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Jobs & Internships


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 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, 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, curatorial team, the Festival Blog, public relations, participant and volunteer coordination, video production, and administration.

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.

Click to enlarge and view captions

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 students and non-students alike. 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. These are non-paying internships, but students in folklore, American studies, American history, music, library science or other fields may be able to arrange course credit for their work.

Specialized Internships

Tech-Teach Fabrication Skills Internship

This hands-on internship is ideal for high school students with interest in design, construction, and fabrication. Selected interns will work with Smithsonian technical staff to design and build structural elements of the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival while learning valuable fabrication skills and techniques. The after-school workshop series will meet three times per week for three hours at the Folklife Fabrication Shop in Lanham, Maryland, and will center on drafting, carpentry, welding, metal work, safety precautions, and other elements of technical production. See full internship description.

Virtual Internship: American Ginseng Research

For this “virtual field school” in winter and spring of 2019, students in the extended Appalachian region and the eastern Midwest will research the history, folklore, harvest, conservation, and use of American ginseng. Smithsonian experts will offer guidance in research methods and best practices. Research by interns will help inform a proposed program for the 2020 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

The internship period will begin on or around February 25 and will extend twelve weeks to May 10, 2019. Students should commit a minimum of ten hours per week. See full internship description.

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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 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 is March 15. 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

More internships at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

More internships at the Smithsonian

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