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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Meet The B-HIPs: Andana Streng

By Jen Thomas
01:00PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Williams College student Andana Streng is a MCLA B-HIP program intern. [Photo by Jen Thomas}
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Berkshire Hills Internship program, known as B-HIP, drew 13 college and graduate student interns from around the globe to its summer session of the arts-based Berkshire region internship program. www.iberkshires.com invites our readers to "Meet the B-HIPs" and discover what the program and our region offers to those with a love of the arts.

North Adams - Andana Streng is hoping that her time in the Berkshires is the first stop of a personally motivated "world tour."

"After graduation, I want to start in New York City and eventually end up in Paris," said Streng, a 20-year-old Williams College junior whose home is in Oradea, Romania. "France is my heart country, my soul country."

The Berkshire Hills Internship Program provides Streng with an opportunity to explore the Berkshire region's culturally rich and diverse arts arena. The experience will enhance her political science and history education, and boost her effort to become an arts lawyer.

"I always wanted to be a lawyer. I saw [television program] 'Law and Order' when I was 9, and I was hooked," Streng said.

Streng said art lawyers are few and they work primarily on copyright laws and intellectual property litigation. Combining her love of art with her childhood desire to be an attorney, Streng sees her internship at the Office of Cultural Development in Pittsfield as a way to learn more about the people whose issues she plans to champion.

"I’ve wanted to do an internship like this for a long time," she said. "At a larger museum, I’d just be stuffing mail and not getting any real work experience."

In Pittsfield, Streng works with the office Director Megan Whilden to promote, support and initiate cultural activities and events for residents and visitors, all responsibilities that require multi-taking.

"Megan is definitely a jack of all trades, so that makes me a mini-jack of all trades," said Streng. "You can’t get bored there; it’s a rule of thumb."

During a typical work day, Streng tackles various projects simultaneously, rotating between helping develop a newsletter and website for the office and working on artistic projects for the city.

Streng wants to use what she’s learning this summer to create a bridge between her college and the larger Berkshire cultural community outside of Williamstown.

"I can see correlations between what I’m doing in Pittsfield and what I’ve done at Williams in terms of extra-curriculars," said Streng, whose on-campus activities include Inish (the college’s Irish step dancing team), the International Club and the Williams Community Building Program.

"I want to connect Williams to the rest of Berkshire County," she said."I don’t understand why we’re not more involved with Pittsfield since it’s such an arts city."


Streng said she doesn't think of herself as an "artist," she prefers to call herself a "dabbler." She hopes to use her B-HIP internship to gain skills.

"I hope to have a better understanding of what arts management really is and how the arts world actually works," Streng said. "I want to make connections and apply what I’ve learned either at Williams or in the future."

"My philosophy is ‘I’ll help you become the best you can be and I hope to learn something in the process,’" she said.

Streng, who speaks the Romanian, English, French and Spanish languages, came to the United States to pursue an education at Williams. The school's prestigious liberal arts curriculum and its generous scholarship program were catalysts for her decision, she said. Though Streng said she’s sometimes afraid of being perceived as a foreigner, she intends to stay in this country until she lands her dream job.

"The best way to combine my passions is to work in arts management right now. Eventually, I want to center a U.S. headquarters in France. It’s the best of both worlds."

Jen Thomas may be reached via e-mail at jthomas@iberkshires.com or at 413-663-3384 ext. 23.
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