A rising fifth-year at the University of Cincinnati, Carlo is pursuing a double major in Violin Performance and International Affairs. This summer, he is interning at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
What major projects are you working on in your internship? What responsibilities are you most excited about and why?
As a curatorial research intern at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, most of my work comes from the curators. This summer we have two large programs, Ae Kai, a culture lab in Hawai’I, and we have the Asian American Literature Festival here in DC. While I worked a bit on Ae Kai, most of my work is for the Asian American Literature Festival. I’ve been in charge of coordinating logistics and gathering information from the writers, poets, and scholars, and am the lead on a few activities at the Festival. I’m excited to be using my writing skills this summer and to connect with the artists. Additionally, I’m really excited to be working the event; there’s something about the energy and running around for large events that I find really invigorating.
When did you realize you wanted to explore public service?
While I always had a slight inclination towards public service, I had a more firm interest after I had started college. Coming from a suburb of Richmond, VA, in an area with little AANHPI representation, and coming to college and getting involved in Asian American student organizing, I found a strong passion for serving the community, particularly my community of AAPIs.
What are your plans/ goals after this internship? Are there any goals you want to accomplish this summer?
As of now(keep in mind this will probably change a lot) I plan on entering graduate school either in Asian American Studies or Art History, with the goal ultimately to be a performing musician or Asian American Art curator/arts programming. I’m really interested in connecting more with the art community and finding overlaps between the AAPI and Arts communities, but also explicitly the overlaps between advocacy/activism and art. During this summer, I would like to talk to a number of people in the field and figure out where I fit in, and gain a better understanding of what to pursue in graduate school. I’d also love to perform at least once or twice while I’m here.
What are you looking forward to in DC / where your internship is located?
I recently attended the opening of Trace: Ai Weiwei at Hirshhorn which was really exciting; and I’m also looking forward to visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture,
What do you do for fun?
I really enjoy singing/songwriting/violin/making music, photography, cooking, going out, hiking, and art.
What has been the most interesting/ meaningful thing you’ve learned from CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program so far? Why?
So far the most meaningful thing I’ve learned from CAPAL is the importance of establishing and maintaining relationships with others. As an organization that functions primarily through a board and occasionally alumni, CAPAL has really shown me the value of strategically, yet authentically utilizing networks and connections.
Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Posted by Nattacha Munakata
Nattacha Munakata is currently a rising sophomore at George Mason University, studying Community Health with a concentration in Clinical Science (Pre-med). On campus, she is Peer Health Advisor, working to raise awareness and educate students on health issues. She is also involved in TEDxGMU and Thai Student Association. Outside, she likes to volunteer for local organizations and events, such as the DC Sakura matsuri and her local FIRST robotics team. During her free time, she likes to watch Netflix dramas and explore new music.