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The Center annually involves nearly a hundred interns in its activities. Internships are offered year-round in various fields including cultural anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, museum studies, arts administration, journalism, graphic and web design, marketing, and library science.
Intern projects, conducted under the guidance of the Center’s professional staff, often center on research for, design, and production of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, web production, educational outreach projects, video projects, or the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives.
Students in folklore, American studies, American history, music, library science, or other fields may be able to arrange course credit for their work here. Interns typically work at least twenty hours per week for six weeks or more, but schedules are flexible. During the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which runs for ten days from late June into early July, interns are expected to be available during much of that time, including the July Fourth holiday and weekends.
Internships can be from six weeks to one year, full- or part-time, though working at least fifteen to twenty hours per week is preferred. Submission deadline for summer internships is March 15; there are no deadlines for getting applications in for the rest of the year. These are non-paying internships.
The online internship application can be found at https://solaa.si.edu and please specify the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. You will be asked to upload supporting material such as essay and resume.
Mentorship Program for a More Diverse Workplace
We encourage women of color, an underrepresented population at the Smithsonian, to apply for this opportunity to explore and discover cultural heritage and the role it plays in identity, family, and community. This program reflects the White House’s commitment to improve the role of minority women and girls in the workforce.
This program will allow interns to collaborate with various professionals and experience the work that goes on behind the scenes for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Cultural Heritage Policy, and other areas of the Center.
A small stipend is offered for a commitment of at least one hundred hours during the fall and spring semesters. The mentorship takes place in our office in Washington, D.C.
Archives and Resources
If you are interested in volunteering or being an intern in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, we can put you to work assisting with our tasks of preserving, digitizing, and cataloguing archives collections, creating finding aids for collections, creating web presentations on archival materials, and helping with other projects. We particularly welcome students in library and information studies who want an opportunity to work in a folklife archive as part of their degree program.
Skills you might bring to the tasks include a knowledge of or interest in world folk music traditions, audio engineering, Photoshop and web experience, or library and archival work. If you have further questions about the types of projects available to Archives interns, please contact one of the archivists who will be happy to discuss this with you.