Frequently Asked Questions - Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) Internship Program

The DIAL internship program strives to strengthen and advance diversity in the arts management field and provides college students working towards careers in the arts or business sectors with a hands-on introduction to arts nonprofits in New York City. Students gain invaluable exposure to dynamic leaders across a variety of arts disciplines and businesses and participate in professional activities and projects that prepare each one for his or her career, better equipped to enter the workforce as a diverse and creative future leader.

Each summer, the Arts & Business Council of New York (ABC/NY) matches undergraduate students with dynamic nonprofit arts organizations and with corporate mentors who can guide their personal and professional growth.

Each intern works full-time under the supervision of an experienced arts administrator who serves as an arts mentor. Interns also have the opportunity to explore a cross-section of New York’s arts community through site visits to all the other host organizations and other cultural and professional development activities.

Interns are also matched with business mentors. Through regular meetings and conversations about the internship as well as personal goals and interests, these business professionals guide and advise the students throughout the internship, provide insight into the business world, and demonstrate how individuals with varying careers and backgrounds can support the arts as volunteers.

When Sibyl Simon, the founder of the Arts & Business Council of New York, retired in 1986, a fundraiser was held to celebrate her 31 years of service to the organization and at her request, funding was to go toward supporting a multicultural internship program. 

After a slow start, the program was revived in 2000 with the generous support of Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.

The program currently has support for 12 matches—that’s 12 interns, 12 hosts, and 12 mentors.

ABC/NY selects both student and arts organization participants through a competitive application, screening, and selection process. Students are matched with host organizations based on the students’ interests, experience, and skills. ABC/NY requires that each project be challenging and substantive. Prospective host organizations are required to submit a detailed description of a proposed project that will afford students hands-on exposure to the business of the arts. 

Host organizations represent a diverse cross-section of the New York City nonprofit arts community. They are selected based upon the scope of their projects and the existence of a positive, supportive environment in which the intern can gain experience in arts management. Individual organizations and projects will vary each year. See a list of past hosts.

The DIAL internship program is designed to diversify the field of arts management and thus seeks candidates from traditionally under-represented backgrounds in the field. In its review of candidates, ABC/NY will give preference to these applicants.

Eligible applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be available for an intern orientation
  • Be available during the entire length of the program;
  • Be a U.S. citizen; and
  • Be a current undergraduate student. Seniors who will have graduated as of June of the program year are eligible to apply, but should explain why an internship experience (as opposed to full-time employment) relates to their future goals.

Successful candidates also demonstrate:

  • an interest in arts management; and
  • arts/business/marketing coursework, professional work, or extracurricular activities.
  • A commitment to cultural equity.

No. The Arts & Business Council of New York builds bridges between the arts and business communities for the benefit of both. We know that diversity in the workplace can also mean bringing together a range of perspectives, spanning all areas of academia. Our internships are appropriate for all academic disciplines.

The program is only open to current undergraduate students.

This program is for students who are U.S. citizens and may legally work in the United States.

Letters of recommendation may either be uploaded by you into the “recommendation letter” section of your online application or your recommender can directly e-mail it to

After the initial review of the applications, ABC/NY will contact qualified host and intern candidates to schedule interviews. These interviews usually take place in March of the program year.

Generally, interviews are conducted via video conferencing (via Google Hangouts or Skype). In-person interviews are permitted, and we generally schedule the review process during the majority of schools' spring break vacations to make travel to New York City more feasible. If it is logistically or geographically impossible to have an online or in-person interview, then a phone interview may be arranged.

ABC/NY seeks not only the best talent, but also the best fit between an intern and a host organization. Matches between interns and host organizations are based not only on the needs and merits of an organization’s proposed project/s, but also on the talents and interests of intern applicants.

Over 10 weeks, interns complete projects in marketing and communications, development and fundraising, event planning, audience development, community outreach, and more.

For example, a recent intern with a contemporary dance company assisted with promotions for the company’s new production by organizing an online photo gallery, compiling press clippings, editing web videos, and researching and writing an educational study guide to accompany the production on tour. She also helped the company implement a studio rental marketing campaign; reviewed and summarized electronic donor campaigns; and assisted with the end of fiscal year merchandise reconciliation.

Another intern with an art museum worked on a cultural tourism initiative to promote the museum to local businesses and other cultural organizations. She assisted in organizing a small annual film festival and coordinated product donations from the community for the events. She also created a short curriculum guide for an upcoming exhibit.

This is an arts management internship, so it focuses on the skills used to bring the arts to audiences, not on making art. The program is a great way to sample the “behind the scenes” aspect of the arts, and it provides interns a stronger idea of what it takes to be an accomplished artist, but it is not a studio. Of course, there is often room for creativity in the administration of arts organizations, and New York City is a host of inspiration.

Housing is not provided, but ABC/NY may provide accepted applicants with a list of summer housing suggestions.

Transportation to/from New York City is not provided, but each intern receives MTA MetroCards for unlimited travel on subways and buses within the city throughout the 10-week internship.

Host organization supervisors will meet regularly with interns to define, review, and evaluate project and personal goals. Host organizations, interns, and mentors are each required to complete interim and final evaluation surveys distributed by ABC/NY to assess the program.

Intern candidates should visit and read the Program Guidelines before completing the Intern Application.

Host candidates should download the Host Guidelines and Application.

Please note, applications for both interns and hosts are due in late January/early February - check the Guidelines for the deadline.

Accepted hosts and interns will be notified by April of the program year (check the Guidelines for this year's dates). ABC/NY will contact you first by phone or e-mail to offer you a spot in our program and after you accept, will follow up with you to tell you the name of your host and supervisor or intern. We will then mail both hosts and interns further information about their match along with a program contract to be signed and returned to ABC/NY.


Getty Center and the Getty Villa offers summer internships to undergraduates of culturally diverse backgrounds who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County.

Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts Community Arts Fellowships engages artists, students and the local community collaboratively to create performance and visual art that examine the complex intersections between race, diversity and social action

Film Independent Project Involve offers up-and-coming film professionals from under-represented communities the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, utilize free or low-cost production resources and ultimately gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.


Steppenwolf Theatre Multicultural Fellowship is for early career persons of color interested in working in arts administration


Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Urban Arts Leadership Program increases the participation of groups that have been historically underrepresented, particularly those of color, in the management of cultural and artistic organizations

New York

The New York Foundation for the Arts has a classified section with various opportunities and is especially good for finding internships with galleries in New York.

Studio in a School ARTS Intern Program provides exciting opportunities for college undergrads to learn about museum professions through internships in museums and cultural institutions

4A Multicultural Advertising Intern Program allows students to work at prestigious advertising agencies on various accounts, interact w/ advertising professionals, and gain valuable professional credentials in arts management, production, and planning

Center for Communication VICE Cencom Fellowship was founded to advance both organizations’ commitment to diversifying the media landscape and ensure greater access to careers in journalism for the next generation of innovative storytellers

Pentacle Cultivating Leadership in Dance provides an unparalleled opportunity for interns to receive the benefits of a structured internship program, while working intimately with dance artists/choreographers and non-profit organizations

International Radio & Television Society (IRTS) Summer Fellowship Program is dedicated to building future media leaders; brings together the wisdom and power if today’s leaders to train & educate the next generation of media & communication professionals.

ArtTable Diversity Internship Initiative provides quality experiences and mentorship for GRADUATE students from backgrounds generally underrepresented in the field to aid their transition from academic to professional careers.

BRIC’s Downtown Brooklyn Arts Management Fellowship for graduating undergraduate seniors aims to increase the diversity of staff in cultural organizations by creating a route into arts management without having to take unpaid internships or earn a master’s degree.

The CUNY Cultural Corps creates opportunities for City University of New York students to work in the New York City's cultural sector. Only open to CUNY students and recent graduates at this time


Philadelphia Museum of Art Honickman Diversity Internship provides students from diverse backgrounds with exposure to the inner-workings of a major metropolitan museum, promoting an awareness of careers in the field through experiences not available in most academic settings


Wolf Trap Diversity Initiative Internship Program supports promising young professionals, especially those from cultural or ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in arts management.

Washington, DC

Smithsonian Minority Awards Program aims to increase participation of groups who are underrepresented in the museum field

Archives of American Art Horowitz-Fraad Minority Internships allows students the opportunity to learn and gain professional experience in various fields including archival science, information management, museum studies, art administration, art history, and cultural studies

Arena Stage Allen Lee Hughes Internship Program cultivates the next generation of theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater

The National Museum of African American History and Culture internships and fellowships offer college and graduate students and recent graduates opportunities to work closely with professionals and scholars in the museum field

Multiple Cities

Americans for the Arts lists a variety of internal arts internships and positions across the country in their job bank.

T. Howard Foundation Diversity in Media & Entertainment Internships provides minority students who are interested in media & entertainment with internships, networking opportunities, professional development training, scholarships, mentors, and more.

Occasionally, ABC/NY cannot match an outstanding intern candidate with a program host organization and will recommend the student contact other specific arts organizations to explore possible internships outside of the program.

Arts & Business Council strives to ensure that those who have been historically underrepresented in the arts based on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, geography, citizenship status, or religion are represented in the Diversity in Arts Leadership program.