We are currently accepting applications for the following temporary staff positions. Click on the links below to find job descriptions and application instructions.
2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Jobs (PDF - Word)
Every year, we involve over a hundred interns in our various activities. Internships are offered year-round in various fields including cultural anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, museum studies, arts administration, graphic and web design, marketing, journalism, and library science. All internships take place in Washington, D.C.
Intern projects, conducted under the guidance of the Center’s professional staff, often focus on research and production for the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives, and educational outreach.
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. Unless otherwise specified, these are non-paying internships. Students in folklore, American studies, American history, music, library science, or other fields may be able to arrange course credit for their work here.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
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.
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
There are a number of opportunities for internships at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. We are a cross between a record label and a museum, so the experience is a mix of nonprofit record business and applied ethnomusicology.
Intern projects are generally in the areas of sales and marketing, social media, mail order, royalties and copyright issues, recording production, and web production with tasks that include writing, research, mailing, and data compiling and organizing. The internship is recommended for students and other individuals interested in ethnomusicology, social anthropology, music business, audio engineering, and marketing.
For those experienced in graphic design and typography, we offer an internship to assist in the design and layout of album covers and liner notes booklets. Applicants should be proficient in Adobe Creative Suite and must submit a design portfolio in addition to other application materials. Contact production manager Mary Monseur at Monseur@si.edu for more information.
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
Interns in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections assist with preserving, digitizing, and cataloging archives collections, creating finding aids for collections, creating web presentations on archival materials, and helping with other projects. During the summer, archives interns create and process audio, video, and photo documentation of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in late June and early July.
We particularly welcome students in library and information studies who want an opportunity to work in a folklife archive as part of their degree program. Applicants should have a knowledge of or interest in world folk music traditions, audio engineering, photography, Photoshop, web design, or library and archival work.
My Armenia Program Archives
Along with the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations, we are currently offering an archival internship to support My Armenia, a cultural heritage tourism program that harnesses the power of research, documentation, and storytelling to strengthen cultural sustainability. The internship provides professional development opportunities for current graduate students or recent graduates interested in Armenian cultural heritage and history, born-digital preservation, describing archival collections, and helping with other archival projects. See full internship description.
The internship is based in Washington, D.C., from February 20 to June 8, 2018, with a stipend of $875. Fluency in Eastern Armenian is required. Applications are due on January 19, 2018.
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). See full internship description.
The intern will receive a $300 weekly stipend during the full-time, ten-week internship. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2018.
Mentorship Program for a More Diverse Workplace
We encourage young women of color, an underrepresented population at the Smithsonian, to apply for this opportunity to explore and discover cultural heritage and the role it plays in identity, family, and community. Mentees will work with professional researchers and archivists, learning our work behind the scenes at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, and more. The program also includes field trips and storytelling workshops. See full internship description.
Selected applicants will receive a stipend of $1,500 for 100 hours during the summer program. Applications are due March 15, 2018.
The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage web production intern will assist with day-to-day operations related to the management of our websites. These duties may include digitizing images, scanning archival documents, encoding audio and video, entering metadata, and contributing written content to our websites. Scholars interested in the fields of anthropology, ethnomusicology, American studies, and folklore will enjoy spending time with the curators and collections. Skills gained in the areas of web production are invaluable to future scholars, writers, educators, and content producers as they embark on their careers.
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 about internships at the Smithsonian