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Meet Our Interns: Isabella DiStefano

July 26, 2023

headshot of Isabella DiStefano standing in MOCA's archive


My name is Isabella DiStefano, and I am a curatorial intern at MOCA Jacksonville for the summer of 2023. I grew up in Saint Johns, just south of Mandarin, and attended Bartram Trail High School where I graduated in 2021. I now am a student at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia double majoring in Art History and Anthropology. Entering college, I did not know what career I wanted to pursue, I originally wanted to major in Global Health because I have a strong passion for learning about culture. In high school, I took AP Art History, which is where I first discovered my love for the subject. Once I arrived at Emory, I knew that I was meant to study art history. The campus has a lovely archaeological museum which completely stole my heart and changed the course of my studies. I now study mostly art and archaeology of ancient Greece.

I first realized that I wanted to pursue a career in the fine arts when I started my position at the Emory Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Under the tutelage of Nina Vestal, the founding house manager for the Schwartz Center, I began to love the work environment and connection to the visual arts and theatre that the Schwartz Center offers.

Knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in the fine arts, I knew that museum curatorial work would satisfy all my academic and personal interests. It is my absolute pleasure to work at a museum, especially an institution such as the MOCA Jacksonville. Last semester I took my first contemporary art class, and I began to love the study of art theory. I truly enjoyed learning about the art movements of the late 20th century. This class drew my interest in contemporary museums. I chose to apply to the MOCA curatorial internship because I felt that it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to gain experience in the field that I am interested in pursuing.

So, far I have very much enjoyed working at the MOCA. It is a joy to come to work and see beautiful art every day. I have had opportunities to work hands-on with artwork that I have studied in school. I also enjoy applying what I have learned in museum studies courses and understanding how these concepts translate to a real-world environment. The staff has been extremely friendly and welcoming. The cafe in the main lobby is a bonus! Currently, I have been assisting with measurements for our upcoming exhibition, which focuses on a collection that highlights art movements from New York City in the 1970s. This exhibition, A Walk on the Wild Side, is set to open in about six months, and I love being involved in the preparation and design of this installation.



The internship program at MOCA Jacksonville offers undergraduate and graduate students an exciting opportunity to gain real experience in a variety of fields. Internships are available throughout the year in marketing, curatorial, education, and more. Our team will work with you to make sure you get the most out of your experience and leave with qualifications that will look great on your resume and help you land dream jobs post graduation.