Creating Professional Opporunities for Youth in the Arts

This is a blog re-posted from MOCA’s official blog, a cultural institute of UNF.
Written by: Nan Kavanaugh, MOCA’s Director of Marketing & Communications

This summer, MOCA Jacksonville welcomed four interns from the Mayor’s Youth at Work Partnership through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. The program is designed to raise awareness with young adults about professional opportunities in our region and present opportunities for skill development in their chosen career paths. We asked our interns to share a bit about themselves and their experience at MOCA this summer.


Focused on building social media strategies to promote the Museum’s education initiatives.  The interns worked with the communications team to study the Museum brand guidelines and hone their photography and graphic design skills. They learned how to build content that communicates to specific demographics, and then applied that knowledge to their own creative concepts celebrating MOCA Jacksonville’s mission and programming.

2018 Intern Chantiel McKiever

Chantiel McKeiver, Age 19, Jacksonville University, Sophomore

What have you learned from your internship at MOCA?

That the best work comes from taking your time and being calculated about your work instead of spontaneous.

Why is MOCA a great resource for students? 

It’s great for earning a living in a field that interests you, but it also is just a fresh cool place to hang out. When I go back to JU in the fall, I’d love to bring my friends with me to the museum. It’s just so aesthetically pleasing and youthful.

2018 Intern Donvan Washington

Donovan Washington, Age 16, Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, Junior

Why did you apply to be a part of the Mayor’s Youth at Work Partnership program?

I happily applied to be a part of the Youth Summer Program in hopes of strengthening my skills as a up-and-coming graphic designer and photographer, two hobbies that I love to do in my spare time. Also, since I never had an actual job outside of volunteering, I thought this would be a good opportunity to get experience in a work setting, especially the kind of work atmosphere that I would be working in as a part of a communications team.

What have you learned from your internship at MOCA?

During my MOCA internship, I’ve learned how to take and use constructive criticism to enhance my skills both as a graphic designer and photographer.


The curatorial intern worked closely the curatorial team managing the Museum’s Permanent Collection. Their duties included managing physical and computerized records for the Permanent Collection and researching artists in the collection. They also contributed to exhibition projects and assisted in collection inventory, photography, and digitizing of works in the Permanent Collection.

2018 Intern Hannah Gray

Hannah Gray, Age 17 Atlantic Coast High School 2018 Graduate

What have you learned from your internship at MOCA?

I’ve learned how digital filing works and how art museums keep track of all their artwork that dates all the way back to the 50’s.

Why is MOCA a great resource for students? 

I think the MOCA is a great resource for students who are deeply invested in art and have a genuine curiosity of the history and modernization of art, as well as a need for great inspiration.


The NOLA MOCA intern worked closely with the restaurant team to learn the inner workings of an upscale eatery. The intern worked in the kitchen and learned about proper food handling, basic food preparation and the proper use of kitchen equipment, as well as inventory organization and ordering. This experience allowed for the intern to develop skills to necessary for success in the industry while providing an understanding of the relationship food and beverage has to a nonprofit institution.

2018 Intern Jaikiah Stephens

Jakaiah Stephens, Age 16, Terry Parker High School, Junior

Why did you apply to be a part of the Mayor’s Youth at Work Partnership program

I applied with the Mayor’s Youth at Work program to kick start my life as a working individual.

Why is MOCA a great resource for students? 

MOCA is a great resource for students as an internship because it teaches you important skills you will need in the professional field. Being an intern has taught me patience, professional appearance, and how to interact with people in a professional manner.

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