At spring’s end, we asked our two current graduate assistants, Lauren Scarborough and Krista Grant, to talk about being part of the Lotus team. Both are students in the Arts Administration program in Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. They manage to blend formidable academic schedules with their work for our appreciative staff. Here’s Lauren’s take on her Lotus experience so far.

So, how did you find your way to Lotus?

I just completed my first year of graduate studies in arts administration at SPEA. Our program offers work-study graduate assistantships with local arts organizations and I was thrilled to get the chance to work with the Lotus Development department. The work Krista and I do really makes a difference in this organization. We are not simply there to do busywork or fill hours for a bi-weekly paycheck. What we do is meaningful, challenging, and rewarding. I could not have asked for a better environment to solidify my decision to become an arts administrator.

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At the Edible Lotus buffet table; photo by Garrett Poortinga, Green Hat Photography.

What’s been on your Lotus docket in the last year?

I work closely with Development Director Kristin Varella, and one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on this year is Edible Lotus, the organization’s annual fundraising event. My main responsibility was overseeing the process of securing items for the silent auction. I really got to wrap my arms around this project, and while it was a challenge, it was tremendously rewarding, too. I also got to know Lotus board members on the event planning committee, and it was great to work with a few of the dedicated, creative people who volunteer their time to lead and shape Lotus. It was rewarding to see Edible Lotus through, from beginning to end, with all of our hard work put into action.

You’re coming back to your grad assistantship with Lotus in the fall – just in time for the Festival crunch. What are you looking forward to about your return?

Wow, has the time flown by! The Festival is our organization’s main event, and now, I have a much richer understanding of what it takes to bring it together. I’m looking forward to using this knowledge more when it comes to helping with details from the logistics of transportation and lodging for artists, to critical financial support, to the hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers necessary to make the Festival a success.

How has being a GA for Lotus been valuable to you as you think about your next career steps in the arts?

As a Lotus GA, I have gained a lot of confidence in my professional abilities, because the staff respects my opinions and the work I produce. Much of that feeling comes from the relationship I have with my supervisor, Kristin Varella. Kristin has been an exceptional mentor to me during my first year at Lotus, giving me responsibilities and independent projects while providing excellent guidance and support. She has made this experience one that meets my needs as a student, and prepares me as I look forward to a career in the arts.

Check out Krista Grant’s post here.