A Letter to Exploring the Metropolis

David Johnston

Dear Exploring the Metropolis,

Thank you. 

From the moment I entered the building on W. 23rd street, you welcomed me.

Not only have you exposed me to arts and planning communities, but you also introduced me to highly networked circles in which your worlds are rooted. You trusted the naivety of a college student exploring the “real” world for the first time in NYC.

And you embraced it.

EtM has taught me how the arts community is not a vertical ladder to climb. It is stretched, yet maintains an effort to make us live deeper, innovative and better lives.

Being from Kansas and attending school in North Carolina, this fast paced, city is overwhelming. But, through EtM, I have been exposed to a multitude of people, events, and culture that have made this city seem smaller; like a community.


Coming into this internship, I had large goals ranging from skill development and thesis research to “figuring out the next step in life.”

Through my time here, I met many aspects of these goals.

I built skills – from working excel to researching the business development side of non-profits to administering panels. I learned to look at spaces around me and think how artists can reuse and revitalize those spaces to make a community integrated and vibrant. Thanks to David, Lisa and Eugenie, I was exposed to people who are making cutting edge advancements in the field such as Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace, Lane Harwell, Executive Director at Dance NYC, and Aminta Kilwan, Legislative Counsel at the New York City Council.

Dance NYC event

Dance NYC event

Meera at NYC City Council

Meera at NY City Council

Even though I am still exploring what my next steps are, EtM taught me how the arts community interacts with government, local organizations, foundations, and most importantly, the people within communities.

JCAL performance ticket

JCAL performance ticket

Fundraiser for Mariachi Flor de Toloache

Fundraiser for Mariachi Flor de Toloache


As I pass the Flatiron Building on the way to work one last time, I realize how quickly these months have gone and how much independence I have developed. There are a variety of new skills I’ve learned (like navigating the subway). But what I have gained most is confidence. The creative sector requires confidence in a world where certainty is not readily available.

So to end this wonderful summer in NYC, I thank you, EtM for everything you have done for me. I hope this organization and its people continue to be a part of my life in some capacity.


You are doing great things for both the artists and the community.

It is an honor to have worked here.



Meera Chakravarthy
Summer Intern ’15
Exploring the Metropolis (EtM)

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