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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 filling the following temporary positions for the 2023 Folklife Festival. Download position descriptions and the availability questionnaire below for more information. While the application deadline has passed, we will continue to review applications on a rolling basis as needed, if positions are still available. Please feel free to submit your résumé and completed questionnaire to

Download Festival jobs job descriptions and questionnaire as a PDF or Word document.

Administrative Staff
Financial Administrative Assistant

Visitor Services Staff
Visitor Services Assistant
Accessibility Assistant

Volunteer Staff
Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer Assistant

Program Staff
Program Assistants
Foodways Assistants

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

Production Staff
Production Assistant
Live-Streaming Coordinator
Audio Coordinator
Stage Managers
Sound Crew
FOH Venue Managers

Media and Communications
Social Media Coordinator
Graphic Designer
Graphic Design Assistant
Marketing & Media Relations Manager

Documentation Staff
Lead Photographer
Audio Documentation Assistant
Digital Asset Management Assistant

Marketplace Staff
Marketplace Coordinator
Marketplace Assistant
Marketing Site Manager
Sales Associates

Technical and Operations Staff
Assistant Technical Director
Administrative Technical Assistant
Operations Assistant
Warehouse Coordinator
Supply Coordinator
Supply Assistant
Sustainability Coordinator
Scenic Painter
Exhibit Workers
Exhibit Worker/Operations Exhibit Worker/Forklift Driver
Exhibit Worker/Warehouse Assistant


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, foodways, curatorial team, the Festival Blog, public relations, accessibility, 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

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 of this internship include working 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 collections include curatorial, ethnographic, and programmatic content associated with the Center’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival and its nonprofit record label, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

The deadline for the 2023 summer internship is March 15. The selected applicant will receive a stipend of $700/week for a full-time, ten-week internship.

Advanced-Level Folklife Festival Internships

In 2023, we are offering paid summer internships to students or recent graduates with connections or interest in the following categories: Women in Foodways and Plant Knowledge, U.S. Pacific Islander Expressive Culture, and U.S. Latinx Expressive Culture. Interns will learn about the planning, programming, and production of a large public event and how curation intersects with all aspects of the Folklife Festival. See the full program description.

The internships will be in-person, full-time positions in Washington, D.C., for ten weeks. In exceptional cases, internships may begin or end with remote work; interns must be in-person full time during June and early July. Writing and speaking abilities in Hawaiian, Marshallese, or Spanish are highly desired but not required. Interns are paid a stipend of $800 per week for ten weeks. Applications should be submitted through the SOLAA system (see below) by March 15.

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 Click to enlarge and view captionsapplication 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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