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Paid Intern - Emerging Arts Leader (Summer Quarter)

Summer Quarter 2019
Applications Due Date: April 1, 2019

Seattle Art Museum connects art to life. SAM strives for its employees, volunteers, and interns to reflect the community in which it exists. We want to develop careers for individuals interested in the arts who bring dynamic backgrounds and perspectives to this paid internship program. While diversity can embody many characteristics, we are particularly interested in engaging with historically under-represented groups in the museum field.

Goals and Learning Objectives: This interdisciplinary position is designed to provide emerging arts leaders from diverse backgrounds with an in-depth understanding of SAM’s operations, programming and audiences. This internship will develop the skill set of the emerging arts leader while also providing them the opportunity to contribute their unique insights and perspectives. Two home departments will be chosen based on the interns’ professional or academic experience and career objectives, and the intern will work across these departments to gain understanding of careers available to pursue. During the 10 week program, the emerging arts leader will work with key museum departments to develop a community engagement project or program inspired by SAM’s special exhibitions and permanent collection, culminating with a portfolio presentation that reflects the multidisciplinary work developed throughout the course of the Internship.

Examples include:

  • Working with the curatorial and educational staff, the intern will research a work in the museum’s permanent collection, develop a community tour about the work, and facilitate a talk about the issues the work addresses.
  • Working with the technology team to develop digital content for specific audiences
  • Working with the communications team to refine outreach strategies and contribute to the design of marketing materials.

Duties & Responsibilities

  1. Support the home department. Projects may include: community partnership &engagement, program support, development (both program and fundraising) and administrative support.
  2. Work with other departments within SAM. Projects may include: performing outreach and building connections with diverse arts communities, developing compelling community programming, or creating engaging web content.
  3. Create a community engagement project or program.
  4. Provide event support, which may include evening and weekend events.
  5. Develop content and perform research.
  6. Attend Enrichment Sessions and other programs for interns.
  7. Spend time engaging with visitors at the Info Desk and assisting visitors in the galleries.


  1. Demonstrated interest in and experience with the arts, either through school and associated activities or within a work setting. Competitive candidates will also demonstrate maturity and be able to articulate why this Emerging Arts Leader Internship supports their professional goals in museums or the wider arts industry.
  2. Ability to work with staff and volunteers in a professional manner on a variety of tasks.
  3. Ability to ask for help and accept supervision and evaluation of your work.
  4. Ability to work with others professionally and tactfully.
  5. Ability to adhere to Museum policies and to support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.

Education: High School graduate, or GED.

Compensation: $15 per hour for up to 20 hours per week, for 10 weeks, June 10 – August 16, 2019

Application Requirements: 
1. Application

2. A Personal Statement of no more than 700 words detailing:

  • How you represent diversity in terms of culture, background, or artistic/professional experiences.
  • How do questions of equity shape your personal and professional goals?
  • How and why interdisciplinary collaboration will aid your academic or artistic career.
  • What interests you about working in a museum?
  • What you hope to gain from this experience and how might it enhance your education and career plans?
  • What do you feel you can contribute to the museum?
  • What departments or areas of the museum (Public Programs, Curatorial, Communications, Development, Operations) are you most interested in working with?

3. Resume

4. Two letters of recommendation, ideally from teachers, supervisors or mentors

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