Nation's Largest Paid Summer Arts Internship Program Opens for LA County College Students

Program Expands Creative Career Opportunities and Learning

The LA County Arts Internship Program (AIP) will provide 228 university and community college students with paid on-the-job experience in the arts at over 140 nonprofit organizations starting this summer. Applications for interested students are now open.

The AIP is the largest paid summer internship program in the US. Now in its 21st year, more than 2,500 students have entered the LA County arts and culture field through AIP, which places interns in nonprofit performing, presenting, literary and municipal arts organizations. Its companion program, the Getty Multicultural Internship Program, provides internships to museums and visual arts organizations.

Students build their professional skills and connections while completing projects in education, marketing, graphic design, fundraising, production, and more. Host organizations, which range in budget size, include nonprofits focusing on artistic disciplines including theater, dance, multimedia, film, and social justice through the arts.

"Through the largest paid arts internship program in the nation, LA County remains committed in investing and nurturing our future generation of artists and cultural workers," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. "My commitment to workforce development is stronger than ever due to the pandemic, and is why I was so pleased to champion a motion last year to restore funding to the Arts Internship Program—a critical entry point for young people of color into careers in arts and culture. Not only does the program grow in participants every year, but it also chips away at longstanding disparities in creative opportunities. As we continue to re-open sectors of our County, and develop sustainable recovery efforts, our focus must be on building stronger and more accessible pathways for careers in this sector."

"For 21 years, the LA County Arts Internship Program has built career pathways for diverse young people to enter and thrive in LA County’s creative economy. The program is a win-win—students get real-world experience and our nonprofit partners receive funding support and join us in developing future arts leaders with inclusive talent and community representation," said LA County Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda. "This kind of paid work-based opportunity is a critical way to address inequities, build an arts and creative sector that centers equity, and relieve the pandemic’s impact on youth unemployment in the County. As our sector begins a journey of recovery, interns will engage first-hand in the arts and create networks that help launch their careers."

Approved as one of the five initial recommendations from the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative funded by the Board of Supervisors in 2017, the program has expanded each subsequent year, both increasing the number of internships available and reserving at least 28 positions for community college students. In the last three years the proportion of participation from community college students has more than quadrupled.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the program timeline has been extended to allow for more flexibility for both interns and work sites. Additionally, part time and remote internships will be available. Organizations set the start and end dates of their positions, but all students must complete their 400 paid hours between May 31, 2021 and March 1, 2022.

In addition to the on-the-job experience they acquire as Arts Interns, participants take part in educational and networking activities including opportunities to meet in Peer Groups curated by leaders in the arts and culture field. These educational components are supported by The Getty Foundation, which supports internships at museums and visual arts organizations through its Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship Program, a companion program to the Department of Arts and Culture’s program.

Applications for the program are now open. Any current undergraduate students, as well as students graduating between May 1 - December 1, 2021 are eligible to apply. All applicants must be currently enrolled in a community college or four-year university. Applicants must also be residents of or attending schools that are located in Los Angeles County, and they cannot be previous participants of the Program. Eligible students of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Students who wish to apply may do so by identifying the opportunities they are interested in at www.lacountyarts.org/internships, and applying directly to those host organizations. Positions will be launched at the beginning of each month starting in April through August of 2021. Interested students are encouraged to continue checking our website for the most up to date and available positions.

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