Entering its third year, the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) paid internship program is a fledgling effort to rectify the gross inequities of the field and support college students from underrepresented backgrounds. Today, January 21, the AAMD named 10 member museums across the United States and Canada who will join the program, offering college students a 12-week internship for a $6,300 stipend.
Launched in 2018, the program pairs selected institutions with college students in their area. Interns will cycle through different departments and be assigned a mentor from museum leadership, while also defining and working on a personal project that ensures they will graduate from the program with something tangible they can be proud of. The stipend that students will get is equivalent to an hourly wage of $15 for a 35-hour work week.
In 2019, the AAMD passed a resolution calling on museums to pay their interns. The resolution acknowledged that internships provide decisive opportunities for students considering careers in art museums and that paying interns would materially improve accessibility to the field. The AAMD’s paid internship program, though operating at a small scale, signals a commitment to ending unpaid internships, which are gradually receding as an industry norm.
“The ongoing challenges of the pandemic have underscored how essential these paid summer internships can be for students for whom there are persistent financial limitations on access to job-related experiences—especially those of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, or multiracial backgrounds,” said AAMD’s Executive Director Christine Anagnos, in a statement today. “This is one way we can support our members in making an investment in the next generation of museum professionals.”
The selected museums range from the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. They encourage undergraduate students entering their sophomore, junior, and senior years in their areas to apply for internships.
See a list of the ten selected museums below with links to their internship programs: