Internships

Interns are an integral part of the Museum’s community, helping staff and visitors in many ways.

As part of its longstanding education program, the Museum’s internship program aims to give interns real-world experience and insight so that their transition from student to professional is supported, informed, and encouraged. This goal is achieved by:

  • Providing current undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates (within one year of graduation) and high-school students, opportunities to collaborate with Museum staff on projects related to the arts, arts education, and arts administration
  • Introducing interns to the broad spectrum of museum work and to Museum staff, departments, programs, and operations

Interns are an integral part of the Museum’s community, helping staff and visitors in many ways. In addition, the Museum seeks to reach underserved populations that have limited access to arts and professional-development opportunities in the arts.

Internships are offered during the summer, spring, and fall semesters, and during the academic year. Internships are available most semesters in each department of the Museum—Communications, Curatorial, Development, Education, and Museum Store & Visitor Services—and occasionally for special projects. Please see our openings below for specific information about upcoming semesters.

In addition to interning under the guidance of staff on projects that support individual departments in the Museum, summer interns participate in a robust professional development program during the months of June and July. Weekly Lunch & Learns are scheduled with each Museum department, giving interns an opportunity to explore the range of museum work, to meet and network with current museum professionals, to get useful advice for putting classroom knowledge into practice, and to develop interviewing and networking skills. Complementary weekly field trips may include an Urban Trail walking tour, artists’ studio visits, behind-the-scenes tours of local museums/cultural institutions, and other networking opportunities.

The Museum offers both paid and volunteer internships; see individual internship descriptions, as well as descriptions of the UNC Asheville and Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiatives below. The Museum regularly coordinates with schools, colleges, and universities to ensure academic credit is received by current students.

To apply, please send the following materials to Kristi McMillan, adult programs manager, via email or mail (PO Box 1717, Asheville, NC 28802):

  1. Internship application form. Click here to download the form.
  2. Letter of interest: A 1–2 page letter indicating why you are applying for an internship at the Asheville Art Museum, your specific interest in and/or skills related to the internship(s) for which you are applying, and what you hope to contribute during your internship
  3. Current resume or CV (optional)
  4. References: Internship program reference forms from two professional, educational, or character references in support of your application. (These forms may also be submitted by the reference directly to the Museum.) Click here to download the form.
  5. Writing sample: A 3–5 page paper from a class related to the internship(s) for which you are applying
  6. Transcript(s): Official or unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended

Priority application deadlines are March 1 (summer), July 1 (fall semester or academic year), and November 1 (spring semester). Applications received after these dates may be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.


Spring 2020 Internships

The priority application deadline for spring 2020 internships was November 1; applications for the following internship will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Museum Store & Visitor Services

The Museum Store complements the exhibition schedule by providing an assortment of art-related books and objects for sale. Interns gain experience in the day-to-day operations of a retail space, budgeting, visual merchandising, marketing, visitor services, and special events.


Summer 2020 Internships

The priority application deadline for summer 2020 internships is March 1. Applications received after that date may be considered on a first-come, first-served basis; please email Kristi McMillan, adult programs manager, for more information.

NB: Unless otherwise noted, summer internships last ~160 hours, including professional development in June & July.

Communications

The Communications Department expands public awareness of the Museum and aims to increase attendance and revenue. The Communications Department produces press releases; circulates images for reproduction, places advertisements, produces print and digital newsletters and other promotional materials, and updates the Museum’s website and social-media pages. Interns assist in writing content for the website, creating social media content, producing press releases, and creating graphics.

Communications – Multimedia Storytelling

This intern works primarily as part of the Communications team; in collaboration with the Curatorial team, the intern conducts interviews, shoots video, and produces short educational videos. These videos may be accessible to the public in the Museum’s digital spaces and galleries, and through the Museum’s website, searchable online Collection database, and social media channels. The intern interviews artists and other experts, researches Collection works and/or artists in-depth, locates photographs and other imagery, and practices their skills in video production. The ideal candidate will have prior experience with video production and multimedia storytelling (e.g. research, writing, storyboarding), some knowledge of art history, and an interest in the arts.

This internship includes a stipend of $1500 to offset moving, parking, transportation, and/or other expenses associated with the internship.

Curatorial Internship for Museum Diversity

The Curatorial Internship for Museum Diversity broadens opportunities for students who are passionate about a career in the arts and whose backgrounds or experiences are underrepresented in the museum field.

This intern will gain valuable professional experience by working alongside the Curatorial team on the Museum’s growing Black Mountain College Collection, which includes 1000+ artworks and ephemeral materials by 100+ artists. Objects include but are not limited to paintings, textiles, furniture, works on paper, and sculptures. Projects for the summer include:

  • Assist with the documentation and care of BMC Collection materials, such as condition-reporting, record-keeping, art-handling, and inventory.
  • Assist with a specialized project focused on in-depth research into the 100+ BMC artists represented in the Collection, including expanding information on copyright status, artist contact and representation, and artist biographical information. Work extensively with accession files and the Museum’s collection-management database, EmbARK.
  • Contribute original research towards the Museum’s publicly searchable online database, WebKiosk, with a particular focus on updated artist biographies and materials for the forthcoming Digital Black Mountain College Collection and Interconnective Timeline portion of the Museum’s website.
  • Research and present a gallery talk or other public program relating to BMC Collection.

This opportunity is open to current graduate students and recent graduates of graduate-level programs (within one year of graduation) interested in materials related to BMC and/or artists, ideas, or other areas of research with direct or indirect ties to BMC. Interns should also be interested in developing their skills in research, database management, museum record-keeping, art-handling, condition-reporting, and inventory procedures. Interns should be self-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented with good computer skills and a knack for precision.

Recognizing that diversity is multifaceted, applicants should also address in their letter of interest how their unique experiences and perspectives will contribute to diversity at the Asheville Art Museum and the museum field in general.

This 220-hour internship includes a stipend of $2640 to offset moving, parking, transportation, and/or other expenses associated with the internship.

Curatorial – Collections Management

The Curatorial team performs ongoing research into the Museum’s growing Collection of 20th- and 21st-century American art. Under the supervision of the Curatorial and Registration staff, interns assist with the documentation and care of the Museum’s Collection. In addition to standard collections-management tasks such as condition-reporting, record-keeping, art-handling, and inventorying, interns assist with a specialized project focused on in-depth research into the 1000+ artists represented in the Collection. The project includes expanding information on copyright status, artist contact and representation, and artist biographical information; working extensively with accession files; and updating the Museum’s collections-management database, EmbARK. The intern also has the opportunity to contribute research towards the Museum’s publicly searchable online database, WebKiosk, with a particular focus on updated artist biographies.

This opportunity is excellent for college-level students interested in a museum career to develop their skills in database management, museum record-keeping, art-handling, condition-reporting, and inventory procedures. Interns should be self-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented, with good computer skills and a knack for precision.

Curatorial – Preparation

The Curatorial Department researches and organizes upcoming exhibitions including the development of timelines, checklists, and signage; produces exhibition catalogues; and corresponds with artists, curators, galleries, and museums. Under the supervision of the preparator/assistant registrar, interns will assist in the planning, preparation, design, and installation of Museum exhibitions, art collections, or other display materials. Duties may also include moving, packing, unpacking, and examining the condition of artwork; aiding Curatorial staff or contract conservators in the safe management of the Collection; and the maintenance and upkeep of exhibition casework. Use of power tools, painting, and some lifting will be required.

Development

The Development Department seeks diverse sources of support for the Museum’s programming, exhibitions, and day-to-day operations. These sources include grants; the membership program; the annual fund; corporate giving and sponsorships; and fundraising events. Capital Campaign giving for building and endowment needs is also managed through the Development Department. Interns assist in researching prospective donors and gathering materials for grant applications and reports, event planning and preparations, direct-mail appeals, and acknowledgments to Museum Members and donors.

Education (2)

The Education Department provides learning opportunities for school-age groups, children and families, and adult audiences from college students to older adults. Internships with the Education Department offer art history, art education, museum studies, studio art, and other students an opportunity to experience and develop skills in arts education in a museum setting.

Education staff work closely with interns, mentoring such skills as interacting with various age groups, assisting with exhibition-related/curriculum-based art projects for various age groups, collaborating with our Summer Art Camp teachers in the studio, and more. Interns assist with administrative tasks and help staff to implement a range of programs. Depending on interns’ interests, they may also research and present a gallery talk or other public program. Interns should be friendly, energetic, highly motivated, and creative; familiar with a variety of art materials; and have a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards interacting with learners of all ages.

These 200-hour internships each include a stipend of $2000 to offset moving, parking, transportation, and/or other expenses associated with the internships.

Education – Web Accessibility

This intern works primarily as part of the Education team; in collaboration with the Communications and Curatorial teams, the intern helps improve the Museum website’s accessibility features. Projects include researching and reporting on best practices in alt-text functionality; assessing current descriptions in the Museum’s collections-management database for usability as alt-text on the Museum’s website; writing alt-text descriptions of images (e.g. Collection and exhibition artworks, people and event images) currently on the Museum’s website, as needed; and developing guidelines for alt-text descriptions of images for future uploads. This internship offers art history, art education, English, museum studies, studio art, and other students an opportunity to hone their skills in visual description, art-writing, and website content-management systems. Interns must have excellent writing skills.

This internship includes a stipend of $1600 to offset moving, parking, transportation, and/or other expenses associated with the internship.

Museum Store & Visitor Services

The Museum Store complements the exhibition schedule by providing an assortment of art-related books and objects for sale. Interns gain experience in the day-to-day operations of a retail space, budgeting, visual merchandising, marketing, visitor services, and special events.


UNC Asheville Internship Initiative

Thanks to the generous support of the Selby & Richard McRae Foundation, starting January 1, 2020 we are proud to welcome UNC Asheville students to the Museum each day for visits, tours, research, and programs through the UNC Asheville Student Membership Initiative. As part of the Initiative, the Museum also awards one UNC Asheville student a paid internship each semester to support learning projects in one or more Museum departments.

Stipends of $1000 are provided for fall and spring semester interns, and stipends of $1600 are provided for summer interns. To apply, degree-seeking UNC Asheville undergraduate students should complete the Museum’s internship program application process (see above). Awards will be included in internship offers.


Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiative

 

The Museum participates in the Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiative, which provides internship and pre-professional training opportunities for youth with disabilities, ages 15–22. Programs include transition to work and pre-professional career development opportunities designed to enhance the potential for future employment in the arts, arts education, or arts management. Programs provide participants with exposure to the variety and diversity of arts-based careers, hands-on experiential opportunities to explore careers, jobs and employment, develop critical arts employment skills, real-world work experience, and the opportunity to interact with peers and professionals. Programs provide 40 or more instructional or experiential hours per intern, apprentice, or trainee.

Stipends of $750 are provided for 2019–2020 Rosemary Kennedy Internship Initiative interns. To apply, youth with disabilities, ages 15–22, should complete the Museum’s internship program application process (see above), and indicate their eligibility and wish to be considered on page 3 of the application form. Awards will be included in internship offers.