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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 are currently accepting applications for the following:

Festival Marketplace Coordinator

The Marketplace is an integral component of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which takes place annually on the National Mall of the United States. It extends cultural encounters experienced on the Mall and provides income for artisans, small-scale food producers, and other. Reporting to the Festival Director, the Marketplace Coordinator oversees the site’s physical design, selects merchandise and determines pricing, and implements the day-to-day procedures, systems, and programs in order to maximize onsite sales. The incumbent must employ best practices to ensure an outstanding experience for Festival participants, visitors, and staff alike.

The Marketplace Coordinator must have excellent communication, interpersonal, and project management skills as well as an exceptional ability to manage personnel and budgets. Sound judgement and strong professional ethics are a must. Applicants should have seven+ years retail management experience. Knowledge of large-scale, temporary, outdoor public events a plus. See full position description.

We will receive applications until January 20, 2020. The ideal start date is February 6, 2020. Interested candidates must submit a letter of interest not to exceed one page and résumé to This is a seasonal position with the possibility of extension.

The following temporary positions for the 2020 Folklife Festival require a separate application process from the above. Download position descriptions and the availability questionnaire below for more information. To apply, submit the questionnaire and your résumé to Claudia Telliho ( Technical and operations staff applications are due February 28. All others are due by January 24. Arabic and Portuguese speakers are encouraged to apply.

Download Festival jobs announcement: PDF or Word

Administrative Staff
Financial Administrative Assistant

Volunteer Staff
Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Assistant

Participant Staff
Participant Coordinator
Participant Assistant
Housing Coordinator
Transportation Coordinator
Transportation Assistant

Media and Communications
Social Media Assistant
Graphic Design Assistant

Marketplace Staff
Marketplace Assistant

Program Staff
Foodways Assistant

Technical and Operations Staff
Administrative Technical Assistant
Warehouse Coordinator
Supply Coordinator
Supply Assistant
Accessibility Coordinator
Sustainability Coordinator
Exhibit Workers
Exhibit Worker/Driver
Exhibit Worker/Operations


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.

In 2020, we especially encourage Arabic and Portguese speakers to apply.

Specialized Internships

Rinzler Archives Summer Internship

The internship is ideal for students focusing on library and information science or archival studies. The selected intern will work with archives staff to apply collections management best practices in arranging, describing, and digitizing collections, which consist of papers, photographs, audio recordings, and audiovisual media. The intern may also work with content in our Digital Asset Management System and contribute to finding aids that meet current archival descriptive standards and are Encoded Archival Description compatible using ArchivesSpace (ASpace).

The intern will receive a $300 weekly stipend during the full-time, ten-week internship. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2019.

Click to enlarge and view captions

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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