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The Kennedy Center
Kennedy Center Institute for Arts Management
Internships [Photo of interns.]

Internships offer meaningful learning opportunities and on-the-job experiences to college juniors/seniors, graduate students, and recent college graduates (within two years of graduation) who are interested in beginning careers in performing arts management and/or arts education. Approximately 20 students are selected each semester to participate in a three to four month long, full-time (40 hours per week) internship (Fall, September-December; Winter/Spring, January-May; Summer, June-August). Internships may be available in advertising, development, education (local and national programs), National Symphony Orchestra, press relations, production, programming, technology, volunteer management, and finance.

[Photo of interns.]Each intern, with their supervisor, develops a list of learning objectives and goals that they would like to accomplish as well as being assigned a project to be completed during their time at the Kennedy Center. Each intern submits a weekly journal, maintains a working portfolio, attends required intern events, and participates in mid-semester and final evaluations.

Interns receive a stipend of $800 per month to help defray housing and transportation costs. College credit may be available. Interns attend weekly sessions that are led by executives of the Kennedy Center and other major arts institutions in Washington, D.C. Interns may attend performances, workshops, and classes presented by the Center, free of charge (space available), during their internship.

Placements may be offered in the following areas:

The in-house advertising agency works with the marketing department to promote activities at the Kennedy Center through print, television, radio, Web, and e-mail communications. Interns receive hands-on training in a variety of advertising and marketing tasks and are exposed to the team-oriented process of strategizing and implementing the Center's marketing needs. The COMMUNICATIONS INTERN uses their writing, research, organization, and people skills to create targeted advertising messages and administer projects through the entire editorial process. The GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN uses their design software knowledge to create materials for print and Web advertising.

- Advertising Communications
- Advertising/Graphic Design

The Development Department annually raises nearly $50 million for the ongoing work of the Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra. Contributions are critical to fulfilling the Kennedy Center's mission. Interns assist with many fundraising activities including membership fulfillment, corporate fund campaign, major gift donations, grants and sponsorships by corporations and foundations, planned giving, special events, and volunteer management.

- Corporate Fund
- Friends of the Kennedy Center/Volunteer Management
- Grants and Sponsorships
- Major Gifts
- National Advancement
- National Symphony Orchestra
- Special Events


Through programs of the Education Department, people of all ages have the opportunity to learn in, through, and about the performing arts through the creation and presentation of quality works for young people and families, professional, resource, and leadership development opportunities for teachers, students, artists, and the general public, and educational programming. Interns learn about local and national education reform issues and participate in many aspects of performing arts education.

- Accessibility
- ArtsEdge
- Community Partnerships
- Jazz Programming
- Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
- National Partnerships
- National Symphony Orchestra Education
- Performance Plus
- Performing Arts for Everyone
- Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers
- Youth and Family Programs

The Facilities Department coordinates all aspects of strategic facilities planning at the Kennedy Center, including operations and maintenance, security, project/construction coordination, transportation and contracting. The Facilities internship will de-mystify the "bricks and mortar" aspect of what it takes to operate a performing arts facility and put it all into context as it relates to goals and objectives of the Center.


The Finance Department is responsible for the management and safeguarding of the Kennedy Center's financial activity. Interns with the Finance Department will gain an understanding of the Center's financial activity, budgeting cycle, and systems and learn how the department interacts with and supports other Kennedy Center departments and programs.

General Counsel’s Office
Through the General Counsel’s office interns will learn performing arts law (including dealing with standard artist and production contracts), federal programs (including the Federal Tort Claims Act), non-profit tax, immigration law, labor law, insurance/risk management, and other legal issues that may arise in the day to day activities of a presidential memorial and performing arts center. Applicants must be second year law or above.
This placement is offered only during the summer semester.

National Symphony Orchestra

Through the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), internship opportunities are available in many aspects of symphony management including, but not limited to, the operation and administration of a 48-week season of performances with 100 musicians. As the orchestra of the capital of the United States, the NSO regularly participates in events of national and international importance. The National Symphony often performs for presidential inaugurations and leads the nation in its annual Independence Day and Memorial Day celebrations with nationally televised, outdoor concerts on the West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol. Through its tours of four continents and performances for visiting heads of state, the National Symphony also fills an important international role.

- National Symphony Orchestra Education
- National Symphony Orchestra Operations
- National Symphony Orchestra Press

The Kennedy Center Press Department coordinates public relations for the Center and the National Symphony Orchestra. Intern tasks can include developing new media contacts, writing press releases, pitching stories to press contacts, and securing review coverage for performances.

- National Symphony Orchestra Press
- Press

Programming and Production

Each year the Kennedy Center commissions, produces, and presents performances in jazz, ballet, modern dance, classical music, comedy, theater, storytelling, puppetry, and musical theater for people of all ages. The Center also presents and produces festivals, televised specials, radio programs, and cutting-edge and community-based programs. A number of internships may be available with the administrative side of programming and production.

- Dance Programming
- International Programming
- Jazz Programming
- Production
- Youth and Family Programs

Web Design / Technology
Technology continues to be an ever-increasing presence in all aspects of managing the performing arts. From providing technical support to administrative staff and box office personnel, to the creation of Web-based projects, and the development of Internet based arts and education resources for teachers and students, the Kennedy Center is aggressively finding new ways to use technology. Interns have the opportunity to work with leading professionals in the field of technology and performing arts.

- Web Design for ArtsEdge Website
- Web Design for KC and NSO Websites
- Web Architecture


Submit the following in one complete package:
  • Internship application form
    [Requires Adobe Acrobat]
  • Cover letter discussing career goals, computer skills, and three internships of interest
  • Resume
  • Official university/college transcript(s); undergraduate and graduate (if applicable)
  • Two current letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak for your background and skills. Letters must arrive in sealed envelopes with the signature of the letter writer appearing across the envelope flap.
  • Writing Sample (no more than three pages)
  • Applicants from non-native English speaking countries must provide proof of English speaking and writing competence through a minimum TOEFL score of 600. Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree in an English-speaking country may request an exemption from this requirement.

    International applicants must have a valid visa. The Kennedy Center does not assist with visa applications.

Telephone interviews will be conducted as part of the final selection process.

All materials submitted become the confidential property of the Kennedy Center and are not returnable.

Application Deadlines
All materials must arrive in one package and must be written in English or have a certified translation. Postmark deadlines are:

Fall 2005:
June 15, 2005
(September 6 – December 9)

Winter/Spring 2006: October 25, 2005
(January 9 – April 28)

Summer 2006: March 1, 2006
(May 30 – August 11)
Applicants are notified within six to eight weeks after the deadline.

Important, Please Note:
To prevent any delay in delivery of your application, it is recommended that you send your materials by FedEx, UPS, or U.S. Priority Mail.

Send application to:
Institute for Arts Management
The Kennedy Center
2700 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20566

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