DIAL Internship Program

Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL), administered by Americans for the Arts and national partners, matches undergraduate students from backgrounds traditionally untapped for arts leadership with dynamic communities, energetic host arts organizations, and business mentors, to guide students’ personal and professional growth throughout the summer. In 2019, the nationwide, competitive selection process grants 24 full-time, paid, ten-week-long internships in Des Moines, New Jersey, or New York City.

2019 DIAL Interns

Maria Elena Garcia currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she moved after graduating from Vernon High School in 2015. She completed her Associates of Art in Art at Austin Community College in 2018. While at Austin Community College, she was President of the ACC Art Association, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and successfully launched her own henna body art business, Mehndi Maria. She is also a member of the Henna Artists of Texas where she assists with organizing group meetups with local henna artists. Maria transferred to Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in the fall of 2018 and will graduate in the spring of 2021. She is studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a focus in painting and a minor in Business. At Southwestern, she is a member of the Southwestern Art Association and a docent in the Fine Arts Gallery. Her career goals are to expand her business to have an art gallery that will make a positive impact for the community.

Host Organization

Jenna Knox
Deputy State Director, Planned Parenthood

Anderson Goncalves is a current student at University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida majoring in Fine Arts: Painting, Printmaking, and Drawing with a strong interest in Printmaking. Anderson's most recent internship was with the City of Jacksonville Cultural Council where he worked with the Art in Public Places branch working on public artwork placements and community relations.

Host Organization
City of West Des Moines

Marc Reed
Diversity Recruiting Manager, Grinnell College

Leila Kashani-Sabet is taking a semester off from school and has returned to her hometown, San Francisco, to intern with the Public Defender’s Office and work with Golden Thread Productions, the first American theater created that is dedicated to stories about the Middle East. Leila has always been drawn to the performing arts and discovered her passion lies in Shakespeare. When Leila left the Bay Area for college, she quickly realized that theater was not as diverse everywhere as it was in San Francisco. At her college, she created Fortune’s Fools, a theater organization dedicated to increasing access to Shakespeare, dismantling the type white-cis-male cast of (Shakespearean) plays and expanding theater opportunities to students of color. Leila wants to maximize theater’s power by casting more people of color in classical productions and also lifting up narratives of color on stages across America.

Host Organization
Hoyt Sherman Place

Ardis Kelly
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank

Jennifer Rae Lucas is a junior Arts Management major at Coppin State University and has been a musician since the age of seven. She has worked in the marketing and promotions field since age seventeen. Jennifer Rae currently works as a teaching artist in Baltimore City Schools, piloting her own elementary music literacy program and also serves as her theatre department’s community Liaison and marketing strategist.

In the past she has worked for several notable regional performing arts centers in the DC Maryland Virginia area (DMV) such as Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and Everyman Theatre. Jennifer Rae is a strong advocate for arts education equity and queer friendly work spaces. She is a composer and ethnomusicology enthusiasts.

Jennifer Rae is excited to embark on this new journey, and plans to use her experience as a DIAL intern to influence change in her West Baltimore community.

Host Organization
Iowa Public Radio

Deidre DeJear
Caleo Enterprises

Sunee Kate Quirante is a rising senior at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She will graduate with a double major in Anthropology and Religion and a minor in African Studies. At Rice, she is involved in student activist efforts and has organized various events aimed at bringing robust political dialogue on campus. Her interests lay in the intersection of art, activism, and anthropology. As such, her research focuses on the socio-political contexts of art and artists. She is also teaching an original course in the fall called The Art of Decolonization, examining the role that art can play in liberation movements. When she graduates, Sunee Kate hopes to pursue careers in art non-profits, organizing exhibits that speak to diverse audiences and creating accessible spaces for community arts.

Host Organization
Des Moines Art Center

Espnola Cartmill
Attorney, Belin McCormick, P.C.

Alyanna Ridimann is a recent graduate from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Women's and Gender Studies. Raised and educated in North Carolina, Alyanna studies shared colonial histories between the Philippines and the American South. They are particularly interested in decolonizing research in art history, arts activism, and transnational family and ethnic ties within mediums such as social practice, digital, and interdisciplinary art. When they aren't writing papers, you can typically find Alyanna cooking with their siblings or working on their ongoing tattoo practice, "@god_yamn_it," which focuses on framing the care for and sanctity of queer and trans people of color (QTPOC).

Host Organization 
The World Food Prize

Daniel Hoffman-Zinnell
Executive Director, One Iowa


Norma Stobbe is a rising senior at Brandeis University studying Health: Science, Society and Policy and Education Studies with a minor in Theater Arts. She is from New Jersey. At Brandeis, Norma performs in student and department theater productions, is the president of the student group, Free Play Theatre Cooperative- an experimental and social justice grounded performance group, and is a research fellow with the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. She hopes to combine her passions for disability equity and theater  to create more accessible artistic spaces for both people across the spectrum of disability and people of other marginalized groups. She is very excited to be a DIAL intern and hopes that this experience further immerses her on her path while introducing her to others with similar goals who she cannot wait to learn from.

Host Organization
Des Moines Performing Arts

Laura Gibson
Director of Operations, Central Iowa Center for Independent Living