Rachel Arreola, senior theatre arts major at The University of Texas at El Paso, will be an intern at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., during the 2018 spring semester.
Arreola will work with the Turnaround Arts program, which uses arts education as a tool in school reform for the nation’s most underserved public schools. Studies have shown that exposure to the arts improves student attendance and academic performance, and develops confidence, creativity and critical thinking.
“I feel honored and happy knowing that I am going to be a part of a team that positively changes communities around the United States,” the El Paso native said. “This internship will allow me to expand my research and analytical skills that pertain to how the arts impact lives.”
Arreola will help with high-profile school event planning, school demographic research, and website and media maintenance. Among her projects will be to help organize the annual Turnaround Arts Talent Show that teams celebrity artists with students they sponsor around the country.
She said the leadership, advocacy, organization and communication skills developed during this internship will enhance her marketability in the theater industry.
The internship is part of an Archer Fellowship, a program established by The University of Texas System and former U.S. Rep. Bill Archer to bring highly motivated and accomplished students to Washington, D.C., for a comprehensive academic and professional experience.
Along with her full-time internship, the El Paso native will take courses in politics, advocacy and the policy-making process. She said this experience will allow her to see how politics influences the arts.
Arreola, who graduates in May 2018, said UTEP has made her a well-rounded individual. She has taken two study abroad trips, been a student employee, and participated in student organization activities.
Upon graduation, Arreola will apply to film schools and graduate programs in production or arts management. Her professional plans are to become a director and producer in the film and theater industries.