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.
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.
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.
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 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 ReinigerA@si.edu.
More internships at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
More internships at the Smithsonian