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Sample Internship Placement Opportunities

Interact Theatre, Producing Artistic Director: Seth Rozin

Founded in 1988, InterAct's aim is to educate, as well as entertain its audiences, by producing world-class, thought-provoking productions, and by using theatre as a tool to foster positive social change in the school, the workplace and the community. Through its artistic and educational programs, InterAct seeks to make a significant contribution to the cultural life of Philadelphia and to the American theatre.

The company has a full slate of activities between January-June, including two full productions and a month-long festival of presented works called Outside the Frame: Voices from the Other America.  In all likelihood, the actual work for student volunteers would be more on the administrative side -- marketing, audience development, fundraising, etc. -- but they would also participate in programmatic activities (attend rehearsals, new play workshops, educational outreach workshops, etc.).

Mural Arts Program, Executive Director: Jane Golden (H '98)

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program unites artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. 

Noni Clemens, the volunteer coordinator at Mural Arts, sent this statement regarding what a volunteer would do: Although we call on volunteers to staff Special Events, such as mural dedications, ribbon cutting ceremonies, press conferences, etc., the bulk of our work for interns or volunteers is day to day administrative support (copying, taking inventories of supplies, filing students applications, etc.) If you have a student who is interested in helping out in that capacity, we would certainly welcome the help.  

Chester Children's Gamelan, Director: Professor Thomas Whitman, Music faculty, Swarthmore College

Sponsored by the Lang Center for Social Responsibility and the Office of the President of Swarthmore College, the Chester Children's Gamelan project introduces young children from Chester to the rich performing arts traditions of Bali, Indonesia. Student and faculty volunteers from Swarthmore College teach third- through sixth-graders to play Gamelan Angklung, a small percussion ensemble. The instruments were made by I Wayan Berata, a master instrument maker in Denpasar, Bali. Since 2006 the program has been based at Stetser Elementary School in Chester.

New volunteers are always welcome -- many of the children involved have problems focusing, so volunteers circulate among the children and help those who need assistance.  Volunteers do not need to have any prior experience in the performing arts. The main prerequisites are patience, flexibility, and being a good listener.

Each semester the program works with fourth graders and takes place once a week for approximately two to three hours on one afternoon.  Please contact Professor Tom Whitman for specific schedules each term.

Asian Arts Initiative, Executive Director: Gayle Isa '93

The Asian Arts Initiative is a community-based arts center in Philadelphia that engages artists and everyday people to create art that explores the diverse experiences of Asian Americans, addresses our social context, and imagines and effects positive community change.

We are working toward a just and joyous world where all people, regardless of their racial and class backgrounds, are able to view and create art that reflects their lives and concerns.

There are many different ways to get involved including, but not limited to administrative assistance within any of our departments. If any students are committed to a certain focus within Asian Arts Initiative, the staff will do their best to try to place them within the department or area of work of their interest.  Some options are: youth programs, public programs, development/fundraising, etc.   For instance, if students are specifically interested in youth programs, the following website will give further info. That may be useful:

Asian Arts Initiative has 3 off-site locations at schools in South Philadelphia as well as programming at Asian Arts Initiative (1219 Vine St. Philadelphia), They anticipate being able to accept 1-2 volunteers at each site. Before final commitments can be made to a volunteer, the education coordinator will check with the Site Coordinators.

Art Well, Executive Director: Susan Teegan-Case

Mission Statement: Using reflective arts programming, we foster creativity, enhance communication and literacy skills, deepen understandings of self and community, and ultimately reduce violence and increase peace within our city and region.

We the Poets uses poetry education to help students strengthen their creative voices and improve their literacy and communication skills. Classroom time is enriched through writing and spoken word performances where students can discuss personal and social issues, explore their emotions and identities, and develop deeper cultural understanding. It has a unique 66 lesson curriculum, aligned with state and federal standards for grades 1-12. Because it is poetry focused, We the Poets has been used in Pennsylvania districts for standardized test (PSSAs) preparation tied to literacy comprehension.

Goals and Outcomes

Mentoring and Peer Mentoring: Individuals are connected to a network of professional artists who actively facilitate strong mentoring relationships. Youth have the opportunity to experience a "safe" environment where they can feel free to share feelings and challenges through poetry.

Writing and Public Presentation Skills: Individuals learn to develop and present their poetry and artwork, thereby receiving life-long tools of self-expression. Performances, publishing, exhibits and a culminating event are designed to empower and strengthen their voices.

Creative Use of Time: As they engage in We the Poets, individuals become passionate about their work, and give dedicated time to the art form they are creating. In doing so, they learn valuable time management skills as they spend time writing, practicing and crafting their poems.

Visionary Poets sessions from 4:15pm - 5:30 pm. Tuesdays

Volunteer students would meet first with Janelle Harris, program director.  That meeting would be used to find out specific student interests and, after discussing the details of ArtWell, determine what activities students could participate in that will be most beneficial to them.  Ideally they would shadow one of the teaching artists who facilitate these workshops and also assist in helping students complete their activities.   If they participated in the Visionary Poets session, it would be best to arrive at 3:30pm and stay until 5:30pm on Tuesdays.  This way they could help prepare for the session between 3:30 -4:15pm and help facilitate between 4:15-5:30pm.  Then the remaining hour that they need to fulfill could be done from home.  We always need help with typing up poems so that we can have them on file and return them to the students.  The visionary Poets sessions are held at the Cathedral (38th and Chestnut St.) or, sometimes, around the corner at the UPenn bookstore.  Office work assistance is also needed, best on Thursdays or Fridays.