The Regional Arts Commission of St Louis (RAC) is proud to offer the Katherine Dunham Internship, a 16-week, learning opportunity designed to prepare students who have been historically under-represented in the field of arts administration for careers in the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Named in honor of African American dancer, choreographer and social activist Katherine Dunham, the internship is intended to increase the diversity of professionals working within museums, theatres, dance companies and other arts organizations throughout the region and beyond.
The internship, established in 2011 by St Louis arts supporters Sara and Jack Burke, is funded in partnership with RAC where the internship is based. It provides experience in arts administration, a $6,000 stipend, and other forms of personal and professional enrichment opportunities including, complimentary tickets to local arts and culture events; networking with artists, cultural leaders and potential mentors; and, access to workshops and training in related fields, such as marketing, grant writing, and program planning.
Inspired by Dunham’s history of activism, the internship also has a special emphasis in community art, a practice that utilizes art and culture as a tool for social change and community development. The intern will engage with all aspects of RAC’s programs, but will train primarily within the Artist and Community Initiatives Department during the 16-week tenure.
How to Apply:
To apply for the Katherine Dunham Fellowship, please complete the online application at racstl.org and include the following information:
Your cover letter
A signed and dated letter of reference from a professor, academic advisor or a recent employer that includes the writer’s reflections on your qualities, characteristics and suitability for the internship experience;
A one-page, single-spaced essay answering the following questions: “Why are you interested in arts administration and/or community arts? How will this internship help you achieve your career goals? What aspects of Katherine Dunham’s legacy do you find personally inspirational?”
Applicants to the Katherine Dunham Internship must meet the following qualifications:
Undergraduate senior, graduate level student or recent graduate (1-3 years) from an under-represented demographic group;
Educational background in any academic area, including but not limited to the arts (e.g., liberal arts and humanities, social work, nonprofit management, marketing and communications, etc.);
Expressed interest in pursuing a career in arts administration, primarily within the nonprofit arena (arts funding or arts service agencies, dance companies, museums, theaters, performing arts or community cultural centers, etc.)
Expressed interest in social justice and the role the arts can play in bringing people together to solve community problems;
Ability to work 20-24 hours per week between January and May during normal RAC business hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm;
Willing to spend approximately 2-5 additional hours per week outside of normal business hours on extracurricular activities, such as attending arts and culture events, professional networking or other RAC activities.
Must be students enrolled in a current Saint Louis or surrounding Illinois college or university or graduates living in the greater St. Louis area (surrounding Illinois cities included).
The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is at the forefront of efforts to transform St. Louis into a more vibrant, creative and economically thriving community by elevating the vitality, value and visibility of the arts. It is the largest annual funder of the arts in the region, and since its inception in 1985, RAC has awarded more than 6,700 grants totaling over $93 million to support nonprofit arts, ...individual artists, cultural organizations, consortiums and programs. Directed by a board of 15 commissioners appointed by the chief executives of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, RAC is a pivotal force in the continuing development and marketing of the arts in the region. Visit www.racstl.org for more information, or follow us on Facebook at Regional Arts Commission or Twitter @RACStLouis.
Americans for the Arts serves, advances, and leads the network of organizations and individuals who cultivate, promote, sustain, and support the arts in America. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.