National Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15th – October 15th here in the United States. This year the National Endowment for the Arts hosted a Hispanic heritage month film screening for the staff. The film was Latin Music USA and it discussed the impact Latin music has had in America from jazz to rock; influencing many artist from Dizzy Gillespie to the artists listening to Santana at Woodstock. It was a remarkable film and I remember thinking how great it was that the NEA was showing this film for staff during work hours.

Since mid September of this year I have been interning at the National Endowment for the Arts in the performing arts division. My internship thus far has been very rewarding. In the past month I’ve been working with staff to help prepare for the NEA Opera Honors, the arts council meeting, and upcoming panels. With that being said my post today is not about my internship experience. Instead it is about the internal marketing at the NEA.

During class this semester we talked about the importance of internal marketing for an organization. All staff on all levels should understand the mission of the organization and have a clear sense of what they are doing for the community and why. So far in my experience at the NEA, they have a successful internal marketing strategy.

The showing of the film Latin Music USA for staff during work is an example of good internal marketing. By encouraging staff to take time off work and view a film it shows that the emphasis should be on the art. The NEA funds arts related projects and by taking time to appreciate art, in this case music it helps reinforce why the staff works so hard. They work so that great art is available to the community. By keeping the art at the forefront the NEA is showing staff where their priorities should be. Also, by showing the film during work they encourage the staff to take a break and enjoy the art they work so hard to fund.

As an arts management student and emerging arts leader I have found my time at the NEA to be a great learning experience. I hope in the future wherever I work that emphasis is always on the mission of the organization and that steps are taken for every staff member to understand that mission. When all staff and volunteers understand the mission they have a purpose and can relate better to their audience. What do you as emerging arts leaders hope your future job environment will be like? What is your experience now?

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