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 is this year's program different in light of Coronavirus?

Because of the Coronavirus, the program has changed in a few ways:

  • Program Timeline:
    Most students know our program to be a summer program. As many of our grantees are figuring out how to reopen and reopen safely, we have extended this years program from July 15, 2020 to March 1, 2021. This means the program is more "year round" as we will have interns working in the fall and even into next year.
  • Types of work for Interns:
    Usually, all of our internships are 100% onsite. Because not all of our grantee organizations are fully open, some interns may be asked to work offsite (remotely) for part or all of their hours. We have asked all grantees to be clear about this in their interview process, so don't be afraid to ask them when you're interviewing!
  • Educational Events:
    This year, we will be hosting monthly virtual events for interns to attend throughout the program. They will focus on a wide variety of topics from theatre, to social justice, arts education and more. The best part? You can participate in these even after your internship is over, and any events that happened before you started are being recorded so you can view them later on.
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. For summer 2020, social justice and social service organizations with arts programming will also participate for the first time.

Because of coronavirus, this years program timeline has been extended. The first batch of positions will be posted on our website on July 15, 2020 and we will continue to post jobs in the following weeks as more organizations are ready to  "launch" their positions. All 400 hours of the internship must be competed by March 1, 2021.

Each participating host organization determines the exact start date and end date of the internship, as well as the work schedule. As many of our organizations are grappling with new social distancing guidelines, many interns will be working remotely. Additionally, many internships may be part time opportunities going as low as 15 hours a week. 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. This year, these events will be happening virutally on a monthly basis.

In the summer of 2020, nearly 200 positions will be available for students throughout LA County. 

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 if I go back to school in the fall? Or if I have another part time job?

This year, because of the changes to the program timeline, our organizations know that students who are applying may have other jobs or be going back to the school in the fall. Many of our organizations will be flexible with your schedule, but please be open and honest about these commitments when you are interviewing. Supervisors can only plan for what they know; so if you can work 40 hours a week during July and August but when you go back to school in September you will need to drop that to 20 hours a week, please let them know!

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 July to March, but I’m planning a vacation in August. Can I still participate?

Due to the nature of the program, students must clearly communicate any prior commitments to their organization while they are in the interview process. Interns and organizations must come to agreements about all schedule changes and conflicts before the intern begins their work.

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 on July 15 for the first batch of available positions, then keep visiting often as new positions will continue to be psoted. When you see something you like, 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.