Kennett an intern at Rock &?Roll?Hall of Fame

Lisa Depies
Jamie Kennett of Geneseo stands near the museum offices at the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Kennett is spending her summer working as an education intern at the Hall of Fame.

Jamie Kennett has landed a summer internship that rocks. The 2008 Geneseo grad is in the middle of spending two months working at the Rock &?Roll?Hall of Fame in Cleveland,?Ohio.

A music education major at Illinois State University, Kennett was browsing the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame’s Web site nearly a year ago when she learned internships were available.

“My dad and I had driven out to the hall of fame when I was 16. It was so cool. I loved the place,”?said Kennett, now 20. “When I saw they had internships, I?called my dad to ask if I?could apply. He said as long as I could find a place to live (in Cleveland) I could do it.”

Applying for the internship was a “lengthy process” said Kennett. “I had to write essays, fill out forms, submit recommendations and do a phone interview.”

Late in her spring semester, Kennett learned she’d been accepted as an intern. “The first thing I did was try to find a place to live,” she said. Because Kennett was only going to be in Cleveland for two months, housing options were scarce.

With subleasing unavailable in Cleveland and many apartment complexes unwilling to rent for such a short period of time, Kennett thought her only option was to room at an extended-stay hotel. “That would get expensive fast,” said Kennett. “And the internship is totally unpaid. All I get is a parking pass.”

Instead, Kennett and her family contacted a Lutheran Church in Cleveland to see if any congregation members would have space available.

“Three days before I left (for Ohio), everything just fell together,” she said. Kennett has split her summer, living first with an elderly woman with a spare bedroom and then with a teacher whose roommate left to get married.

Her days are spent working in the education department at the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame.

“I was thrown into the mix very quickly. The second week I was there, they hosted a summer teachers’ institute. Fifty teachers from all over the United States came to learn how to incorporate rock music in the classroom,”?said?Kennett. “For example, they learn how letting students manage a mock band can help them learn math.”

For the education department, the summer institute “is a really big thing” said Kennett. “They’ve spent months preparing. I came the week before and they had a list of things they needed my help with.”

During the summer teachers’ institute, Kennett said she made copies, set up rooms, and helped make sure things ran smoothly.

“I got to sit in on all of the classes, which  meant I basically got to attend the institute for free. That was fantastic,”?she said.

Since the teachers’ institute has ended, Kennett has spent her time doing research for a Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame event planned for next year. The event is hush-hush, said Kennett, but it gives her a chance to do background work. “I visit the library and have to watch a lot of videos.”

She’s also working to compile data and feedback from the summer institute.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity. I’m learning something new every day. Not many people get to do something like this, especially from?Illinois since most of the interns are from?Ohio.”

Kennett also has had the chance to better get to know the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame and its exhibits.

“My first day, the education department was all going out to lunch for someone’s retirement party. They told me just to go and spend the afternoon in the museum. I was able to take my time and really look through the exhibits,” said Kennett. “I was with a curatorial intern who had an incredible knowledge about the displays and the background on the people featured.”

“On a daily basis, if I have to go to the fourth floor for something,?I’m able to pass by different exhibits, just as I go about my daily work,” she explained.

Her two favorite displays are the museum’s “Treasures from the Vault” exhibit and a special display on Bruce Springsteen.

“The vault is a place in the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame where they store the massive collection of things they have that aren’t on display. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard it’s cool.

“The ‘Treasures from the Vault’ display shows some of the pieces. One of the things they have is the flute from Jethro?Tull. Since I’m a flute player, I enjoy that,” she said.

The exhibit on Springsteen caught Kennett’s eye after she listened to a presentation on the exhibit at a summer institute workshop.

“They talked a lot about how they created the exhibit and what it took to get certain pieces. I find the exhibit fascinating since I know a little bit more about how it all came together,” she said.

Displays at the Rock &?Roll Hall of Fame capture slices of life. “As people go through the museum, they see exhibits and say ‘I was at that show’ or ‘I saw that on TV.’ It’s neat to see the suit that so-and-so wore or the car that was in a certain music video. Rock

music permeates a lot, and the museum helps bring it to life.”

Kennett will be at the museum through Aug. 13 before returning to Illinois State for her junior year.

Kennett is the daughter of Keith and Kim Kennett of Geneseo.