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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 positions:

Coordinator/Production Manager, Smithsonian Year of Music
In order to highlight the Smithsonian’s extraordinary combined holdings, scholarship, and activities related to music, Smithsonian is looking for a dynamic production manager to coordinate a year-long pan-institutional celebration: the Smithsonian Year of Music, from January 1 to December 31, 2019. This contract position (June 2018–January 2020) will work closely with a curatorial program committee from across the Smithsonian to highlight current musical resources, forge cross-unit collaborations in the arts, humanities, and sciences, and organize new and existing events into a year-long schedule: “365 Days of Music at the Smithsonian.” View the position description. To apply, send cover letter and CV by April 30, 2018, to Logan Clark at

Archives Digitization Technician

Archival Mass Digitization Vendor (view first and second amendments to RFQ)

My Armenia Artisan Exchange & Technical Design Trainer
(deadline extended to April 20, 2018)


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.

General Programs

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 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.

Specialized Internships

Tech-Teach Fabrication Skills Internship

This hands-on internship is ideal for high school students with interest in design, construction, and fabrication. Selected interns will work with Smithsonian technical staff to design and build structural elements of the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival while learning valuable fabrication skills and techniques. The after-school workshop series will meet three times per week for three hours at the Folklife Fabrication Shop in Lanham, Maryland, and will center on drafting, carpentry, welding, metal work, safety precautions, and other elements of technical production. See full internship description.

Interns will receive a $500 stipend during the part-time, five-week internship.

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.

Web Production

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 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

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 Archive please contact Jeff Place at

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