Strengthening our signature program, Gallery House
Evaluation and planning: the focus of Spring Semester 2017
In 2014, DGT Alumni Association formed DGT Foundation to carry out charitable activities consistent with the DGT Alumni Association's mission and vision. The mission of DGT Foundation is to promote creativity and artistic flourishing through a variety of educational and charitable activities; to foster leadership and professional development among students and professionals in creative fields; and to conduct and fund a variety of educational and charitable activities that benefit neighboring communities in the New York City region. DGT Alumni Association members volunteer with the DGT Foundation and provide financial support for the program as do a broader set of donors who are not members.
Gallery House Internship Program is the signature and only program of DGT Foundation. Annually, at the beginning of fall and spring semesters, students apply to serve as interns who participate in a semester-long real-life learning experience in curating, promoting, fundraising, and managing a fine arts or design exhibit to benefit a local non-profit organization of their choice. Social needs and Issues addressed by beneficiary organizations have included LGBT immigration into the US, victims of acid attacks, and art instruction for school-age children. Between three and four students participate each semester in the Gallery House Internship Program and receive three credits towards graduation in their course of study at Pratt Institute. Gallery House Internship Program uses a private gallery space within the DGT Alumni Association’s residence at 272 Clinton Avenue.
In early 2017, after three initial and successful semesters, fall 2015, spring 2016, and fall 2016, the program was paused for the spring 2017 semester to evaluate for ways to improve the program and better target marketing and outreach to attract relatively more undergraduate students. The program was envisioned in 2014 as a peer-led volunteer coaching effort in which program graduates coached and supervised subsequent groups of interns engaged in producing an exhibit. Thus a corps of former interns, still enrolled at Pratt for one or more years after their internship, would provide the volunteer peer-led leadership for program continuity. Coaches now receive a small, per session stipend as an incentive and in appreciation for their volunteer efforts.
During spring 2017, seven of the eight interns from the previous three semesters all participated in the work of evaluation and program improvement for Gallery House. The group met to identify evaluation and planning tasks, and to agree on when and how the tasks would be performed. They assigned responsibilities for carrying the tasks out and tracked their completion. A week by week, ten-week coaching guide was developed and written so that there would be consistency from semester-to-semester in implementing the program while also providing for continuous quality improvement. The program's on-campus marketing approach was revised and the web-site content related to the program was improved. The team also collected sample forms and documented strategies that had been developed during the previous three semesters, and assembled them into a digital library for use and reference by future interns. Out of the process, two volunteers, Asa Camnert and Aika Mukhambetova emerged to serve as Lead Coaches for Gallery House Internship Program Fall 2017 and beyond.
Effective outreach to undergraduate students
A 2017 achievement was the implementation of quality improvements identified in in the spring
DGT Foundation's Gallery House Internship Program coordinates its on campus recruitment of applicants with the Pratt Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and Pratt Institute's Office of Student Affairs. The internship opportunity is posted digitally through Pratt PRO, the go-to-resource for students and alumni seeking employment. Students apply through the DGT website, and International students studying at Pratt and accepted into Gallery House are further assisted by CCPD to comply with special requirements that apply to them. All students accepted into the Gallery House Program are assisted by CCPD to register to receive credit for their internship, and this support is performed in an efficient and timely manner. Through the Office of Student Affairs, the internship opportunity is posted on campus video screens and flyers about the program are distributed throughout campus. Pratt faculty participate in the program as exhibiting artists, and also provide information about the internship opportunity to students. Outreach to faculty is performed in coordination with Pratt Institute's Department Chairs who thus also help maintain and increase awareness about the program. As a result of quality improvement, the opportunity is now described in marketing materials as an internship program rather than a fellowship. Academic credit is offered to participants rather than a $3,000 shared fellowship grant, the practice for the first three semesters of the program. These strategies and changes resulted in achievement of the goal of recruiting and engaging undergraduate students, for the first time in more than a year. Previously, only once, in the fall of 2015, were undergraduate students engaged in the program; the re-calibration in spring 2017 worked!
Gallery House Internship Program was the sole program of DGT Foundation in 2017. Donations totaling $7,043 to DGT Foundation included a $5,750 gift from DGT Alumni Association, and additional individual support of $1,292 from donors, primarily DGT Alumni Association members. This is more fully detailed in DGT Foundation's Statement of Activity for 2017. Additional information is also posted in the form of DGT Foundation's IRS tax return for 2017.
DGT Foundation's expenditures totaled $7,661.58 in 2017. Major expenses included $5,233.31 in fellowship grants to students offered by Gallery House and disbursed in 2017. A total of $1,525 in business expenses included $1,000 in incentive stipends for volunteer coaching provided to students through Gallery House Internship Program. For further details see DGT Foundation's Statement of Activity for 2017. Also Available for review is DGT Foundation's 2017 IRS tax return.
Fall 2017's Exhibit produced by Gallery House Interns
Photo credits: Ike Cheung, Pratt Visiting Instructor and Lecturer, and a DGT Alumni Association Member.
Individual Donors: Lance Bottari, Manuel Castedo, John Comiskey, Paul Fletcher, Gil Gerald, Ken Haber, Alan Hansen, Kenneth Hebel, MIchael Madia, Anne Marie Michael, Fr. Michael Perry, Jakub Skoda, Greg Rajczewski, and Thomas Wong. Corporate Contributors and Sponsors: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Material for the Arts Program, Pratt Institute Center for Career and Professional Development, and Pratt Institute Office of Student Affairs. Collaborating Partner/Beneficiary Organization: Children's Arts Guild. Fall 2017 Interns: Laura Arike, Adam Colello, and Rddhima Goylan. Exhibiting Artists: Tess Adams, Panyagal Charm, Xuan Chen, Carola Dixon, Nina Kou, Mark LaRiviere, Xander Maclaren, Michael Lee, Anna Marcelo, Christopher Smith, Anna Williams, Jingwen Zhu Volunteers: Asa Camnert, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Gil Gerald, Aika Mukhambetova, August Ou, Maria Camila Pava, Eric St. James-Lopez, Rudolph Strelis, Alexa Telano, Ariane Williams, and Tom Wong.