Arts Internship Program (for Students)

Important Update Concerning COVID-19

The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and the County-wide Stay at Home order issued in the middle of March, have necessitated a shift in the timeline and parameters of the 2020 Arts Internship Program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LA County Arts Internship Program?

The LA County Arts Internship Program supports and strengthens the cultural sector of LA County by providing access to high-quality opportunities for college students of all backgrounds to gain experience, understanding, and transferable skills relevant to careers in the arts, the creative economy, and engagement in public life.

For a better sense of the program and the experience of interns, please read the Arts Internship Program Final Reports.

2019 AIP Final Report

A summary of the 2019 program and highlights of experiences from interns and supervisors.

2018 AIP Final Report

A summary of the 2018 program and highlights of experiences from interns and supervisors.

How does the program work?

The Department of Arts and Culture provides grants to nonprofit performing, presenting, and literary organizations to host college students for 400 hours of paid work between June and August. For summer 2020, social justice and social service organizations with arts progamming will also participate for the first time. The earliest that interns can start their 2020 internships is Sunday, May 30, and the latest is Monday, June 15. Internships end no later than Sunday, August 30.

Each participating host organization determines the exact start date and end date of the internship, as well as the work schedule. In addition to working at their host organizations, students participate in education events and peer group activities coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture.

In the summer of 2020, approximately 228 positions will be available for students throughout LA County. Students are encouraged to review the list of 2019 positions to get a sense of the range of available positions.The list of available 2020 positions will be posted at the end of March.

For more information about past interns' experiences, you can also read our 2019 Arts Internship Program Final Report, which includes a summary and evaluation from the perspectives of both interns and supervisors.

What about the visual arts?

Internships in museums and visual arts organizations are provided every summer through the Getty Foundation’s Marrow Undergraduate Internship Program.

Are these positions paid?

Yes. In summer 2020 all students will be paid $6,000 ($15.00/hour, or $600/week for a 40-hour week) for their 400-hour long internships. Please note: students are selected and paid directly by their host organizations, not by the Department of Arts and Culture.

So students have to be in college to participate? Are there any other eligibility requirements?

Yes, for example, students must either live in or attend college in Los Angeles County. Please review the student eligibility guidelines in full.

I participated in the program last year. Can I participate again?

No, students are only eligible to participate in the program once, even if they still meet all other eligibility requirements.

I’m not majoring in the arts. Is this program right for me?

This program is meant to develop transferrable skills applicable to arts careers as well as the broader creative economy. Students are not required to have prior background or experience in the arts—in fact, many students have participated as non-arts majors! However, each organization creates its own job description, so it is important to read each description to find positions that may be suited to your skills and interests.

The internships run from June to August, but I’m planning a vacation in July. Can I still participate?

Due to the nature of the program, students must be able to fulfill 400 hours over the course of twelve weeks at their host organization, as well as attend required educational events.

I’m in high school/graduate school/graduated last year and looking for my next step/in the middle of a career change and I want an internship. What should I do?

At this time, the LA County Arts Internship Program is only open to eligible community college and undergraduate students. We recommend the Arts for LA Jobs Forum for other internship or job opportunities that may work for you.

How do I apply?

Check our application page at the end of March for a list of available positions for the following summer. Afterwards, apply directly to the organizations that interest you. We recommend applying early and applying to more than one organization.

Do you have any tips for applying?
  • Prepare your cover letter and resume in advance so that you can begin to tailor your materials as soon as the positions are posted.
  • Do NOT submit the same cover letter and resume to each organization.
  • Make sure your materials are error free.
  • Have them reviewed by a friend or professor beforehand.
  • Do your research about the organizations that interest you so that you can make the best case for why you’re a good candidate.
  • And be sure to read this helpful blog post by an Arts Internship Program alumn that is full of other good things to consider!
I still have questions! What should I do?

Contact Martín Hernandez, Professional Development Programs Associate.