ciee - council on international educational exchange

Professional Internship Program

BAFF News Blog

Learn more about the organization and past events.


PIP Elina Cire promoting contemporary American culture

Elina Cire, Latvian PIP, blended both the professional and cultural expectation of her J-1 experience into one picture-perfect internship.  With an undergrad in Intercultural Competence, and a Master's in Arts Management and Marketing from the Latvian Academy of Culture, Elina landed a gratifying placement with FringeArts in Philly. Her interning role served to assist this company's Programming Department in meeting the individual and logistical needs of presented and independent artists, as well as provide administrative support to the Development team as they worked across departments to develop resources for all aspects of the organization. Working collaboratively, the team at FringeArts created engagement opportunities for audiences and supporters of FringeArts, and researched and raised contributed income from foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. In addition, Elina assisted the marketing department with implementing the individual marketing plans for each show, as well as its overall organization branding and identity, promotional campaigns, PR materials, and print and web materials. With this internship, Elina has drawn on a plethora of skills and techniques such as public relations, community outreach, audience research, data base experience, development and fundraising, grant writing, hospitality and customer service, knowledge of how to read riders and apply for visas for international artists.

Elina's internship was closely supervised by Sophia Barrett, FringeArts's Development Coordinator and Office Manager, who carries several years of experience in the theater and arts world. Beyond the countless hours that Ms. Barrett dedicated towards Elina's mentorship, she also provided our BAFF intern with a series of internship perks, including complimentary tickets to all FringeArts shows, a FringeAxis membership to our young friends group, a FringeArts annual membership, Intern seminars to learn about staff and their positions, Intern outings and socials to different cultural organizations in the city, restaurants, as well as a baseball game at the Philles stadium. Elina also traveled to attend other prominent culture festivals, including the FuseBox Festival, Big Ear, and Under the Radar. 

Elina didn't forget to leave her own footprint in Philly: through her promotion of the arts. "Half of my time at FringeArts I worked doing outreach - contacting very diverse communities in Philadelphia who had no idea FringeArts existed. I handed out both invitations and discount tickets and helped to increase the number of first-time audience as well as to involve the local communities in the creative activities." Her greatest influence during her internship was Jarrod Markman, her colleague and closest collaborator. "His working ethics and the level of involvement will be a huge inspiration for my future work," she says.

Now back at home, Elina's immediate plans are to do movie translations for Baltic Sea Docs and RIGA IFF, as well as a book translation for Zvaigzne ABC.  Her advice to future Fellows: "Explore as much as you possibly can, being a BAFF fellow is a unique opportunity to experience US at it's best. Be curious, proactive, willing to work hard, and definitely visit at least one National park!"

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