In 2019, Blue Cat conducted its first crowdfunding effort to support the hiring of a college intern to assist with gallery and studio operations during the fall semester. We raised a total of $960, just shy of the $1000 goal. Supporters received a fused glass blue cat (pictured right) for their contribution. Thanks to a generous opportunity provided by the Sherwood Foundation, the fall internship program will be funded through Fall 2025.
Every fall, mid-August to mid-December, Blue Cat will offer an internship opportunity to a college junior or senior with relevant experience/education interested in learning about how a small creative business operates, gaining or sharpening skills to further their career education. Blue Cat will work out a schedule with the selected intern for 6-10 hours a week. Blue Cat hired its first intern during Fall 2018. The intern gained experience with promoting and hanging exhibits in the gallery, with creating and overseeing the Gift Shop Gallery display, and with attending to various studio and gallery tasks such as assisting patrons with purchases.
As a crowdfunding endeavor, this effort asks the public to support something that is good for the community. Hiring an intern is one of the largest expenses associated with being able to keep the gallery and studio open on a consistent basis, adding to the cultural atmosphere of the community. Having consistent hours means that we can meet expectations of out-of-town and local visitors to downtown Wayne. An art gallery and studio is a unique asset in a small rural town, and contributes to Wayne being a place that draws people to it. As an internship, this also provides an opportunity for growth to a Wayne State College student each year, strengthening the experiences the community can offer to students who choose to earn their degree here. Blue Cat exists as a labor of love created by Carolyn Albracht, Assistant Professor of Art Education at Wayne State College. The business is a sole-proprietorship and aims to break even with the expenses required to operate it.