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Spilling the sap: Maya

Hi Everyone, Maya Velasquez here with a quick entry about my time interning with Dunamis this summer.

First, a little about me- I graduated from Tufts University in May, where I double majored in Sociology and Peace and Justice Studies. I came on this summer as a Tisch Summer Fellow, a Tufts program that places students with organizations that are in some way involved with civic issues and engagement. I’m a multi-disciplinary artist in a very exploratory phase of my art-making and creative process and immediately felt drawn to Dunamis and this intersection between arts and advocacy that plays such a central role in my life.

From the internship listing and from my exploration of Dunamis' website and socials, I immediately knew that any work with them would be rich with opportunities that deeply resonate with me, and I was so right!

Because I'm passionate about community organizing, I leaned heavily into Dunamis' partnership with Create the Vote Boston, a coalition that works to increase civic engagement within the arts sector and leverage the creative industry to gain advocacy power to enhance our communities. It also strives to raise awareness and support for arts, culture, and the creative workforce during and after elections. As part of this, I started and managed the instagram account for the Create the Vote Boston campaign, which is focused on the 2021 Mayoral Election (follow @ctvboston !!!).

I'm actually now still working on the create the vote campaign, having signed on with Mass Creative (CTV parent company) for the rest of the election cycle after my internship program was over.

Another focus was weekly emergent strategy sessions in which I researched, presented and facilitated conversations about emergent strategies and equity practices related to a variety of different topics such as self and community care, accessibility & inclusion, "cancel culture" and accountability, and burnout.

I am deeply grateful that I was given the freedom and encouragement to find and explore my niches within the Dunamis ecosystem while always feeling like a part of the whole team.

Working with Dunamis was a transformative experience that helped me identify and legitimize, and give expression to a deep calling I feel to create and to connect with others through that creation. The internship exceeded my already high expectations, and I so look forward to watching as more people get to experience the magic that is Dunamis Boston!

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