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Amanda Kubic was awarded a Comp Lit Academic Term Internship Fellowship in Winter 2023 to work as an intern at Monument Lab, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit public art and history studio. She developed skills in community education and outreach, virtual curriculum building, project management, demographic survey making, and directory organization. While working at Monument Lab, Amanda designed a template for a half-day workshop on rethinking thedefinitions and roles of monuments in our public spaces, aimed at clients who want to(re)contextualize and consider future possibilities for monuments, sites, or other public works in their own communities. She also worked on the Declaration House project, a 2024 exhibition and book project in Philadelphia centered on Robert Hemings, an enslaved valet, at the site associated with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Amanda also assisted with updating Monument Lab’s directory, promoting their website redesign, and drafting demographic surveys for Monument Lab’s staff, board, interns, audience, event participants, and supporters.

Amanda writes: “My experience working for Monument Lab helped me discover how monuments have always changed and in fact must continue to change if we want to shed lighton the connections between systems of power and public memory. It was wonderful to work with such an enthusiastic, creative, and values-driven team, and I learned so much about public art and the nonprofit world, including best practices for creating an accessible and equitable workspace and how monuments continue to be a key part of conversations about memory, representation, permanence, power and empowerment in communities across the country. As Monument Lab says in their vision statement, ‘By disrupting the status quo of how monuments are made, preserved, and interpreted, we hope to contribute to a future society defined by joy, regeneration, and repair.’ I’ve certainly been inspired to carry these same values into my ownwork!"