As my first year in the Bolz Center for Arts Administration came to a close, I was facing the exciting undertaking of interning at the Smithsonian Institution, the biggest cultural and research institution in the world. For the last five weeks, I have been working at the Smithsonian Latino Center, one of the nineteen units of the Institution.
Originally from Spain, I was generally unaware of the history of Latinos in the U.S. The U.S. Latino community is a tapestry of vast cultures and rich histories, each born of a unique past. In fact, the history of Latinos in the United States began long before the founding of the nation. Today, Latinos are the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the country, totaling nearly 60 million people. Latinos are leaders in every sector of American society and have essential stories to tell about the American experience of cultural traditions, recent immigrations, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
As part of the great familia (family) of the Latino Center, I am able to participate in the efforts of the Smithsonian to open the Molina Family Latino Gallery in 2021. This gallery will be the first national space dedicated solely to Latino history and culture. The space will be a center for dialogue and discovery, a place to understand Latino experiences as part of the fabric of the country.
My work is primarily focusing on advancement services. That is, supporting the work of the gift officers by providing a portfolio of data analytics tools. The reports I have designed comprise a series of strategies around improving donor retention, analyzing lifetime value, and reducing the cost of fundraising. I cannot mention enough how key my first year in the Bolz Center has been at acquiring the knowledge necessary to be successful at my internship. During the first year of the MBA, I became interested in the growing field of data analytics, and especially how to apply business centered metrics in not for profit organizations.
I hope that at the end of my work at the Smithsonian Latino Center, I leave with the sense that I have helped the organization in a meaningful way through its remaining two years of the Latino Gallery capital campaign.