Jeanne Haggard is pursuing her doctoral degree in Fine Arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She began her Mission Viejo internship on September 4 and will work 25 hours a week with Cultural Services Supervisor Dru Maurer through next June.
Texas Tech’s unique program gives doctoral students the opportunity to meet the requirements for a dissertation through different areas including internship-focused research. Jeanne has bachelor degrees in English and theatre and an MFA in creative writing, playwriting. One of her goals is to also serve in the Peace Corps or a similar organization when finished with her degree.
“One of the reasons I chose to intern with the City of Mission Viejo was because I was able to tailor the internship to fit my academic needs,” Jeanne said. “I was also intrigued with the idea of interning with a city that had a Cultural Services department. In my experience, that is rare. Since I plan to work in the nonprofit arts world when I complete my degree, I felt working with a local government entity would give me an experience I couldn’t have elsewhere. I’m hoping to gain insight into how local government can support and nurture the arts in their communities. So far I’ve been very impressed with the city’s cultural arts programs …”
With Dru, who is known by many throughout Mission Viejo, Jeanne will assist with gallery installations; help with scout and home school tours of the Heritage House Museum and curriculum projects for families that visit; attend Cultural Arts and Heritage Committee meetings; research local museums and traveling exhibits, help collect data and write text panels for 50 community art projects; and work during cultural arts weekend events – such as the Readers’ Festival on October 14.
“In Mission Viejo, there appears to be a wide variety of events and activities for everyone to enjoy and participate in,” Jeanne said. “I’m really impressed with all of the public arts projects that have been undertaken in the city. Texas Tech has one of the best public art programs among universities in the country, so it’s really nice to be someplace where public art is celebrated and incorporated into daily life.”
Dru said she will benefit from Jeanne being here, too.
“I am looking forward to learning from her arts expertise so we can experience mutual growth for our fine arts programs,” she said.