spare parts summer internship exit interview – The results are in!

Time flies when you’re organizing, emailing, publicizing, writing curriculum, dancing, laughing & taking pictures! Our last official gathering was last week at Los Cocos Fruteria y Taqueria but the pictures below were taken on the last day at Wonderland of the Americas earlier this month. We’re super proud of this team & look forward to staying in touch with  Chris, Dezi, Lisa & Pak! Here are their words from their summer with spare parts.

Monico O. Vitela (top left), Adrienne Teeley (top right), Brian Macias (bottom left) & Marc Korinchock (bottom right)
Dezarre Boone (top left), Pak Leung Lai (top right), Chris Castillo (bottom left) & Lisa Callender (bottom right)

1. spare parts’ internship is officially over, what are you planning to do with the extra time?

ChrisWhile the spare parts internship may be over in theory, the connections & actions that we have put out into the universe still have a momentum. spare parts can’t get rid of me that easily! I’ll still be around with my camera. 🙂 I’ll just be able to sleep nine or more hours a night again!

DeziI am planning to look into more universities & finishing my senior year at Providence Catholic School. I will also continue making eco-friendly crafts & regular crafts.

Lisa: I’m now working for Advise TX through Trinity University, a branch of the National College Advising Corps. This program trains recent graduates as college advisers & places them in lower-income high schools around San Antonio. We help students with anything & everything surrounding the college application process. I will be the college adviser at Harlandale High School.

Pak: I just graduated in college with an international business degree. Right now I’m in New York City for a while to explore the big town overflowing with different cultures, architecture & possibly network with people & businesses to look for jobs. 


2. What was the best part of your spare parts internship?

Chris: The best part of my spare parts internship was putting names to faces at the materials giveaway. Meeting teachers & hearing their stories about how important our volunteer efforts were in their classrooms gave some closure.

DeziThe best part was working with the kids during the spare  parts art camp!  I really loved working with kids because they have huge imaginations. We had a lovely bunch of kids that inspired me to become an art teacher.

Lisa: Working with the spare parts team. We had such a collaborative, supportive & fun group of crazies that made this experience so worthwhile.

Pak: The entire internship was the best part! The people who chose to donate stuff to spare parts chose to make a difference to create more artistic opportunities for kids in San Antonio! I also just love the idea of recycling & reusing materials for art making or something that doesn’t end up in the trash. Our earth can’t take any more waste. spare parts also stands for less consumption–it’s time for everyone to go green!


3. What was most challenging?

Chris: The most challenging aspect of my duties included keeping registration & questions maintained. Following up with hundreds of teachers’ email correspondence with organizational language & professionalism is fun!
DeziSaying goodbye to everyone!  It was a blessing working with such talented people.

Lisa: Receiving donations during the setup of the storefronts at the last week before July 26. I loved that people really wanted to donate to spare parts after they heard about the final giveaway day, but the last-minute organization was stressful!

Pak: Since spare parts doesn’t have a permanent space & is based in all volunteer time, every summer we have to start over from beginning & organize everything from accepting donations in a different location. Then we have to communicate everything to the teachers, individual donors, participating organizations, companies through social media and other avenues of publicity. The good thing is we had a strong community to help out, awesome teamwork within the interns & the founder Mary E. Cantu to lead. This summer was a complete success! 


4. What should spare parts should do next?

Chrisspare parts will be starting negotiations for a world peace treaty shortly. Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates! Actually, spare parts should strive to be the recipient of a generous grant, start a capital campaign, or partnership to establish physical headquarters with a loading dock & storage, cultivate a diverse board of directors, hire financial/material donor expansion associates, find a pro-bono legal expert, create digital archives, downloadable content & resources, an audio/visual repository of stories at every level of reach, galleries-both physical & digital-to show the world what spare parts creative reuse looks like & hire an education team for workshops, demos, blog postings & special events. The sky is the limit! Now, let’s make it happen.

Dezi: TAKE OVER THE WORLD! I believe spare parts can truly change the way people look at reusable & recycled items.

Lisa: Take it global, baby! But seriously. More organizations like spare parts need to exist. Art education can thrive when kids realize they already have the tools & the materials to foster their creativity, right at home.

Pak: spare parts need a home! Hopefully spare parts will seek a sponsor that can provide a big permanent space for them so they can accept donations anytime of the year, hold workshops & events & of course have more giveaways to teachers! And I hope spare parts will get grants from the city to grow further in the near future & help more teachers.


5. Anything else you’d like to share?

Chris: Incorporate spare parts into your life. Your home, classroom or workplace is a creative space where meaningful change can happen. “Trash is the failure of imagination!” -Aaron Kramer

Dezispare parts helped me secure my decision of becoming an art teacher. This internship has really helped me gain real life experience I will definitely need in the future.

Lisa: Trash really is failure of the imagination! (Quote by Aaron Kramer)

Pak: My hometown Hong Kong is one of the most wasteful cities in the world. My goal is to bring this awesome spare parts idea back to my hometown & organize & start a spare parts over there to help with teachers & youth. The most important thing is to reduce waste by recycling & reusing materials into fantastic artwork.

spare parts spotlighted in National Reuse Documentary

Guest Post: Upcyclers & Artists Wanted Happenings

Lisa Callender, spare parts Intern
Lisa Callender, spare parts Intern

3…2…1…TIME! Please put your hands in the air & step away from your artwork!”

During the final week of June, spare parts hosted 2 fun & free events with art activities for kids, families & teachers. Housed in the St. Paul School Gym, we challenged participants to put their creativity & ingenuity to the test & utilized reusable materials to realize their own artwork.

The main activity was called VIP. Inspired by Food Network’s show, Chopped, the game challenged participants to use an assortment of provided reusable materials, while also highlighting a surprise ingredient revealed 5 seconds before the timer started. Materials ranged from straws, cardboard & foam to coffee filters & magazines. Participants were given 20 minutes to use any of the materials on the table to create an original work of art, include a title card & clean their area of extra supplies. Competition was fierce, with friend battling friend, student battling teacher, even brother battling sister! Winners were chosen on how well the surprise material was used, as well as the originality, craftsmanship, durability & overall concept.

VIP contestant Anika Blanco. Photo thanks to Chris Castillo.
VIP contestant Anika Blanco. Photo thanks to spare parts intern Chris Castillo.
VIP Materials Pantry for competition. Photo thanks to Chris Castillo.
VIP Materials Pantry for competition. Photo thanks to spare parts intern Chris Castillo.

Another activity of the day was the Mini Museum. Patrons of the Mini Museum create their own piece of art no larger than the size of a business card, title their mini masterpiece & provide an imaginary price. These artworks will hopefully be a traveling exhibit, touring  schools around San Antonio & will debut at the Fine Arts Fair on July 26.

A final activity for families was the Help-A-Teacher Table, in which we asked friends to take the provided reusable materials on the table & create a fun and easy lesson plan for educators. The goal is to give teachers ideas about how to engage their students in educational & artistic reuse.

Artist & Art Educator Giovanna Carrola at the Help-A-Teacher Station. Photo thanks to Chris Castillo.
Artist & Art Educator Giovanna Carrola at the Help-A-Teacher Station. Photo thanks to spare parts intern Chris Castillo.

spare parts would like to thank all participants for an exciting & creative 2 days! And remember to attend the Free Fine Arts Fair at Wonderland of the Americas on July 26! See you there!