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Celebrating Meow Wolf’s Summer Interns
Meow Wolf launched its second Summer Internship, this time across all Exhibition locations
BY
Noor-un-nisa Touchon
September 12, 2022

“Does Meow Wolf have internships?” This is one of the most common queries Meow Wolf receives from the community. The answer is a bold and bright: YES. As the world’s only themed entertainment company that is a Certified B-Corp, our creative environment provides unique opportunities for internships that serve as potential career paths for the amazing talent in our local communities.

The goals of our internship program are to provide one-of-a-kind professional arts development, inspire the next generation of local creatives with hands-on experience, and increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization.

And it’s growing year by year. In the summer of 2021, we completed two pilot internship programs in Denver and Santa Fe. This summer, we hosted our second internship program across all of our Meow Wolf locations: Santa Fe, Denver, and Las Vegas, simultaneously over the course of 10 weeks. Seventeen interns worked across all of our locations and were paid Meow Wolf's minimum wage of $18/hr (we believe interns should be paid!!). We also provided programming that offered professional development coaching, and ensured everyone had an understanding of how each role at Meow Wolf functions within various departments.

The interns worked with the following departments:

  • Attraction Operations: Responsible for running our attractions in a way that both respects the artwork and creates a great experience for our visitors.
  • Exhibition Tech Maintenance: Creative technology artists, fabricators, and designers who focus on the daily operations, maintenance, and iterative improvements of our exhibitions.
  • Exhibition Maintenance: Artists, fabricators, designers, and technicians who collaborate on concepts, development, and production of maintenance, redesigns, and enhancements of art exhibits.
  • Marketing: Working on public relations, advertising campaigns, capturing content and social media management.
  • Retail: Managing gift shops, processes incoming shipments of merchandise products, and re-stocking displays.
  • Artistic Development & Production (AD&P): Executing the development and production of major works of art for Meow Wolf exhibitions.
  • Story Experience: Creating nonlinear storytelling and is responsible for execution of the narrative and interactive-related elements of our exhibitions.
  • Social Impact: Working on Programming & Outreach initiatives, internal communications, inclusion, and supports content production that highlights impact work at Meow Wolf.

We partnered up with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and The University of New Mexico (UNM), Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), New Mexico State University (NMSU), Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU), the University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver), and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), to recruit interns from diverse backgrounds. Below is a breakdown of the interns we had the honor of working with, and the type of work that they did during their time with us.

Convergence Station | Denver

Errow Collins, who is studying Art History at UC Denver, worked with the Exhibitions Maintenance team. Collins is interested in Art Restoration, so they worked on preparing exhibit works and maintaining the integrity of the artist's intent as well as handling as many different materials as possible to gain a foundation of familiarity for future preservation work. Some of the projects that they got to work on were creating a new soft light for Gremlin Symphony, fixing cracks/textures on the Numina trees, and collaborating with intern Emma Weffald on a puppet prop for the creative operators, who are live actors in the exhibition.

Errow Collins, Meow Wolf intern, sitting on the floating car in front of the Gyre apartments with the puppet prop that looks like a furry monster
Errow Collins with puppet prop

Emma Weffald, studying Computer Science at UC Denver, worked with the Exhibition Technology Maintenance team and collaborated closely with Collins throughout the internship. Weffald focused on the tech components for various maintenance projects in the exhibitions and worked with TouchDesigner, a visual programming environment Meow Wolf uses to create multimedia applications and program moving images.

young person with glasses and hair pulled back smiling at the camera
Emma Weffald, photo by Elise Trivers

Alec Logan, studying Business and Marketing at MSU, worked with the Creative Operations team and created Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the QPass Experience. Logan created an SOP and a presentation for Creative Operators, who are performers in our exhibitions, to understand our exhibitions when they’re onboarded.

Alec Logan at Convergence Station looking right at the camera wearing an orange shirt
Alec Logan at Convergence Station, photo by Elise Trivers

Angelica Shankle, studying Studio Art with a minor in Advertising and Promotion at MSU, worked on Social Impact with the marketing team and assisted the whole Denver marketing department, which covered social media, public relations, outreach events, and campaign management. Shankle helped facilitate off-site community activations, captured content, supported giveaways for community requests, and participated in a community mural. “I honestly won't ever forget this internship experience and I will take it with me wherever I go. In such a short amount of time, I did so much, and I will be walking away knowing how I can make a change, not just in my personal and professional world, but in the world around me.”

Headshot of Angelica Shankle with hair pulled back and wearing a Mijo Miho black t shirt
Angelica Shankle, photo by Elise Trivers

Omega Mart | Las Vegas

Lauren Patterson is getting a bachelor’s in Human Services and plans to pursue a masters in Library Science at UNLV. She worked on the retail team for her internship and focused on inventory, labor management, merchandise operations, collecting key performance indicators, and managing high-volume customer environments at the retail shop. Patterson’s most meaningful experience was using Omega Mart merchandise to assemble and donate tote bags with food and other items to Project 150, a non-profit organization that provides free support and services to homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged high school students in Nevada.

Lauren Patterson, photo by Troy Shay

Aaron Mueller is getting a bachelor’s in the entertainment technology and design program at UNLV. Mueller worked on various maintenance projects in our exhibition, but especially in-world on the Canmel Sop project. “I think one of the greatest things about this exhibit is that we're constantly figuring out, okay, this doesn't work as well as we hoped it would, what can we do to make it better? And how can we go ahead and improve this for years to come?”

Aaron Mueller working on Canmel art project with a stack of 48 cans
Aaron Mueller working on Canmel art project, photo by Ashley Roberts

Lauren Alvarez, a Public Health major and Marketing minor at UNLV, worked with the Marketing team for her internship. Some of the projects that Alvarez worked on were Social Media, digital marketing, research on price points in Las Vegas, and third-party sales. Alvarez felt that she was able to get out of her social comfort zone, “I felt comfortable expressing my own creativity, my own ability, and networking. One of my favorite things about this internship was not only [connecting with] people in our own company, but with people who do sales and marketing in Las Vegas and really seeing how it works differently in other places, and getting to make those connections for my future self and what career path I want to go in.”

headshot of Lauren Alvarez against a glittery canyon wall
Lauren Alvarez, photo by Troy Shay

House of Eternal Return | Santa Fe

Shanoa Williams, a Studio Arts Major at IAIA, worked with Virgil Ortiz on his new installation, on rearranging areas of our exhibition facilities, touching up on artwork in the exhibition, and supporting a mural project for Lauren YS. Williams felt that she took away many lessons from her internship experience, “I learned that it's really important to ask questions and to not be afraid to start something new or that you've never done before. And that teamwork and a positive attitude are really important in the workplace. I learned a lot about professionalism and most importantly, time management skills. My experience here at Meow Wolf is amazing and it honestly feels like a family. I constantly felt supported and safe and welcomed by everybody that I interacted with throughout the day.”

Shanoa Williams working at House of Eternal Return, photo by Maya Dominguez

Marisol Chavez, a double major in International Studies, and Chicano and Chicana Studies at the University of New Mexico, worked with our Social Impact team. Chavez planned and facilitated outreach events off-site, managed community requests for support, piloted educational art projects, and helped with research and planning for Meow Wolf Santa Fe’s new community space. She felt that she saw more possibilities for a career that focuses on working with the community after her internship experience.

Marisol Chavez working at a community event for Meow Wolf, photo by Madison Kelsh

Madison Kelsh, who is studying Business Marketing at UNM, worked with the Marketing team at HoER. Kelsh worked on photographing community events, creating TikTok videos, hotel relation management, and wrote a press release for the Monster Battle. “The funnest thing about my experience was the community of Meow Wolf. Everyone is just super caring for each other. I think that at a lot of internships, you're just given things to do, but Meow Wolf was very open and wanted to make sure that you got out of it what you wanted. We did a lot of leadership and development classes every week and those were all really helpful.”

Madison Kelsh working at a community event for Meow Wolf sitting next to another person with  sparklyfacepaint on
Madison Kelsh working at a community event for Meow Wolf, photo by Noor-un-nisa Touchon

Nino Lucci, a Studio Arts Major at UNM, who interned with the Operations team at Meow Wolf, worked on creating a Narrative summary presentation for the HoER exhibitions, testing touch screens to share artist credits and more information about the exhibition, and a guest experience exit survey. “Moving forward, I have some skills that I'm confident in bringing to a workplace and got to exercise and improve upon them while at Meow Wolf, like survey design, implementation data collection, creating more effective Google forms, making graphics with Lucidchart and a variety of writing styles.”

narrative summary and character review of those involved at the House of Eternal Return
Narrative summary of House of Eternal Return

Inc | Santa Fe

Maya Dominguez, who is double majoring in Film and Digital Arts, and Chicano and Chicana Studies at UNM worked with the Social Impact team as a Non-Fiction Videography intern. Dominguez worked on producing, capturing, organizing, and editing behind-the-scenes content of the internship, as well as directing fun, engaging onboarding videos for staff.

Maya Dominguez holding a camera up and smiling with a blue background behind
Maya Dominguez working video projects at Meow Wolf’s creative studios, photo by Noor-un-nisa Touchon

Elena Nava, studying Creative Writing at the SF Community College, worked on the Story Experience team. Nava created a Zine project that will be used for Convergence Station’s newsstand, wrote immersive story scripts for audio that will be used in phone booths in all of our exhibitions, wrote scripts for onboarding videos that intern Maya Dominguez directed, and collaborated on various writing projects for upcoming exhibitions. “I did one other internship before this, and it was more like, ‘you can look, but you can't touch.’ And then I came here and it was like, ‘you get to jump in the goo, and then you get to swim!’”

person wearing a green flannel shirt with long dark hair working in front of a laptop at a white desk
Elena Nava working, photo by Noor-un-nisa Touchon

Avery Rogers and Monika Guerra worked closely together with the Art Development & Production team. Both graduated in the spring, Rogers received a BFA in Studio Art from UNM and Guerra went to IAIA and received a BFA in Studio Arts. Along with working on several projects for the upcoming Grapevine exhibition, they got to expand their skills by taking several workshops that are offered to AD&P team, including workshops in wood shop, metal work, materials, laser cutting, painting, vacuum mold making, and 3D printing.

Avery Johnson and Monika Guerra working at Meow Wolf’s creative studios.
Avery Johnson and Monika Guerra working at Meow Wolf’s creative studios

Jared Brown, studying Information Communication Technology at NMSU, worked with our IT team. Brown installed wireless access points and basic hardware, working with Information Security, and his main project was building a simulation and creating an informational presentation on the Meow Wolf network.

Jared Brown in a red polo shirt holding a laptop, standing inside Meow Wolf creative studios
Jared Brown working at Meow Wolf’s creative studios, photo by Noor-un-nisa Touchon

Upon completion of the internship, four of our summer interns will continue to work with us in various capacities, including Elena Nava, Madison Kelsh, Jared Brown, and Aaron Mueller!

Here’s how some of this summer’s interns described the culture at Meow Wolf after working with us:

  • “Progressive, open, friendly, & collaborative.”
  • “It feels like a family, I always felt safe and ok to 100% be myself.”
  • “Very connected, bright, and always down to business”
  • “The culture at Meow Wolf is indescribable and such a diverse company in all aspects. It has been such an exciting environment to work in as far as the creativity and openness in communication from everyone.”
  • “Meow Wolf is the most diverse and welcoming company I have ever worked for. There were days I would sit in the break room for lunch, and random people would walk up to me, sit down, and get to know me. Like what company do they do that at - besides MW - none that I worked for. MW is very much a community and not an organization, and it feels like a good thing. People are not lost in titles; everyone is helping everyone.”
  • “Very open and inviting as well as being heard by many people, no idea is a bad idea and that is something that I've really seen here at Meow Wolf, this company just has one of the best environments I've ever been in!”
  • “Welcoming. I did not feel the need to sway away from who I was and was able to be myself while working at Meow Wolf. Also comfortable that this was a place that I can and grow. Did not feel pressure to be "perfect" and comfortable to talk to my mentor.
  • “Outgoing and compassionate for the community inside and outside work. Everyone is always working to improve something and create useful innovations.”
  • “The company culture at Meow Wolf is truly one of a kind, and this can be reflected by the people working here. Meow Wolf places a huge emphasis on creativity and inclusivity which translates to an environment that is unlike any other workplace.”

As we move forward with programming and opportunities for our local communities, we’ll strive to use our company as a platform and resource to elevate the next generation of artists. Stay tuned to our Meow Wolf careers page for upcoming internship opportunities!

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