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Jobs & Internships

Employment

Employment vacancy announcements are posted here when available. They also may be viewed on the Smithsonian Institution Human Resources website. See positions open at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

We are currently accepting applications for the following:

Community Engagement Coordinator

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is seeking a contractor to plan and execute community engagement outreach and events with focus on women-centered plant knowledge, foodways, and/or Indigenous Latin American communities for the 2024 program Indigenous Voices of the Americas. The contract will be awarded to either one vendor with dual focus areas or two separate contracts with each respective focus area. View the request for quote and statement of work.

All work shall begin after May 1 and be completed by August 31, 2024. The deadline to submit a quote has been extended to 6 p.m. ET on Monday, April 22. Email quotes, and any questions about the position by April 18, to Rebecca Fenton at FentonR@si.edu.

This contract received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino, and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

Gardens Coordinator

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is seeking a contractor to support the creation of a teaching garden highlighting Indigenous plant knowledge in connection with foodways programming for the 2024 program Indigenous Voices of the Americas. View the request for quote and statement of work.

All work shall begin after May 1 and be completed by August 31, 2024. The deadline to submit a quote has been extended to 6 p.m. ET on Monday, April 22. Email quotes, and any questions about the position by April 18, to Rebecca Fenton at FentonR@si.edu.

This contract received federal support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

Internships

We welcome interns for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival year-round, although the bulk of the work is in the summer. In the fall, winter, and spring, interns assist with research and planning for the upcoming Festival’s programs—best suited for students in anthropology, ethnomusicology, library science, and museum and language studies as related to the program.

In the summer, we also seek interns to work on event production, technical crew, the Festival Marketplace, social media, web production, graphic design, foodways, curatorial team, the Festival Blog, public relations, accessibility, participant and volunteer coordination, video production, documentation, and administration. For the 2024 program on Indigenous Voices of the Americas, we encourage individuals from Native and Indigenous communities to apply.

Summer interns are expected to work through the ten days of the Festival during the last week of June and first week of July, including weekends and the July Fourth holiday. You should be comfortable working outdoors in high heat and humidity, in a fast-paced environment among large crowds of people.

Ten people, mostly young adults, pose arm in arm with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background.

Photo, audio, video, and blog documentation interns and staff pose in front of the Capitol Building on the final day of the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Francisco Guerra, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

Internships are open to undergraduate, graduate, and upper-level high-school students, as well as non-students. They can be from six weeks to one year, full- or part-time, though working at least fifteen to twenty hours per week is preferred. Selected applicants will need to undergo a background check.

Stipends are available for some internships. College students in relevant fields may be able to arrange course credit and/or financial compensation. The Festival is unable to cover transportation and housing costs for interns.

Specialized Internships

Rinzler Archives Summer Internship

This internship in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is made possible through the generous support of the Scott and Dorothy Odell Internship Fund. The mentorship goals include working with archives staff to apply collections management best practices in arranging, describing, and digitizing collections, which consist of papers, photographs, audio recordings, audiovisual media, and managing digital assets. The intern may also work with connecting archival content in our Digital Asset Management System to the public and contribute to finding aids that meet current archival descriptive standards and are Encoded Archival Description compatible using ArchivesSpace (ASpace).

The internship can also be tailored to incorporate a research component exploring the intersections between archival policy and practice, collections care within a DEAI Framework (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion), and the role and significance of the Center’s Shared Stewardship of Collections Policy. The collections include curatorial, ethnographic, and programmatic content associated with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the nonprofit record label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the work of our Cultural Sustainability team, and the efforts of our Research and Education department.

The deadline for the 2024 summer internship is March 1. The selected applicant will receive a stipend of $700/week for a full-time, ten-week internship.

Leadership for Change Program

The Smithsonian’s Leadership for Change internship program strengthens students’ understanding and commitment to social justice and leadership through meaningful, hands-on projects and access to leaders in the field. This year, the Center will host two Leadership for Change interns on the curatorial team for the 2024 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program Indigenous Voices of the Americas.

These internships take place June 10 to August 2 in Washington, D.C. The program is open to rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are motivated to support their communities and advance social justice. Students receive a $5,120 stipend for the eight-week internship, plus housing and travel support. See the internship program page for complete details.

Please note that this program has a different deadline and requires different application materials than the other internships. Applications are open in SOLAA (see below) through Monday, February 26.

Indigenous Women Knowledge Keepers Internships

The Smithsonian folklife Festival is seeking two interns with an interest in or connection to Indigenous communities to join the curatorial team and support women-centered foodways and gardens programming for the 2024 Festival program Indigenous Voices of the Americas.

The internships are ten-week terms, with semi-flexible start and end dates between May and August. Work will be in-person in Washington, D.C., from start date through late July, with option for in-person, hybrid, or remote work thereafter. The roles are supported with a stipend of $800/week for full-time work. No housing or travel support is provided. To apply, indicate interest in the Festival Indigenous Women Knowledge Keepers project in your SOLAA application (see below). The application deadline is March 1.

This internship stipend received federal support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative Pool, administered by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum.

Native Hawaiian Arts Internships

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is seeking two interns with an interest in or connection to Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander communities to join the curatorial team and support the 2024 program Indigenous Voices of the Americas.

The internships are ten-week terms, with semi-flexible start and end dates between May and August. Work will be in-person in Washington, D.C., from start date through late July, with option for in-person, hybrid, or remote work thereafter. The roles are supported with a stipend of $800/week for full-time work. No housing is provided. A travel allowance is available. To apply, indicate interest in the Festival Native Hawaiian program internship in your SOLAA application (see below). The application deadline is April 10.

This internship stipend received federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Indigenous Latinx Program Internships

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is seeking two interns with an interest in or connection to Latinx communities to join the curatorial team and support the 2024 program Indigenous Voices of the Americas.

The internships are ten-week terms, with semi-flexible start and end dates between May and August. Work will be in-person in Washington, D.C., from start date through late July, with option for in-person, hybrid, or remote work thereafter. The roles are supported with a stipend of $800/week for full-time work. No housing or travel support is provided. To apply, indicate interest in the Festival Latinx program internship in your SOLAA application (see below). The application deadline is April 10.

This internship stipend received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino.

Young people at the Festival examine a sheet of paper and laugh.

Interns Kathryn Young (right) and Sara Manco (center) chat before the Welsh hymn singing at the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Walter Larrimore, Smithsonian Institution

How to Apply

To apply online, visit solaa.si.edu and create an account. After selecting Internship, specify the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the programs or projects you are most interested in. You will be asked to upload supporting materials, including an essay, résumé, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

The submission deadline for summer internships, with some exceptions, is March 1. There are no deadlines for getting applications in for the rest of the year. The completed application should be submitted at least six weeks before the start of the internship.

If you have questions, please contact intern coordinator Arlene Reiniger at ReinigerA@si.edu.

More internships at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

More internships at the Smithsonian


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