Student Arts and Culture Internship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Rolling Application Deadline
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Depending on your availability, apply between the dates listed below:

Summer Internship Application Submission: Feb 1 – May 15
Fall Internship Application Submission: July 1 – August 15
Winter Internship Application Submission: October 1 – December 15

Washington, D.C. at the headquarters of the National Endowment for the Arts

US Citizen or Permanent Resident

Student attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)

Important Message:
Due to COVID-19, we have extended our summer internship application deadline to May 15, 2020. If you apply for the summer internship opportunity and it is canceled due to the current circumstances we will be in touch and continue to update our application as changes arise.  

About the Arts Endowment:
Established by Congress in 1965, the Arts Endowment is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more about Arts Endowment.

Overview of the Internship:
The National Endowment for the Arts offers volunteer internships for students interested in seeking valuable work experience in government, federal arts and culture policy, and administration. Interns have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the Arts Endowment’s mission to give all Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts.

Different opportunities will be available throughout the year from various artistic disciplines and administrative offices within the agency. These can include the: HBCU Initiative Team, Office of the Senior Deputy Chairman, Events, Literary Arts, Theater, amongst others.

In addition, students are encouraged to participate in Arts Endowment sponsored intern events, such as a brown bag lunch with senior officials and discipline directors. Other activities will be arranged based on the interest of the intern.  Previous examples include meetings with senior leaders of nonprofit arts organizations and federal agencies to network, and to learn about career pathways and potential job opportunities.  

The intern will participate in rigorous projects that build project management skills and deepen understanding of arts and culture across the country.  The intern will also work with multiple stakeholders on their projects, helping the intern develop and demonstrate communication skills and experience navigating organizational hierarchies.

While the Arts Endowment is not able to provide compensation or housing for the internship program, many students receive academic credit for their work at the agency.

The internship will require proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Current student at a Historically Black College or University.
Strong interest in arts and culture policy and administration.
Strong interest in building project management skills, communication skills and team work and collaboration skills.
Demonstrated experience in strong organizational skills.
Demonstrated experience in being detail oriented.
Demonstrated proficiency in Word.
Demonstrated proficiency in PowerPoint.
Demonstrated proficiency in Microsoft Excel.

Application Process:
Send a cover letter detailing the time period you will be available (including days of the week, if you will not be available for five days), your interest areas and how you meet the qualifications for the internship.  Please also indicate if you will be earning academic credit. Letters of recommendation, references, and college transcripts are suggested, but not required.

To ensure sufficient time for proper consideration of your application, please email materials to, with HBCU Arts and Culture Internship as the subject line.

If you have questions about the application or selection process, please contact

If you have questions about any aspect of the position, please contact

The National Endowment for the Arts does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.