Arts Management Internship help?
December 2, 2008 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Graduate student: Looking for a summer internship anywhere in the US or Canada to enrich MS in Arts Management degree. Do you have any suggestions of favorite museums (large or small), galleries, or even independent grass-roots arts organizations?

I'm currently a graduate student pursuing an MS in Arts Management. Part of my curriculum requires a summer internship. I'm going to apply to all of the larger museums, but I'm sure that there are smaller galleries and groups out there that may not be showing up in the first few pages of a google search.

My background (undergrad) is in fine arts. I currently work for a small gallery, and have experience in a large corporation's private collection. I'm interested mostly in modern art, but also have an inclination to portraiture, American art, Canadian art, and certain fiber/folk arts. Basically anything 2D fine arts related.

I've also studied abroad in Moscow. Although I haven't had a chance to work on my language skills, the interest is still there.

I wouldn't pass up a great opportunity at a larger museum, but I'm more interested in smaller, independent, niche, or downright strange galleries.

I'm currently in western PA, and am willing to pretty much travel anywhere. I'd really like to stay out of the South and maybe even midwest, as I'm hoping to also use this experience to network and hopefully find a permanent job after graduation, and I haven't really had any great experiences in either area (I know! everyone loves Chicago!). But I'd also not nix a great idea because of location.

I'd also prefer a mid-sized metropolitan area.

My curriculum is largely quantitative, so I'm pretty certain now that I'd much rather be on a programming or administrative side of the business, as opposed to development or finance.

phew, I tried to provide as much info as possible. But basically, if you know of any great galleries or arts organization that you are partial to, please let me know. I put more faith into "work of mouth" than popular consensus.
posted by BlackStrapMolasses to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
May I suggest Art Enables in Washington, D.C.?
posted by Ironmouth at 5:01 PM on December 2, 2008

Well, sorry I know you said not Chicago, but what about the Hyde Park Art Center? There's no place like it-- a neighborhood art center with a solid artistic stance, true responsiveness to its neighborhood and a wonderful ability to adapt to changing zeitgeist.
posted by nax at 7:28 PM on December 2, 2008

As someone who works in a different part of the arts management field (ie not visual), I'd strongly suggest getting a mix of small organization and big organization experience. In my past, I found that the big names got people to look at my resume long enough to care, and the small organzations were the places I got actual work experience.

Other things? IMHO, it's REALLY hard to break into the programming side of things. Really really hard. An arts management degree sets you up to do fundraising, marketing, etc...not so much curating or programming.

Museums? Off the top of my head...

I have no idea what their internship program is like, but my favorite art museum ever is the American Visionary Art Museum:

No idea what their internships are like either, but I love Yerba Buena Center for the Arts:

If you have more arts mgmt / internship questions, feel free to drop me a line. I did a program like yours, and have been in the field for a few years and would be happy to chat if you have specific questions.
posted by soleiluna at 7:42 PM on December 2, 2008

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