Public Space One – Summer 2022 Internship

Internship focus: Historic home research, preservation, and adaptive reuse

About the organization

Public Space One (PS1) is an artist-led, community-driven contemporary art organization in Iowa City that aims to provide independent and inclusive spaces for making and presenting art through exhibitions, performances, residency programs, education, artist resources, and advocacy. Its major programs include the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Media Arts Co-op, and Iowa City Press Co-op, alongside year-round artist exhibitions and projects.

About the internship

Over the past two and a half years, Public Space One (PS1) has shifted from precarious tenancy in (often underground) utilitarian commercial spaces into ownership of three historic houses near downtown Iowa City — 225 N Gilbert (the Hohenschuh-Hervert House), 229 N Gilbert (the Christian and Clara Dostal Hohenschuh House) and 538 S Gilbert (the Close House). While creation of community space has always been at the core of what we do, taking on these distinctive properties has added historic preservation and adaptive reuse to our ongoing work. PS1 is charged with the possibilities and challenges of subverting the original uses of our spaces from private/domestic to public/community-access, and ideally radically hospitable. 

The summer 2022 HPG internship project will engage with how to recognize, document, and communicate the history of the current structures (both as a requirement of their historic landmark status and in response to community interest) while opening consideration for other histories linked to these sites, and while shaping spaces that support community building and contemporary art practices.

Intern’s work responsibilities

Responsibilities will include:

  • Research on and production of public-facing materials (format tbd) regarding the history of the three properties, with consideration of both the built structures and other histories (ecological, pre-colonial, etc.)
  • Research on and interviews with similar adaptive reuse projects both local and national
  • Supporting and learning from our Facilities Manager and other staff
  • Surveying PS1 stakeholders and other community members to gather information that will allow us to better understand perceptions and desire related to these properties
  • Creating proposals for programmatic and/or operational projects and approaches that respond to information gathered during the course of the internship

Qualifications & skills preferred

  • Experience and/or interest in community engagement and collaboration
  • Experience and/or interest in historical preservation 
  • Ability to make “cold calls” and meet with a variety of stakeholders
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in close collaboration with colleagues

Location, hours, & reporting

This intern reports to Kalmia Strong, PS1 co-director, and is sited at 538 S. Gilbert. This job can be done during regular business hours, although the intern is encouraged to participate in PS1 events that are often in the evening and on weekends.