Milwaukee Recreation's award-winning Arts Internship Program is a paid summer internship program that provides high school students with practical job experience in arts-related positions. Interns explore the arts in an in-depth and applicable way while also gaining 21st century job skills. For many students, these internships serve as their first paid job experience. Internships range from 40 to 400 hours between May and August and start at a minimum of $9.50 per hour.
Organizations are responsible for interviewing and hiring interns, setting intern schedules, and providing oversight and management of selected interns. In turn, Milwaukee Recreation provides funding for intern wages and benefits, transportation (in the form of unlimited M-Cards for the duration of the internship), as well as job-related training and career exploration.
Student interns work closely with a supervisor/mentor during their internship to meet the following objectives:
- Become more prepared for future work experience
- Gain confidence in applying for future jobs, internships, etc.
- Learn new skills in the focus area of their internship
- Gain a deeper understanding of the work that goes into completing a work of art or implementing a program
- Build a professional network of mentors that will support them in achieving their future goals
- Be currently funded via the Partnership for the Arts & Humanities or have been funded via the Partnership for the Arts & Humanities in the past, and/or have participated in the Arts Internship program in the past
- Be able to provide an internship opportunity that is at least a total of 40 hours between May and August with a minimum of 75% of those hours being in direct contact with art media and/or training (a maximum of 15% of hours are allowable for other administrative duties), unless your internship is intentionally planned around arts administration or arts education
- Be able to provide a supervisor/mentor with youth-development experience for all hired interns
- Be able to send supervisor(s) to mandatory informational sessions/trainings, including:
- a supervisor informational session/orientation prior to the start of the internship period
- the first intern training session (supervisors and interns attend together)
- the final showcase (supervisors and interns attend together; parent(s)/guardian(s) are invited to attend, as well)
- Be at least 16 years of age (unless the hiring organization indicates that the position is open to students who are 15 years of age or older)
- Be a high school equivalent student
- Be a resident of the City of Milwaukee OR currently enrolled in a MPS high school
- It is preferred, but not required, that individuals qualify for free or reduced school lunch.
- Review the Program Guidelines for complete details regarding eligibility, the application process, etc.
- Read the position descriptions (available in late March) to identify which opportunities are of interest.
- Complete and send the following application materials to the organization(s) you are interested in working with:
- Arts Internship Student Application Form (available in late March).
- A letter of interest stating why you want the internship and what you have to offer the organization.
- A list of 1-3 professional references (teacher, mentor coach, etc.; not family members or friends).
- Any other information requested by the organization.
- If an organization is interested in you, they will contact you directly to set up an interview.
In Aug. 2021, the Arts Internship Program received the Chase Economic Development Award and Wells Fargo People's Choice Award at the MANDIs!
Read more on the awards and the program here.