Internships are a key component of Texans for the Arts’ work both to extend our reach and capacity and to afford learning opportunities for students particularly interested in learning how to develop and galvanize community support for the arts. Through a variety of projects, interns will gain an understanding of non-profit arts administration and advocacy and will learn skills in community outreach, event coordinating, development, and public policy.
Because of the timing of the Texas Legislature (140 days every two years, odd numbered years), the cycle of activities engaging interns will vary between even and odd numbered years.
Texans for the Arts’ interns will report to Executive Director Ann Graham. While Texans for the Arts is based in Austin, most work will be conducted online and via phone, so long-distance applicants may be considered.
Time Commitment: 10+ hours per week (very flexible around interns schedule)
Responsibilities are subject to change based on the needs of the organization and whether the Texas Legislature is in session, but may include assisting with:
- Planning, executing and evaluating Texas Arts Advocacy Day, an Austin-based day-long event that mobilizes community members to advocate for the arts in their districts. (This event only takes place in odd-numbered years during the Texas legislative session.) In addition to planning and implementation, interns will assist with setting up legislative office visits for participants.
- Updating and evaluating the Arts Advocacy Challenge, an initiative that equips new arts advocates with the tools to begin sustained advocacy efforts at the local level with a particular focus on the “interim” between the legislative sessions.
- Scheduling legislative visits for Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Action Summit held every March in Washington, D.C. and preparing resource materials for the Texas delegation. This yearly event brings the nation’s arts advocates together to receive arts advocacy training and meet with their federal elected officials and staffers on Capitol Hill and make the strong case for investing public resources in the arts.
- Preparing materials for the Texans for the Arts Foundation’s Arts Funding & Leadership Development workshops. These workshops take place across Texas and train citizen-advocates on how to build relationships with their legislators and sustain arts advocacy efforts in their communities.
- Researching information for advocacy materials and resources, which may include information about Texas cultural districts, the economic impact of the arts, campaign finance reports and current legislation.
- Updating Texans for the Arts’ Community Arts Advocacy Toolkit, an online resource that helps arts advocates navigate the Texas political system, build relationships with their elected officials and support the arts on a variety of levels.
- Updating Texans for the Arts’ social media platforms and website.
- Taking minutes for meetings and conference calls with the Texans for the Arts’ Board of Directors.
- Conducting research and organizing and updating information about members, legislative districts, and other relevant subject areas.
- Other administrative duties as needed.
Recommended Interests and Qualifications:
- Passion for the arts and a community’s access to the arts and culture.
- Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the fields of Public Policy, Arts Administration, Fine Arts, Political Science and/or Government Relations.
- Familiarity with and/or interest in local, state and federal politics.
- Familiarity with social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and basic web content development (ideally Nationbuilder).
- Excellent verbal and written communication.
- Proficiency in Google Drive applications and Excel.
- Reliable, communicative and provide a fresh perspective, organized
- Possess a positive attitude and an ability to problem-solve.
- Must be able to lift and move up to 20 pounds, and in the case of special events, have the ability to stand or sit for extended periods of time. It is preferred that the intern have a valid Texas Driver’s License.
Interested in being an intern with Texans for the Arts?
- Submit a letter of interest speaking to coursework, experience or special interests and skills related to the position and what you hope to gain from this internship.
- Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Provide references upon request.
Thank you for your interest in being a part of the Texans for the Arts team!
Questions? Please write to email@example.com and thank you!
Intern, Spring 2019 | Texans for the Arts
MA, UT Austin
"My internship with Texans for the Arts taught me essential advocacy skills that gave me the confidence to engage with legislators at the state and national level. These experiences opened my eyes to the importance of grassroots work for communities everywhere."
Gabriela Kane is an MA Candidate in Latin American Studies at UT Austin. She previously attended Texas A&M University where she graduated with a BA in Spanish and International Studies with a concentration in Arts and Culture. In Historic Downtown Bryan, she managed the SEAD Gallery as an arts-based community development initiative of Advent GX. Through her graduate studies, Gabriela conducted field research in Chile to understand cultural policies enacted by the new Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage regarding the representation and participation of indigenous artists. As a student in the Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship Portfolio Program, she was introduced to the work of Texans for the Arts. She is appreciative for the opportunity to have been an intern during the 86th Legislative Session. Gabriela participated in Texas Arts Advocacy Day, the National Arts Action Summit in Washington, DC, and the Arts Vote Dallas initiative.
Intern, Spring 2019 - Present | Texans for the Arts
Liberal Arts and Science Academy
Maya Mikelson is a junior in high school at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, Texas. She competes with her school’s debate team, volunteers for candidates running for office by phone banking, canvassing and texting voters and is the social media coordinator for her precinct. While she hasn’t done advocacy in the past, she is interested in helping increase access to the creativity that the arts can provide. She believes arts funding makes Texas a more interesting place to visit, can increase tourism and how funding can benefit everyone, even those who aren't artists. Maya is very excited to be working with Texans for the Arts to support funding for the arts and advocacy across Texas. She has learned a lot and appreciates the opportunities that this internship provided such as meeting with state legislators, helping with Arts Advocacy Day, meeting others who love the arts and learning about the arts in Texas.
Intern, Spring 2018 | Texans for the Arts
MFA, UT Austin
"Working with Texans for the Arts helped me realize that arts advocacy really starts with one person at a time and that there are many ways to stay active and engaged. I now have a new set of tools to use in my work as an arts administrator and educator where I aim to empower and support communities in sustained advocacy efforts."
Ally Tufenkjian is an MFA Candidate in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts with concentrations in Theatre and Psychology from The New School University. While in New York, she taught for arts-based and non-profit organizations including the Community-Word Project, Green Generations and the CUNY Creative Arts Team. She was the program manager for HealthClass2.0, a wellness non-profit working in low-income public schools. Ally was a core company member and producer for Infinite Variety Productions, a non-profit theatre company that produces plays and educational experiences surrounding women's history. In her graduate studies, Ally’s research and practice centers youth agency in arts-based professional learning contexts and Theatre for Young Audiences with and for young people. Ally is pursuing the Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship Portfolio Program to advocate for arts legislation in partnership with communities. She is thrilled to have worked with Texans for the Arts to support local, grassroots arts advocacy across Texas.
Intern, Spring 2018 | Texans for the Arts
BA, UT Dallas
"The advocacy skills I learned and empowerment I felt during my internship with Texans for the Arts will continue with me throughout my life. No matter your policy interests, the connections and training that an internship with Texans for the Arts provides are invaluable skills in every field."
Roma Venkateswaran is a student at the University of Texas at Dallas studying Public Policy and Visual and Performing Arts with a Theatre concentration. She went to high school in Rockville, Maryland, and has worked with a variety of theatre companies in the area, including holding a tenured position on the Board of Directors of Wildwood Summer Theatre. In college, she has worked extensively with Theatre UTD, and she volunteers teaching students Hindi and religious studies at Chinmaya Mission. Her internship with Texans for the Arts has been her first foray in arts advocacy, and she has been excited to find the intersection between the arts and policy. She is very grateful for the opportunities this internship has provided, such as helping plan major events, from National Arts Advocacy Day to the Texas Arts Advocacy Interim Challenge, meeting with her state legislators in Washington, DC, and attending conferences and workshops with leaders in the arts in the Dallas area.