I have been in communication with the direct of the the New Orleans Conservation Guild about a summer internship (for Praxis) at their studio in N.O. They do restoration of paintings, stone, wooden artifacts, paper/books/documents, antique furniture, frames, guilded pieces, glass, crystal, etc., both for the public and for museums. The director seems very nice, and excited about having interns from Smith, and in light of damages due to Hurricane Katrina, they can use the help. It seems like the experience will be very hands on and educational, and a good opportunity to meet people; apparently there are visiting conservators there now from Portugal, Italy, and the UK, and the director thinks that a whole conservation school from the UK will be visiting this summer. They often have interns, and have experience finding housing for them (though we would have to pay the rent), and there is housing in proximity to the studio so that transportation would not be a problem. From what I can gather, it is in a district a mile or two away from the French Quarter that has been in a sort of renaissance (according the articles about the studio on their webpage), now home to many artists. I don't know how the neighborhood has changed since the hurricane, but the Conservation Guild seems to be very much up and running. Additionally, I'm told that businesses in New Orleans are really desparate for workers right now, and are paying $9-$10/hour for jobs that normally pay minimum wage, so I might get a part time job to supplement Praxis.
I was wondering if any of you might be interested in this sort of internship. I'm not from New Orleans, and am not familiar with the area, and I think it would be nice to have a group of three or four so that we can help this organization out, hang out together, and most importantly, live together to cut living costs and feel safe. Please email or call me (x5524) if you'd like to know more, get in touch with the director, or meet up and talk to me about doing this!