Arts Intern 2020: Experiencing Arts Careers During an Unusual Summer

Since 1999, Studio Institute’s Arts Intern program has provided more than 625 college students with authentic work experience in museums and cultural organizations. This summer, the closure of most arts institutions required innovative approaches to ensuring our commitment to students despite the limitations imposed by social distancing and the constraints of virtual internships.

Arts Intern proceeded to meet these challenges and provide much-needed support by collaborating with 21 arts and cultural partners across six cities to create remote, on-site, and hybrid internships for 26 interns during July and August. Special thanks to participating institutions in Boston, Cleveland, Memphis, New York City, Philadelphia, and Providence, whose support enabled highly capable students from diverse backgrounds to gain paid, professional experience this summer!

The intrepid interns also rose to the challenge—seizing this opportunity to enhance professional skills and learn new ones and taking advantage of the rich networking and mentoring opportunities available through the program.

Placed in internships in a range of departments—curatorial, graphic design, digital media, education, exhibits, collections, community outreach, marketing and public relations, and research—many came away with a desire to pursue arts professions in museums and other cultural institutions. Over the course of the summer, interns created virtual workshops and tours, catalogued collections, curated galleries, designed exhibition spaces, and more.

In addition to their work experience, interns participated in exclusive educational programing: seminars that focused on the variety of arts careers found within museums, including a session on museum governance presented by program founder Agnes Gund; alumni panels led by former Arts Interns who now hold full-time positions in arts and cultural institutions; and a virtual tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art Conservation Labs.

Takeaways from this unusual summer?
Hear what interns had to say about their experience:

The Momentum Continues: Arts Intern is Expanding
Building on the success of the summer internships, Studio Institute is proceeding with plans to create 50 internships that will take place between fall 2020 and spring 2021. In addition to offering internships in Arts Intern’s established cities, we are pleased to extend the program to Baltimore and Chicago! Studio is proud to offer this opportunity to museums and students at a time when it’s needed most.

Learn more about the Arts Intern program and paid internship opportunities for winter 2020-21. Internships are available in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, New York City, and Providence, and run through early 2021. Start and end dates vary.