Peter: This is Peter Barnett, President of the Monson Arts Council. I have with me Allyssa Grinnell, a high school student and the youngest member of our board. I want her to share with you her experience as a young volunteer. Alyssa, how did you first come to be associated with the arts council?
Allyssa: When I was a freshman I reached out to the Arts Council, hoping to combine my interest in art and in volunteering. I was invited to an art pickup day at the House of Art to talk to art show committee members, and later to a board meeting. After a couple of meetings observing I was invited to join the board.
Peter: Wonderful! How does it feel to be part of the Arts Council at your age?
Allyssa: It was definitely something I needed to get used to, being an equal with people older than myself. Since I am a quiet person it was hard to share my thoughts with the group. However, I have since gotten used to it and really enjoy being part of the board.
Peter: Tell me a little about yourself and your interest in art.
Allyssa: I’ve always had an interest in art, drawing little pictures from an early age. My parents were always able to identify what the subject was, despite the squiggles! I did it all the time, and over time increased my skills. Now I really like to paint and draw.
Peter: You have volunteered for many tasks during your two years with the MAC, including sitting the gallery for the art show, being in charge of refreshments for the joint MAC/OPRO concert last spring, and being judge for the MAC “Most Artistic” award in the Christmas light show sponsoring by Monson Shines. Do you have a favorite among them?
Allyssa: I would say that judging the lights contest was pretty cool, since I got to do it with a friend, and was able to experience the light displays. But really I enjoyed all of them, and am very happy with my volunteering experiences.
Peter: Your latest contribution is a secretary of the board, by far the youngest officer in the history of the MAC. How have you found the task of scribing the meetings and publishing the minutes?
Allyssa: At first it was challenging for me, since I’ve never done it before, but I find it interesting because it allows me to process what is happening more fully.
Peter: Well thank you! It has been a pleasure to talk with you.
Allyssa: Thank you for interviewing me!
A nice interview! Allyssa actually started engaging with MAC when she was 6 years old. She had an oil painting “Snow Adventure” exhibited in the House of Art as part of the 2012 children’s “Art Beat” show mentioned here in Mass Live: https://www.masslive.com/news/2012/05/artbeat_a_childrens_art_show_k.html