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McMullan Learning and Public Engagement Spring/Summer Internship

The Learning and Public Engagement department develops content, designs pedagogy, collaborates with artists and community members, and facilitates experiences involving the museum's collections and exhibitions in order to:
  • champion the role of art and culture in people’s lives,
  • promote access and equitable participation in art and the museum,
  • foster critical and creative thinking, 
  • and strengthen the fabric of communities and the life of our city. 
As a result, museum visitors and participants of varied ages, backgrounds, and abilities engage with each other and with works of art from across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, making the museum a place for learning, insight, inspiration, and community. They leave museum experiences feeling more connected and with greater confidence in their capacity to imagine, create, and make sense of art and their world.
The McMullan Internship in Youth and Family Programs is open to all qualified candidates, with priority to those who demonstrate commitment to the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. Individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the arts museum field are particularly encouraged to apply.  
The McMullan Internship offers an aspiring museum professional the opportunity to explore and contribute to a range of activities within Youth and Families, the division of Learning and Public Engagement responsible for programs, spaces, resources, and experiences for teens and multigenerational family audiences. Through this internship, the intern will gain practical experience in museum based youth leadership and museum engagement programs, from outreach and recruitment through program design and implementation. The intern will also have experiences to understand and participate in the broader context in which this work arises, in both the museum and the city.
The McMullan Internship program 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, and 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.
Internship projects and activities:
  • Teen Council and Summer Teen Internship Coordination and Support: Working with the team of staff who guide and mentor teen interns, the McMullan intern will participate in curriculum development and provide logistical support to two teen internships: Teen Council--18 Chicago teens who work intensively from January-June to develop engagements and resources for teen audiences; and the After School Matters Summer Teen Interns--12 teens who support teen, family, and public engagement virtually and/or in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center and galleries. The McMullan intern will join weekly meetings, contribute to the development of teen intern programs, and provide key assistance for administrative components of this work.
  • Supporting Internship Outreach and Recruitment: The intern will provide administrative and logistical support for outreach and recruitment efforts for teen and college level internships taking place during the summer and fall cycles, including sending promotional materials, communicating with applicants, organizing interview schedules and logistics, and taking part in interviews as appropriate.
  • Other programs and projects will be incorporated into the intern’s work plan based on interest, program offerings, and capacity. The McMullan Intern will also be invited to participate in division and department meetings and museum-wide intern programming to expand their understanding of an experience with departments and work across the museum. 
Qualified applicants will be undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in the arts but not necessarily enrolled in an arts-related degree program. Students with experience in the social sciences, teaching in formal or informal settings, youth development, or program evaluation are encouraged to apply.
Preferred skills and experiences
  • Strong interest in working with and mentoring young people
  • Understanding of, if not experience working in, an arts or cultural institution or organization
  • An interest in public engagement and museum programming
  • Strong computer skills including good working knowledge of Mac OS, Microsoft Office, Google Drive, and e-mail
Internship Information:
Schedule: This is a part-time, 8-month position for a currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work approximately 7-10 hours/week Jan-June and 14-24 hours/week June-August, for a total of 420 hours over the internship. Saturdays will likely be required; other work days will be determined by agreement with the candidate and programming needs. Occasional evening work may be required.
Format: The Internship may be fully remote or a hybrid of remote/in-person based on current health and safety considerations. Applicants located in Chicago during the internship timeframe of Jan-Aug will be prioritized to accommodate in-person work if that becomes possible.
Number of openings: 1
To apply: Send a resume and your answers to the questions below in essay form. Combine all materials into one document and upload it in your online application. Deadline is December 11, 2020 at 10:00 PM CST. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early application is suggested. Selected applicants will be asked to interview via video call.
Essay Questions
  1. What do you think is most important about teaching and learning right now? (200 words max)
  2. What qualities do you have that you think museums need more of? (200 words max)
  3. Why do you want to work in this internship at a global art museum? (200 words max)
  4. Barriers to pursuing a career in the arts and museums can take many forms, and we recognize that members of underrepresented groups experience greater challenges in the museum career pathway. Discuss what challenge or challenges you face (socioeconomic, educational, or other) as you consider a career in the arts and museums, and how this internship could play a role in surmounting those obstacles.
The McMullan Learning & Public Engagement Internship is funded in part through a generous donation from the James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation, whose mission is to support economically and educationally underserved communities.

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The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.