Arts Administration Internships that Pay!
It’s that time of the year, internship applications are starting to open up. In a field with a scarcity of resources, the majority of theater admin internships in the U.S. are unpaid, not to mention a handful of programs require people to pay to work for them. While those coming from privileged backgrounds can take these internships and relocate to new places, those who are not able to afford an unpaid internship have a huge difficulty entering this field.
Instead of naming and shaming those organizations (you know who you are) that exploit the hard work of young people, I decided to compile a list of paid internship, apprenticeship, and fellowship opportunities that are designed to bridge education and career, and break down some of the economic barriers that young people face. The purpose of this list is to be a guide and resource for students, recent graduates, and early-career arts administrators looking for paid internships in this busy application season.
New York City-based:
Ars Nova is looking for smart, motivated young cultural leaders who are underrepresented in the theater field for our Emerging Leaders Group. Fellows earn a weekly stipend of $525.
The Broadway League supports a year-round internship program with positions available for the fall, spring, and summer. Interns are paid minimum wage on an hourly basis.
Ensemble Studio Theatre is pleased to invite applications for our Professional Producing Apprenticeships in Artistic Producing and in Production & Operations Management. In 2019-2020, EST Professional Apprentices committed to a paid part-time apprenticeship (20-30 hours per week) between late August 2019 and July 2020. Compensation is $1500 per month (except August, which was pro-rated). Check back in Summer 2020 to apply for the next cohort.
The Juilliard School sponsors a Professional Apprentice Program in Technical Theater and Arts Administration. The program provides a practical, hands-on experience working with professional technicians and administrators in their respective fields. Apprenticeships are full time – 40 hours per week. Compensation is $15 per hour. Overtime wages are paid starting the 41st hour of work in a given week, at a rate of one-and-a-half times the hourly rate or $22.50 per hour.
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Internship Program provides a unique learning opportunity for individuals interested in careers in performing arts administration and related fields. While internships are offered throughout the year, the majority of internships are available during the summer. As of 2018, interns were paid $13 (which was NYC minimum wage then).
The Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program is a paid intensive internship that provides college students and early-career professionals a unique opportunity to learn about producing not-for-profit theatre both on and off-Broadway. $525/week for full-time participants and $15/hour for those who work part-time. In addition, MTC offers Internship candidates from historically underrepresented communities the opportunity to apply for a limited number of living allowances to be used as a supplement to weekly compensation. $150/week for full-time participants and $75/week for part-time.
New York City Center is committed to training the next generation of creative, passionate arts professionals and to building pathways to careers in the arts for candidates from underrepresented communities. Apprentices are compensated $15/hour.
The 2050 Fellowship is named in celebration of the U.S. Census Bureau’s projection that by the year 2050, there will be no single racial or ethnic majority in the United States. NYTW will accept up to eleven 2050 Administrative Fellows per season. These fellowships will entail a year-long commitment from July to June. Fellows are paid NYC minimum wage.
The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival provides full-time summer production interns with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Internships are available in Scenery, Audio, Lighting, Props, Costumes, Production Management, and General Production. The rate is now minimum wage ($15/hr).
Roundabout provides hands-on learning opportunities for students and aspiring arts professionals interested in theatre administration careers through full-time summer internships and full-time season-long apprenticeships. Both are paid paid the hourly rate of minimum wage.
And last but not least...
The Apprentice Program provides aspiring arts professionals with a season-long residency at The Lark. Apprentices will join Lark’s small staff in an arts administration experience supporting visionary playwrights and stories that reflect the vibrancy and complexity of our community. For the 2020-2021 season, apprentices will be paid $15 per hour, and commit to an average of 25 hours per week.
Arena Stage Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship (Washington, DC)
The goal of Arena Stage's fellowship and internship program is to cultivate the next generation of theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater. Weekly stipend of $400 and a health, dental, and vision insurance package.
Huntington Theatre Company Apprenticeship (Boston, MA)
Huntington Theatre Company offers a full-time, season-long, professional program for committed individuals who are looking to bridge the gap between their academic experience and a professional career in theater. Apprentices are paid an hourly rate of $13.50 and average 40 hours a week, and are offered the option of health, dental, and retirement planning benefits.
Kennedy Center Next Generation Leaders Scholarship (Washington, DC)
The Next Generation Leaders Scholarship Program is a comprehensive 10-week intensive arts administration training program. Through the program, students will have the opportunity to develop office skills, gain qualifications for future jobs in arts administration, and cultivate social capital by developing connections with leaders and peers. The Summer 2020 term will award $4,500 scholarships (taxable) to a group of up to 12 students.
Seattle Rep Apprenticeship (Seattle, WA)
Seattle Rep's renowned Professional Arts Training Program offers season-long full-time apprentices. Our Interns and Apprentices are bright, diverse, self-motivated individuals with basic training and experience in theater who are committed to strengthening their skills and talents. Pays Seattle-based minimum wage ($16/hour).
SPACE on Ryder Farm Fellowship (Brewster, NY)
Fellowships at SPACE on Ryder Farm offer aspiring artistic administrators and chefs an immersive and impactful experience, equipping participants with sought-after skills to aid in their transition into the professional arena. Fellows are paid the prevailing minimum wage for Putnam County and are provided communal living spaces and most meals.
Steppenwolf Apprenticeship and Fellowship (Chicago, IL)
The Apprenticeship is a paid training program for early-career arts administrators or theatre production practitioners. Apprentices receive immersive practical learning experiences and opportunities to attend professional development seminars all while working as a part of a team with Steppenwolf's staff.
The Fellowship is a leadership development program for early-career people of color. Fellows will hold an apprenticeship in their department of interest while being given additional paid professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre.
Fellows/Apprentices will be paid minimum wage for 28 hours/week or 40 hours/week, depending on department. Minimum wage in Chicago, IL will be $13/hr as of July 1st, 2019. Fellows will receive additional paid hours specifically focused around professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre. Fellows will receive a modest monthly stipend to help defray their cost of living.
Three more things I’d like to acknowledge:
I want to specify that PAID internships mean it’s equal or above minimum wage. If your organization is only paying $10 a day or offering a metro card, it’s not really PAID…
There are also many organizations that are offering free housing with a stipend instead of minimum wage. It is a great step towards equity and takes a lot of stress away from the interns, but these opportunities are also not reflected on this list as I want to stress the importance of paying a minimum wage or above.
Considering the vast number of theater organizations that offer internships across the U.S., this list is very likely to be non-comprehensive and New-York centric. If your organization is offering theater administrative internships that are equal or above minimum wage, but are not on this list, please send the information to Wenxuan Xue at email@example.com and we will add it to the list!