Meet a VC Summer '17 Intern: Heidi Kim

Summertime is usually an exciting time for Visual Communications (VC), as we bring aboard students from different schools to be part of the VC Family. Learn more about our VC Exhibitions and Programming Intern Heidi Kim, who came to us through the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program.


Tell us about yourself.
Heidi: I go to Dickinson College, but I reside here in sunny California. I am the Exhibitions and Programming intern here at Visual Communications. I work with Abe (Exhibitions Director) and Chanel (Festival Manager), and so far, I’ve been doing research on film festivals, what makes them successful, and also digitizing negatives.

How did you find out about VC?
There’s a website that my school set up primarily for finding internships and jobs. I was already applying to a lot of places but then I saw the Getty MUI website. I checked it out and saw that a requirement was being an underrepresented minority in the arts and I said "Hey, that’s me!”  I applied to many of the organizations that the Getty funded and VC was the one that contacted me back.

What do you like most about VC?
What I like about VC is that they strive to support Asian Pacific artists, filmmakers, producers. They really push for their representation in the arts, and I really resonated with their purpose and their mission.

What’s something super interesting that you are working on right now?
I've been working on digitizing negatives from over 20 years ago that feature Filipino Americans and Asian Pacific organizers for a project. I found out that Abe actually took some of these photographs back then. It's really interesting to know someone who was there at that time, and to be able to work with him.

Where are these negatives housed?
They are housed in the VC Archives, which has a lot of negatives and contact sheets. The VC Archives also houses old VC film productions, such as HITO HATA, MANONG, etc.

What do you look forward to doing in the future?
I look forward to having a better understanding on how a non-profit organization runs. It's a lot of work. We’re prepping for the next LA Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2018, so it has been interesting to see the beginning stages before it grows into the event that it is.

Do you have any last words?
I’m just very fortunate and glad to be a part of VC Fam, and everyone here is just so lovely. I've really enjoyed my time here!

My Experience as a Getty Intern

by Heidi Kim

Click here for Heidi's blog entry of her first Getty HUB experience.

The Getty Arts Summit is a mandatory event for all Getty interns participating in the Getty MUI Program. The Summit is an event that gives current interns an opportunity to interact with leaders who work in the arts throughout the LA County. 

While waiting for the Summit to officially commence, all the interns ate a small breakfast and mingled with one another. I was able to meet and learn more about other interns who worked at various non-profit arts organizations in LA County, which included The Italian American Museum, FilAm Arts, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, The Broad, and The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.

We made our way to the Getty Center’s lecture hall, where Cynthia Querio, the Getty Center’s Program Associate, was the first to welcome and address us. She then introduced the keynote speaker Betty Avila, a former Getty MUI intern who is now the Co-Director of Self Help Graphics. Ms. Avila described her childhood to us and how she got into the arts industry. She also explained the struggles she overcomes as a Co-Director and a Latina woman in a patriarchal system. It was a very motivational presentation because it was refreshing to hear a fellow woman of color describe her experience as a leader and how she questioned the decisions of those in higher positions when she she believed they were wrong.

After the presentations, we sat in on informational discussion group sessions led by speakers in the arts industry. My sessions were led by Edgar Garcia (the current Arts & Culture Deputy for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti), Kimberly Kandel (Communications and Marketing at Ford Theaters, and former Getty MUI Intern), Sandy Rodriguez (artist and independent curator), and Shelby Williams-Gonzalez (Artistic Director at artworxLA). Each speaker discussed how they got where they are now and why they decided to choose this path. Ms. Williams-Gomez’s session was particularly interesting because she had so much enthusiasm for working in the arts. She explained how she was first a dance and performing arts teacher for LAUSD, then shifted to developing programs for non-profit arts organizations, and then became an Artistic Director.

Our last activity was to go on a few tours at the Getty. I chose the Exhibition tour and the Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music tour. For the Exhibition tour, we were led to the Design room of the Getty Center and learned about how the galleries and visual graphics are designed, as well as a sneak peak into next year’s exhibition. No spoiler alerts! The Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music tour enlightened us of the sister cities and the concert halls they are home to. It was compelling to learn how each concert hall influenced each other.

Overall, the day was an engaging and fascinating experience. I loved being able to meet my fellow Getty MUI Interns and being able to share our work and social life experiences. Being a Getty MUI Intern has opened doors to me and my fellow participants.


The second Getty HUB meeting was our last meeting. It was a little saddening to know that we wouldn’t see our whole group together after this. Nonetheless, it was a much more fun and engaging meeting because we were more comfortable with each other. The group had decided that for this HUB Meeting, we would like to focus on Artivisim (activism through art).


We all met at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The first half of the day was spent at La Plaza with two members of an artivism group called Ni Santas. They explained to us that they were a group that made political and artistic picket signs for protests. Our activity was making our own picket signs depicting a social issue we felt strongly about. Some social issues portrayed were equality for LGBTQ community, feminism, and awareness for climate change. My picket sign depicted love and appreciation for all body types. It had different potted plants ranging from flowers to cacti. Just as plants are different from one another, so are our bodies. 

The second half of the day was spent at Self Help Graphics, a community arts center that has helped create picket signs for several activists and movements. Once we got there, our instructions were to make our own stencil depicting another social issue we would like to bring awareness to. Some of the issues were the same as the Ni Santas activity, and some were about body positivity, not building the Trump wall, and Mexican pride. My stencil said, “AmeriCAN, but AmeriSHOULDN’T”. After we drew and cut out our stencils, we moved to the screen printing station where our stencils were used to create outlines full of color. By the end, we were all happy with how our stencils turned out.


It was saddening to know that this was the last time I was gonna see this group of super fun and amazing people, but we all made sure to keep in contact and set up a dinner once we all got back from school. Overall, being a Getty MUI Intern was an experience I will never forget because it exposed me to new friendships and different career opportunities.