to partnership with the UVA IDEA Fund.  Learn more about the IDEA Fund here.