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Catalan human towers on the National Mall of the United States at the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Catalan human towers on the National Mall of the United States at the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by John Young, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

  • New Internship and Fellowship Available: Catalan-American Cultural Heritage Exchange

    With support from Grifols S.A., the Center is pleased to invite applications from cultural heritage students and professionals in Catalonia to join this unique program. The program will provide new opportunities for three participants to explore and expand their careers in museums, cultural heritage, the arts, and arts management over a twelve-week period in 2020. We anticipate supporting two interns who are still developing their careers and one fellow who already has an established career path.

    The Center will welcome interns and fellows from Catalonia into a robust cohort from Washington, D.C., across the United States and around the world. They will study museology, cultural heritage, the arts, anthropology, folklore, ethnomusicology, and archival science.
    The program will also create a pipeline for graduate education in American universities; interns will receive support in applying to American graduate programs, including some that offer funding to complete a two-year master’s degree.

    The Catalan-American Cultural Heritage Exchange will:

    • Inspire Catalan interns to explore careers and increase their participation in cultural heritage fields
    • Facilitate Catalan students’ access to American graduate programs
    • Support independent research related to Smithsonian collections and staff
    • Expand the professional network of Catalan fellows and interns
    • Enliven the Center with new ideas
    • Draw Catalonia and the United States closer through substantive people-to-people exchange

    Unique Program Opportunities

    The Center will engage students and fellows with the Smithsonian’s unparalleled collections, experts, network, and facilities. Participants will enjoy behind-the-scenes programs, unique gatherings, and powerful collaborations in the Washington, D.C., area. Guided and mentored by our staff, they will learn through direct exposure to real-life issues, challenges, and experiences that their mentors encounter in their professional lives. There will be opportunities to attend lectures, symposia, and professional meetings and engage in authentic cultural experiences that reach beyond the curricula of their universities. Our recent interns and fellows benefitted from presentations and conversations with Smithsonian museum leaders and curators, career talks, and events with cultural partners, such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Library of Congress.


    To help defray living expenses during their twelve-week tenure at the Smithsonian, interns will receive a stipend of $7,800 USD, and fellows will receive $9,000 USD. The program will also cover airfare and transfer costs from Barcelona to Washington, D.C.

    Eligibility & Prerequisites

    Current or recent undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in cultural heritage fields are eligible to apply for this academic appointment. These fields include anthropology, archival science, arts, arts management, cultural heritage management, ethnomusicology, and folklore; however, other fields will be considered. A strong working knowledge of English will be very helpful.

    How to Apply

    To apply, create an account on the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). Then, start an application with the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH). Follow the steps listed and be sure to upload all necessary supporting documents. Please be certain to select either the Catalan American Cultural Heritage Exchange Internship or the Catalan American Cultural Heritage Exchange Fellowship.

    The following application materials are required:

    1. Project Proposal for Fellowship or Essay for Internship (maximum two pages)
      • The proposal should identify your professional goals and the importance of your participation in this exchange in relation to the discipline and your own scholarly endeavors
      • The proposal should identify what Smithsonian staff and collections you plan to engage with during your time in Washington.
    2. Curriculum Vitae (maximum two pages)
    3. One Letter of Recommendation

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Michael Atwood Mason ( at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to discuss the proposed project for assistance in identifying appropriate advisors; please include “Catalan-American Cultural Heritage Exchange” in the subject line.

    For more information, contact:
    Michael Atwood Mason, PhD
    Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
    202.633.1141 |

    This program is made possible with the support of Grifols, S.A.

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