Arts Intern

Paid Internships and Real Work Experience at Museums and Cultural Organizations

Since 1999, the Arts Intern program has provided college students interested in arts careers with authentic work experience in museums and cultural institutions. By drawing students from diverse and low-income backgrounds, Arts Intern provides opportunities for highly capable students who may not otherwise have such access.

The program also enables museums and other cultural organizations to cultivate new voices and diversify their work forces across departments. Over 20 years later, the program has benefitted more than 600 students, offering many their first behind-the-scenes look at museums.

Arts Interns are treated as professionals and earn a competitive wage. Studio Institute fully funds interns’ stipends and gives host institutions a small administrative payment. Just as important, interns have the opportunity to learn from experienced staff. They try out new skills in the context of a supervisor’s guidance. Within the scope of specific, time-bound assignments, interns are encouraged to take initiative and shape projects with a fresh approach.

In addition to working side-by-side with people who are experts in their field, interns have opportunities to interact with their peers in the program. Through required special events and seminars at participating institutions, interns meet, compare notes, and learn from each other’s insights. Life-affecting career choices often grow from these experiences.

Sejin Park (L) was an Arts Intern at the Noguchi Museum in 2013. She later became the Noguchi’s Education Coordinator and now supervises a new Arts Intern each year. Here she is planning with Emma Ike (R), who created the Noguchi’s family guide as part of Arts Intern 2018 and was later hired as a Junior Education Assistant. Emma was selected for Arts Intern’s special, one-time Venice Biennale program in 2019.

Arts Intern aims to provide college students with authentic, immersive experiences that make a difference at their workplaces. In Memphis, Ciara Fisk worked on the Brooks Museum’s Photography in Memphis exhibition during her internship. When the exhibition launched in the fall, she was credited as a co-curator and spoke at the opening. (photo credit: Talisha Ingram, Total Icon Photography)

Cleveland interns Anthony Diaz and Jace Vidumsky pose with their supervisors at Artist Archives of the Western Reserve, Megan Alves and Kelly Pontoni, who was an Arts Intern herself in 2018. (L to R: Anthony, Megan, Jace, & Kelly)

Read about other interns’ experiences in Memphis and Cleveland.

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Arts Intern – Venice 2019 Biennale Arte

In the summer of 2019, Studio Institute sent eight college interns to live and work in Venice over a period of eleven weeks. Interns worked as gallery interpreters at the 2019 Biennale Arte and implemented an educational outreach initiative at a Venice-based charity. This opportunity was made possible through a partnership with the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Learn more about this unique program and download free educational resources here!