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Meet our L.A. County Arts Commission 2017 Summer Intern

Name: Matthew Makkai

Age: 21

Hometown: Palm Desert, CA

School: California Institute of the Arts

Self-description: artist, musician, creative, curious

Internship Position: Communications and Development

What: As the Communications and Development Intern at LAMusArt I learned a lot about the ins and outs of how a successful arts education non-profit functions. I worked primarily on LAMusArt’ summer musical theatre program Camp MusArt, which this  year served a mix of 60 students between the ages of 6 to 15, and provided administrative support to the Communications and Development departments. 

Through grant writing, fulfilling Front Office tasks, and working with the Camp MusArt students, I gained a better understanding of the many job possibilities within the arts that go beyond the performance aspect. Although this was not my first time working with kids, I realized that arts education may be a potential career opportunity for me. I can safely say that this summer was the most fulfilling experience I have had during my 8 years of arts involvement.

A typical day at LAMusArt: On a typical day at LAMusArt I may find myself working on a Letter of Intent for a grant proposal, leading a music lesson that includes building paper plate maracas with the Musies (our affectionate name for our younger students), designing costumes for our summer production of Disney’s The Lion King Jr., or doing arts advocacy research. This varied schedule allowed me to strengthen my skill sets in an effective way.

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Matthew and Musies

Favorite memory: My favorite memory from Camp MusArt was the day I built paper plate maracas with the Musies during their music class. It was so amazing to witness how creative such young children can be. Their curiosity and willingness to learn inspires me to become a better artist.

My career goals: After college, I see myself becoming an audio engineer while continuing my artistic pursuits (i.e. songwriting and performing) and involvement in arts education. Eventually, I hope to create an artistic space for all ages that focuses on performance, collaboration, and arts education. With my music and art background, I hope to heal the wounds that people carry with them, evoke feelings of compassion and empathy, and create a bond between myself and my audience.

Advice to future interns: Try your best not to take this internship for granted as LAMusArt is a necessary presence in the East Los Angeles community. Organizations such as this instill confidence, promote creativity, and strengthen children overall. I’m still in shock that I had the opportunity to get involved with such a noble cause and am so grateful to have been a part of it.

P.S. Never underestimate the power of a child’s energy level (you’ll know what I mean)

My overall experience at LAMusArt: After this internship, I believe I have the foundation necessary to build a fulfilling and impactful career in the arts. What I loved most about LAMusArt was the daily spontaneity of tasks assigned to me (which kept me on my toes) and the close relationship that LAMusArt has with the surrounding community (which gave me a sense of fulfillment and purpose). I truly feel honored to have had the opportunity to be involved with such an important organization. This internship, as a result, has boosted my confidence in my own career path and has helped me realize exactly what I want to do after college.


LAMusArt Camp Staff


CAMP LAMusArt 2017

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission Internship Program was established in 2000 by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to provide internships for nonprofit performing, presenting, and literary and municipal arts organizations. The Internship Program provides undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience working in nonprofit arts organizations, while assisting arts organizations and developing future arts leaders. 

For more information please visit


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