Mia Horvath '25 discusses a painting at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute with her internship supervisor, John Murphy '85, director of development at MWPAI.
For six days in mid-July, the sidewalks outside Utica’s Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute (MWPAI) transformed into an exhibit. Original artwork, created and donated by artists within a 40-mile radius, hung on a makeshift wall along the sidewalk’s edge, catching the eyes of passersby. Mia Horvath ’25 was among the viewers, but it wasn’t the art that caught her attention — it was the crowd.

As she watched people linger on each piece, she realized how museums can cultivate a public interest in art. It’s an important mission, and one that Horvath gets to be a part of as a development intern at MWPAI. 

“I want to share my appreciation for art with other people,” Horvath said. “Seeing people at the Sidewalk Art Show made me realize that the work I’m doing matters.”

Horvath has always been interested in the arts, but it wasn’t until she arrived at Hamilton that she began considering an art-related career. She attributes this newfound career interest to her art history and art studio classes and the Joan Hinde Stewart (JHS) Career Development Program.

The JHS Program invites exceptional students with financial need to participate in a comprehensive, four-year program of career-related counseling and guidance. Horvath attended many workshops throughout her first year on campus, including ones focused on career exploration.

“Those really allowed me to branch out and discover what I wanted to do and what fields I might be interested in,” Horvath said. “And I began to really focus on a career in the arts.”

Horvath’s career advisor connected her with John Murphy ’85, director of development at MWPAI and former director of milestone reunions at Hamilton. After meeting a few times with Horvath, Murphy offered her an internship in MWPAI’s Development Office. 

In the office, Horvath coordinates events to facilitate membership applications, improves donor relations, and advises the office on how to increase young-adult museum members. Recently, she suggested offering a membership raffle at the Sidewalk Art Show as a means to gauge public interest in memberships. Event planners implemented her idea.

“My ideas are appreciated and actually taken into account,” Horvath said. “It’s nice to know that I can be creative and offer ideas that might be used in the future.”

Although Horvath’s internship is housed within the development office, she has had opportunities to explore other areas of interest. Shadowing curatorial staff, she learned about the various decisions that go into building an exhibit. She has also collaborated with the social media manager to enhance MWPAI’s online platforms, which she will continue doing until her internship ends on Aug. 12.

“It’s been really great to be surrounded by people who want me to get as much out of this as they are getting out of me,” Horvath said.

Mia Horvath ’25

Major: Undeclared
Hometown: Cherry Valley, N.Y.
High School: Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School


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Named for Hamilton’s 19th president, the Joan Hinde Stewart Career Development Program provides a comprehensive four-year program of career-related counseling and guidance to exceptional students with financial need.

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