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, director of learning & engagement, via email or mail (PO Box 1717, Asheville, NC 28802):
- Internship application form. Click here to download the form.
- 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
- Current resume or CV (optional)
- 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.
- Writing sample: A 3–5 page paper from a class related to the internship(s) for which you are applying
- 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.
Fall 2020 Internships
Applications are no longer being accepted.
Spring 2021 Internships
The priority application deadline for the following internships is November 1; applications received after that date may be considered.
Communications – Multimedia Storytelling
This intern works primarily as part of the Communications team; in collaboration with the Curatorial and Learning & Engagement teams, 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.
The Museum is seeking an undergraduate curatorial intern for spring 2021. Click here for more information and application instructions.
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.
Learning & Engagement
The Learning & Engagement team provides learning opportunities for school-age groups, children and families, and adult audiences from college students to older adults. Internships with the Learning & Engagement team 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.
Learning & Engagement 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, help staff to implement a range of programs on weekdays, weekends, and evenings, and create content for virtual 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.
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, online store, budgeting, visual merchandising, and marketing.
The Visitor Services team provides critical oversight of the daily flow of admissions, information, and visitor interaction. Interns learn skills in customer relations, organization, problem-solving, and working in a fast-paced, service-forward organization.
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.
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.