Communication Studies, Taos

During summer 2012, communication studies students in the Meadows School of the Arts are at SMU-in-Taos, where they are studying nonprofit management and working as interns at nonprofit organizations in the city of Taos. Students will focus on issues involving the environment, the arts, public radio and TV, and nonprofit community outreach.

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Working on Taos radio

 An update from Peter, a political science major who interned at Cultural Energy Independent Radio

I have spent the month of June interning for Cultural Energy Independent Radio here in Taos.  My first day of work, June 1, also happened to be my birthday.  After going over the work expectations for our individual internships, all the Communications students met Professor Flournoy back at campus.  She took us on a tour of Taos – we explored downtown, the Rio Grande gorge, the Earth Ships, and the village of Arroyo Seco.  There, Professor Flournoy took us to Taos Cow, a local homemade ice cream shop, and bought us all ice cream.  Then we walked down the road and watched a potter working with clay, while hurrying to eat our ice cream before it melted.

My internship has been a unique learning experience. Formed in 2003 for exclusively charitable and educational purposes, Cultural Energy produces educational radio pieces about communities in northern New Mexico, posting segments about current events, history and culture to the organization’s website.

Our broadcast content provides a balance of opposing opinions about the environment and culture in the region.  Since 2003 Cultural Energy has recorded hundreds of public meetings, interviewed candidates and hosted public forums.  Our segments have been broadcast on six stations in New Mexico, and nationally on the Pacifica Network.

In addition to my regular work duties, I’ve had an opportunity to conduct and produce interviews with local activist organizations.  I learned about recording techniques – where and how to record, which mics to use, how to conduct interview, and how to edit and polish my recordings into a finished product.

This month has been an amazing experience.  I came here knowing very little about nonprofit organizations – of which Taos has more than 200.  During my time in Taos, I have learned so much about the 501 c(3) filing process and the demands of running a not-for-profit organization.  Now I’m seriously considering pursuing future work in the nonprofit sector.

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