Skip to main content


A Lesson on Ethics in the Archive

Recently, I’ve acquired a fascination for archives. Their immense capability of both preserving and dictating memories of people, places, and eras is captivating, and a careful balance to maintain. When I joined Franklin Furnace for their 2020 Summer Internship, I was excited to work with their collection of digital archives, looking forward to peering into a piece of art history. I was assigned the task of researching and revamping Franklin Furnace’s Wikipedia page. I was to go through the Franklin Furnace website and their event archives, and select information to input on the Wikipedia page. At times, the work felt tedious: switching between tabs, synthesizing information into my own words, and constantly organizing photographs and documents. However, during my research, I would stumble upon tidbits of information that made me pause and made it all worth it. I found artists who I had no idea worked with Franklin Furnace, artists who have extensive experience in the art world, and ar
Recent posts

Redefining Learning

In middle school, we took an elective course called “service learning.” It was during this quarter-long elective that I formed my first definitions of service, community engagement, and nonprofit work. Definitions I had never sought to challenge until recently. I thought the answer to every problem lay in outside, extraneous forces. If you brought enough money, a plethora of volunteers, and spent a few days, weeks, or even a month, imparting your resources and wisdom, there was no way this system of idealized assistance could fail any problem it aimed to tackle. When all was said and done, I figured it was well within reason to walk away from whatever cause you embedded yourself in for a short time, knowing you were leaving it all the better for the amount of time and resources you had put in. I thought you could walk away.  Before the start of my internship at Franklin Furnace, Harley asked me to familiarize myself with the SEQARTKIDS website, the organization’s arts-in-education prog

Summer 2020 Internship

Entering the Franklin Furnace internship program after only just having finished my first year of college left me excited but nervous. Add in the pandemic, which caused a switchover from an in person to a remote internship, and no one really had any idea what to expect. Yet my nerves were quickly assuaged by the warm and welcoming environment that the program somehow still managed to exude through the digital forms of Zoom meetings and email correspondences. As I’m sure many past and present interns can attest to, one immediately feels important and valuable, as part of a team with real tasks and responsibilities rather than being relegated to the role of mere coffee-runner. I was assigned to work with my peers on redesigning the Franklin Furnace website. The ideas and questions we encountered while working paralleled the changes we were seeing globally as we all shifted from a life in person to a life lived remotely. Franklin Furnace’s fierce dedication to cultivating and preserving a

Franklin Furnace Interns of All Time Party

This November 29th, 2020, Franklin Furnace invited all its interns and volunteers since its 1976 founding to the event of the century! Interns across all different eras of the Furnace came to the Market restaurant, owned by friend of the Furnace Chin Chin and her partner, to partake in an audacious amount of food and drink. The plethora of dumplings, edamame, pickles, and kimchi was heartily devoured by our interns and the leftovers were greedily pillaged and hoarded into takeout boxes at the end of the night, a testament to the quality of the fare. We also drank delicious Amorotti wine all the way from Italy, donated by previous intern Gaetano Carboni who crushed the grapes with his own bare feet (it's organic and artisanal -  ). As to the festivities, current intern Destiny Daniel gave out free makeovers (Harley’s nose never looked so small and his eyelashes never so LUXURIOUS), and everyone was decked out in matching Martha hats, painstakingly crafted by summ


This collection of a decade of boxes of sweets was saved by Harley J. Spiller, Deputy Director of Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. It started when Franklin Furnace moved to its second headquarters at 45 John Street in Manhattan’s Fi-Di in 1999 (before the financial district was christened FiDi by eager realtors).  When later that year fellow staffer Tiffany Ludwig returned from vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina carrying a gift of a pound of salt water taffy for the office, the box seemed too cool to discard. Even though the candies were gone, Spiller, as is his wont, saved it.  It was, after all “Full of Sea Breeze and Sunshine.” Salt Water Taffy became a traditional gift for staff returning from vacation and Tiffany and Rachel B. Knowles, intern cum staffer, brought several more over the years, including White Marlin brand from Chincoteague (with its label pasted over the original location), one that memorializes NC lighthouses at Cape Lookout, Oak Island, Currituck, Bodie