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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.

We are currently accepting applications for the following:

Learning Pathways Coordinator, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is looking for a contract worker to assist with a music education pilot program, “Learning Pathways for Music Education: Closing the Gap in Access to Diverse Resources.” The contract will start as soon as possible (ideally by the beginning of March) and run through the end of 2020. Specifically, the contractor will help coordinate this one-year pilot program, funded by the Smithsonian Youth Access Grant. The program’s goal is to design and test six learning pathways (a Folkways online education program in development). The contractor will coordinate development of the pathways in consultation with outside experts in web design, online education, and subject matter.

We are looking for candidates with teaching experience in K-12 music or social studies classes, who are familiar with national education standards, and who have worked with online learning systems. Web design experience is a plus but not required. Candidate should have excellent organizational and communication skills and some experience with project management. To apply, please contact Logan Clark at The deadline is January 31.

Marketplace Coordinator, Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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.

The deadline has been extended to January 27, 2020. The ideal start date is February 10, 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.

We are also accepting applications for the following temporary positions for the 2020 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Arabic and Portuguese speakers are encouraged to apply. 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.

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


Every year, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage involves over a hundred interns in our various activities. We offer internships year-round in various fields, including folklore, cultural anthropology, ethnomusicology, linguistics, museum studies, arts administration, graphic and web design, videography, marketing, social media, 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, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives, educational outreach, and cultural sustainability research and programs.

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, history, music, library science, or other fields may be able to arrange course credit for their work.

Some Areas of Internships

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, 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. Festival interns 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, 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, and marketing.

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.

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 for 2019 has passed.

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. Work with professional researchers and archivists at the Smithsonian, relating to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and Cultural Heritage Policy. See full internship description.

Selected applicants will receive a stipend of $1,500 for a commitment of at least 100 hours.

Web Production

The 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.

Cultural Sustainability Research and Outreach

Interns who work in the area of education and cultural sustainability conduct research for presentations at conferences and publications, work with archival collections from and in collaboration with Indigenous and minoritized language communities, produce stories through video, compile information on our material culture holdings, and advance our work to document, protect, and present cultural vitality in local communities.

Impact Evaluation

This internship offers an opportunity to work closely with the cultural sustainability team on developing an impact evaluation framework for the initiative. It offers a chance to gain and/or expand experience in researching methodologies and approaches, and to articulate and form best practices and tools/models for cultural sustainability programs and activities. See full internship description.

We welcome interns year-round for part-time ten-week opportunities. Selected applicants will receive a stipend of $15 per hour for up to 200 hours of work.

How to Apply

To apply online, visit and create an account. After selecting Internship, specify the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. You will be required 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 submitting applications for other seasons. The completed application is to be submitted at least six weeks before the start of the internship.

If you have questions, please contact intern coordinator Arlene Reiniger at

More about internships at the Smithsonian


The Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage welcomes volunteers to assist in various parts of the organization. Find more information about volunteering at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives please email

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.