Saying Goodbye to TAUNY
SLU PIC has been an amazing opportunity and introduction to experience working with a nonprofit. I have learned so much throughout my 8 weeks at TAUNY and hope I can continue to be a part of this store and endeavor after I leave!
One of the most important things I learned at TAUNY was the value of community. TAUNY is a place that thrives on community interaction. Whether it’s hosting the older folk’s art group that comes in twice a week to a space where they can work peacefully, utilize their hobby, see friends, and critique one another or hosting a local gallery or event. TAUNY wants the community and the artists in the community to use all of the space as much as possible. Some of my favorite times at TAUNY have been when I’ve stepped out of my office and gotten sucked into a long conversation with older Canton community members. Or when someone happens to wander in and comment on my baking and then I get a full bread-making lesson from them! I have also learned of the immense kindness and generosity that each member of the community brings to their life. I have been befriended, loved, and taught by many influential people at this site and it has changed my life.
Another important aspect I have learned at TAUNY is the value of tradition. TAUNY’s goal is to celebrate the art and tradition in this region. I have learned that the community in Canton and beyond is immensely proud of their culture and heritage and the diversified past that has culminated to create the melting pot of Canton. As a St. Lawrence student I have not been exposed to the rich history and context of Canton. I was trapped by the SLU bubble. After this summer and having the opportunity to explore the North Country both for its natural beauty and wealth of artists, I can definitely say that that a blend of tradition houses this space.
Working at TAUNY has strengthened my interpersonal and communication skills. Every day I am met with a different challenge, opportunity to engage with different community members, and talk to people. Something that has always been of value to me are stories. I have had the opportunity to hear and collect many people’s stories. One way I have solidified this passion throughout this internship was with my project. I transcribed interviews with six artists, wrote stories about them, and archived pictures of them and their work spaces. I had the opportunity to hear the stories of their lives and their journey with their traditional art. I stepped out of my comfort zone by driving all over the North Country, visiting complete strangers, and learning some pretty amazing stories.
TAUNY was an amazing experience through and through. I brushed up on my online marketing strategies, became a master baker and whoopie pie connoisseur, created important and lasting relationships, and listened to many stories.