Students intern at Smithsonian, produce broadcasts

<p>Micah Holtgraves, a senior telecommunications major, is interning at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., this summer. <em>PHOTO PROVIDED BY KATHRYN LEBO</em></p>

Micah Holtgraves, a senior telecommunications major, is interning at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., this summer. PHOTO PROVIDED BY KATHRYN LEBO

From the Digital Corps to Washington, D.C., two students are spending their summer interning at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum’s Interactive Media and Outreach program.

Senior telecommunications-digital video production majors Micah Holtgraves and Lexy Madrid are both Digital Corps video specialists and worked on a project in December through the Corps with the Smithsonian, which led to the connection for the internship.

“I already had my foot in the door by meeting the people and working with them in December, so I knew I’d have a head start versus other people that would be applying, so I figured why not go for it?” Holtgraves said.

Out of the 61 Smithsonian interns, only three are video interns.

“Our job is basically to create content for the museum, whether that be live broadcasts or whether that be creating a promotional video for an app, which is a project that we’re working on right now,” Madrid said.

On July 1, the Smithsonian will celebrate its 40th anniversary of the opening of the Air and Space Museum.

The museum will be open from 8 p.m.- 8 a.m., and Madrid and Holtgaves will be producing the live broadcast for the entire 12 hours.

Madrid said one of the things that drove her to the internship was seeing how far connections could get her — and the chance to live in a city.

“Living in a city is really important, especially for a lot of video production people, because that’s where the money is. … A lot of people move to cities, so it’s really good to get experience living here, get experience of what it takes to get to work every morning,” Madrid said. “It sounds little, but you have to deal with metro delays or buses not coming; … it helps you learn good skills like that too, especially coming from a small Indiana town.”

This is Holtgraves’ first internship and first time moving out-of-state, which he said is overwhelming but exciting since he has the chance to meet people from across the country, including astronaut Terry Virts.

“He just came down from the International Space Station. He was up there for over 200 days. They were filming a new IMAX film that just released a couple weeks ago that’s actually airing here right now [and] ... he just put on a little presentation,” Holtgraves said. “We also recorded that using five cameras. … We were running the broadcast of his presentation.”

After graduation, Madrid wants to go into stage managing and organizing everything it takes to make a production, and Holtgraves wants to do documentary work, but after his internship, the Smithsonian could also be an option for him. 

“I love NASA and space, and that was one of the big draws for me to apply here," he said. "I don’t necessarily wanna work in live production, like regular TV news or sports, … but things space- and science-related, I think that’d be pretty cool.”


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