An Unexpected Match: Why I Intern at EMP Museum

Article written by Phoebe Zhou, a recent MAAA/MPA graduate with a focus on film at SPEA. Phoebe worked at IU Cinema, Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival when she enrolled at IU. This summer, Phoebe is interning at EMP Museum in Seattle, a leading-edge nonprofit dedicated to presenting contemporary popular culture. You can reach Phoebe at

This is not the first time I visit Seattle. I visited this beautiful city last May with my parents and I was impressed by its breathtaking landscape and artistic atmosphere. According to the Cultural Data Project, Seattle has grown up as the fourth U.S. city with the most arts-related nonprofit organizations, right after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. I told myself at that time that I should work for an art nonprofit here and I did.

View of downtown Seattle

View of downtown Seattle

EMP Museum is one of the landmarks on Seattle’s Arts map. Unlike many traditional museums, EMP is distinguished for presenting the pop culture. As unique as its venue, EMP especially emphasizes audience’s experience. To realize this, it launches many interactive installations in its exhibits. Moreover, EMP’s feature programs such as Sound off! and Youth Advisory Board offer the platforms for the public to practice and present their talent.

With a film production background, I was looking for an art organization that I could also apply my relevant knowledge and skills. As EMP presents themes like Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror, its exhibits unavoidably involve related films and TV series. “An unexpected match!” I thought when I saw its internship program.

So on Tuesday, April 28, I started working at EMP as a Public Programming Intern. The Public Programming department is responsible for planning and executing special events and activities for the public based on current exhibits. We work closely with the Event department, Volunteer department and Facilities department to coordinate resources. My duties include research, outreach, data entry and assisting in on site event production.

Events I assisted in include Star Wars celebration, EMP’s Birthday Party and mainly, Myth & Magic Faire. It is an annual three-day Fantasy event held in July and I will thoroughly talk about it in my next post.

Happy summertime!

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