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Emerging Art Leaders Internship- Institutional Relations (Fall 2019, Paid) – The Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, IL

The Art Institute of Chicago

Are you curious to learn about fundraising in arts organizations and non-profits? Are you a strong writer and researcher with an enthusiasm for museums? If so, then the External Affairs department invites you to apply for their fall 2019 Emerging Art Leaders Internship in Institutional Relations.

The Institutional Relations team functions within the External Affairs department and raises funds from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and universities. Guided by the mission of the Art Institute, the Institutional Relations department works closely with nearly every department in the museum including Curatorial Departments, Conservation and Science, Learning and Public Engagement, Central Finance, Marketing, Publications, and Special Events.

In this internship you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand the process of institutional fundraising for a large non-profit art museum. Working closely with every member of the Institutional Relations team, as well as communicating with colleagues throughout the museum, you will gain valuable knowledge in the areas of prospect research management, communications, financial reporting, and special event coordination.


  • Mentor relationships with colleagues in a variety of fields including development, communications, exhibitions, marketing, and finance
  • Peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns
  • Awareness of the inner-workings of a large art museum with a global collection
  • Exposure to behind the scenes activities and protocols of institutional fundraising

Intern Information

About the Emerging Art Leaders Internship

The Emerging Art Leaders Internship is open to all qualified candidates with individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the arts museum field particularly encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to those who demonstrate commitment to the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums.

This internship is part of a museum-wide effort to provide students from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the museum field, the opportunity to gain experience, career awareness, networks, skills that will together position them to succeed as future art museum leaders. Those selected join an intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their specific departmental placement. Mentorship is provided throughout the intern experience. Interns are also encouraged to remain connected to the museum and to other interns as part of an alumni network.

This project is made possible, in part, through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI), funded by the Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation. Additional funding for DAMLI is provided by the James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation.


  • Research Institutional funding prospects for exhibitions and special projects
  • Writing and editing letters, solicitations, sponsorship reports, and event literature
  • Assisting with grant research and reporting
  • Assisting the team with gift processing and acknowledgement procedures
  • Attend meetings and participate in meaningful and reciprocal exchanges with members of the Institutional Relations team, curators, and other museum colleagues



  • Undergraduate or graduate student located in the Chicago metropolitan area who has completed at least one academic year of post-high school study; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered
  • Interest in a non-profit arts organizations and administration
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive
  • Strong writing and communications skills
  • High degree of discretion and integrity
  • Committed to the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums


  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge database
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite


Application must include the following materials:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter that also includes answers to the following questions:
    • What you hope to gain from this internship experience
    • What you will contribute to this internship
    • What challenge(s) or barrier(s) you face (personal, cultural, socioeconomic, educational, etc.) as you consider pursuing a career in the arts, and how this internship might play a role in helping to surmount those obstacles

Please combine all application materials into a single PDF for upload.


For fullest consideration, applications should be submitted by July 8, 2019 5:00 pm CST.

Intern Information:

Length of Program: Fall Term (210 hours, August-December)

College Credit: Available

Compensation: Paid

Application Time Out Warning

The Art Institute of Chicago requires all applicants to complete an online application to be considered for employment. 60 minutes are allotted for applicants to complete the employment application. The application will automatically time out after 60 minutes. If you are unable to submit the completed application at this time, please choose the “Save for Later” option to avoid losing the information you have entered so far.

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