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2021 Folklife Interns: Welcome Aboard!

The American Folklife Center staff is thrilled to welcome our 2021 Folklife Interns: Camille Acosta and Kennedi Johnson. It was a competitive application pool this year, with over 350 candidates—and extremely difficult to make final selections! They’ve both officially “on-boarded” at this point and are navigating the challenges and opportunities of doing a full-time internship from afar, with Camille working from New Mexico and Kennedi from Indiana. A bit more about each of them follows below, and for background on the paid internships at the AFC, check out this post from back in 2018 when we launched the program.

Portrait photo of young woman

Camille Acosta, one of the 2021 Folkife Interns. Image courtesy of Camille Acosta.

Camille Acosta recently graduated with her MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University (yay!) and notes

Folk studies is so important because it highlights the significance of feelings and experience for us human beings, offering a platform for meaning to be shared and understood. Whether it be terrifying legends like La Llornoa or traditional foodways such as pan dulce, my own Mexican American culture benefits from sharing traditions and stories by giving us the opportunity to communicate.

Asked what she’s hoping to get out of her time with AFC, Camille says:

What I hope to get out of my internship experience with the AFC is to learn more about communities and their intricacies. Both through technology and interpersonal communication, I want to widen my own understanding of the folklore world in general. Considering I’ve only been working within the field “technically” for the past two years, I can’t wait to further my professional growth and learn from the best. My goal is to be immersed in folklore this summer, as well as be immersed in people’s narratives.

Kennedi Johnson is doctoral candidate in the Ethnomusicology Ph.D. program at Indiana University, having just passed her qualifying exams (way to go!). Of her path leading toward this point, she told us:

Before coming to Indiana University to work on my graduate degree, I was a music education major who specialized in elementary music

Portrait photo of young woman.

Kennedi Johnson, one of the 2021 Folklife Interns. Photo courtesy Kennedi Johnson.

education. I was especially interested in the curation of educational spaces that centered anti-racist pedagogies. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue or expand upon this work in graduate school, however, my advisors– Dr. Alisha Jones, Dr, Fernando Orejuela, Dr. Daniel Reed, and Dr. Valerie Grim– have allowed me to craft, develop, and build upon research that thinks about the ways in which (mis)hearings of Black girls as inherently sassy, angry, and/or disrespectful affects their ability to learn (and be heard) in the US school system.

Thinking about what she wants to get out of her internship with us, Kennedi says:

I am excited to get more experience working within the public sector as someone situated between Black studies and ethnomusicology. I have always envisioned that I would eventually work in a museum, archive, or a library. I am looking forward to getting a better idea of what this future can look like for me.

Join all of the AFC staff in welcoming Camille and Kennedi into the fold!

Arkansas: Home to Good Sweet Tea, Southern Hospitality and Amazing Veterans

The following is a guest blog post by Mitch Friesenborg, a summer intern in the office of U.S. Senator John Boozman (AR). He attends Harding University, and is a member of the Arkansas National Guard. In the year 2021, the United States is in relative peace. No teenager today is anxious at the chance they […]

Summer 2021 Paid (Virtual) Internships at the AFC!

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress is happy to open applications for paid summer internships for 2021! In summer 2018, we launched a paid internship opportunity as part of a program established through a generous gift from our late colleague and longtime AFC staff member, Peter Bartis (1949 – 2017). These positions introduce […]

Intern reflection: Claire Denny

This is a guest post by our Fall 2019 volunteer intern, Claire Denny. She is currently in her second term as a Master’s degree student in the Folklore Program at George Mason University. When I received a phone call this past summer from the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center (AFC), I had to compose […]

Summer 2020 paid internships at the AFC!

In summer 2018, the AFC at the Library of Congress launched a paid internship opportunity as part of a program established through a generous gift from the late AFC staff member Peter Bartis (1949 – 2017). These positions introduced interns to the research collections at the AFC and the Library; helped develop critical skills related […]

2019 Summer interns are here!

Here at the AFC we are proud and excited to welcome a new round of summer interns! Two of them are supported through the American Folklife Center Internship Fund, made possible with a generous gift from the late Peter Bartis, while the third comes to us through a program at Utah State University. Our connection […]

Intern reflection: Brittney Meadors

This is a guest blog post from Spring 2019 intern Brittney Meadors working at the American Folklife Center. Brittney is a first year graduate student at Howard University pursuing a Masters degree in Classical Voice and certification in International Affairs. Her internship was initiated by Dr. Carla Hayden (Librarian of Congress) and Dr. Wayne A. […]