Interns Make It Happen

Interns are integral to Museum operations. They allow the Museum to reach more people through tours and public programs, assist with installing exhibits, managing the collection, fundraising, marketing, research and writing. In return they get valuable hands-on experience by working side-by-side with Museum staff. “We want interns to focus on projects that are meaningful to them,” says Education Director Kelly Armor. “We want them to really dig in, be creative but also to learn to refine their work. They take on real responsibility and they bring us vitality and curiosity.” The Museum thanks the summer interns for their service! From left to right, Mary Meckley (Museum Studies Intern from Syracuse University), Michelle Mischler (Music Production Intern from Penn State), Monica Gustin (Photography and Social Media Intern and graduate of R.I.T.), Amanda Filutze (Museum Studies Intern from Edinboro University), Quinn Thompson (Graphic Design Intern and graduate of Edinboro University), Natalie Tabolt (Museum Education Intern from Allegheny College), and Adam Dosch (Museum Studies and Marketing Intern and graduate from Slippery Rock University).


Cheteyan Internship

“I call upon all the experiences I have had through the Judy Cheteyan internship program continuously in graduate school; they have provided a frame of reference for theory and methods of practice I am learning about in the classroom. My internship experience has created a more personal, in-depth understanding of the kind of future career I want. I can trace my own desires to become a public folklorist to the knowledge and experiences I gained through this internship. I found that community building through the arts is a fulfilling career path, and acting locally to think globally helps build up the self-esteem of an area for all members.”

Cara Forke, 2016 Cheteyan Intern focus on Public Folklore

The Museum typically hosts 15-20 interns each year, and they assist with all aspects of Museum operations and programming.  Thanks to the generosity of Michael and Judy Cheteyan, the Erie Art Museum offers one full-time, 12-week paid internship each year to a recent college graduate. The internship can start in August or September 2017. Cheteyan interns choose a focus of Exhibition Development, Museum Education, or Public Folklore. Applications are due by April 10.


Interns function as integral members of the Museum’s staff, and their responsibility is more formal and more demanding than that of a volunteer. The Erie Art Museum utilizes a team management approach. In addition to specific duties in their individual areas of responsibility, Museum staff members assume joint responsibilities for a range of administrative and programmatic functions. Responsibilities assigned to Interns, like those assigned to permanent staff, reflect in some measure the talents, abilities and interests of the individual. At its most basic level, an internship is simple on-the-job training, requiring regular, scheduled attendance and elementary job and people skills; Interns are selected on the basis of an interview and evidence of previous work experience and personal initiative. The only paid internship the Museum offers is the Judy Cheteyan Scholar internship.

Interns are required to maintain a journal of daily activities, with comments and observations. The Museum works with Interns to accomplish educational objectives determined in collaboration with their faculty advisors. If the internship is not part of a university requirement, interns work with their museum supervisor in creating a list of goals they will accomplish during the internship.

Internships are usually a minimum of 200 hours or more with a minimum of 10 hours per week (20 hours a week is recommended). Each intern is assigned to several discrete projects to be completed during the course of the internship. Internship applicants should email the staff member in the area that interests them most. They should let the staff member know the total number of hours they wish to complete, the number of hours they will devote each week, and tentative start and end dates. The staff member will follow up via email and request a resume.

Download the Erie Art Museum’s Internship Manual here.

The Erie Art Museum offers internships in Museum Studies to qualified graduate and undergraduate candidates with backgrounds in art, art history, arts administration or museum studies.

Museum Studies Interns work closely with the Assistant Curator and the Registrar on a variety of exhibition and collection related project.

Interns assist in the daily operations of the Museum; assist in the installation of changing exhibitions; act as docents for exhibitions; research and write copy for exhibitions and Museum programming; assist in developing educational activities related to exhibitions; assist in set up for lectures, workshops and special events; and assume day to day responsibilities for clerical and administrative tasks as the occasion demands.

If interested, email a resume and letter of interest to Director of Education, Kelly Armor.

The Erie Art Museum offers internships in Art Education and Museum Education to qualified graduate and undergraduate candidates with backgrounds in art, art history, any education specialization, or museum studies.

Interns work closely with Museum Education Director and education staff in creating and implementing tour activities for school and civic groups. Interns first observe museum educators in action, then they work on specific exhibits, targeting a variety of age levels and abilities. Interns are encouraged to explore various ways of working with students, including open-ended discussion, hands-on activities in both gallery and classroom settings, and utilizing other art forms such as movement, music, and writing. Interns also assist with the planning and implementation of community-based classes and assume day-to-day responsibilities for clerical and administrative tasks as the occasion demands. If the internship is during the summer, the intern will be involved with the Museum’s summer camp program.

If interested, email a resume to Museum Education Director, Kelly Armor.

The Erie Art Museum offers internships in Folk Art and Ethnomusicology to qualified graduate and undergraduate candidates with backgrounds in folklore, anthropology, and music.

Interns work closely with Folk Art Director on various Museum projects such as field work, interviews and oral histories, identifying and assisting local folk artists, working with civic groups on public events, creating and leading tours for Museum folk art exhibits, and assisting with outreach. Interns with particular interest and skills will document folk artists’ work by musical transcription, audio and video recordings, and photography. Interns will also be assigned clerical and administrative responsibilities as needed.

If interested, email a resume to Museum Folk Art Director, Kelly Armor.

The Erie Art Museum presents an ambitious schedule of exhibitions, classes, workshops, concerts, lectures and more. This fast paced, hands on environment allows interns to experience how different departments work collaboratively to make these events possible.
The Erie Art Museum’s communication intern is responsible for working with the Director of Marketing on press release writing and distribution; press conference organization and execution; special event planning and execution; exhibition communication and promotion support; crafting social media posts and scheduling; media clippings; and newsletter and website writing.

The position offers a well-rounded professional experience in all aspects of marketing, public relations, special events and development. Interested candidates must exhibit exceptional organizational skills, be a self-starter and be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

This unpaid internship offers a flexible work schedule to fit credit requirements.

​Interested candidates should​​ email a resume and three writing samples​ to​:
Emily Dauber​, Director of Marketing & Events

The Erie Art Museum presents an ambitious schedule of exhibitions, classes, workshops, concerts, lectures and more. This fast paced, hands on environment allows interns to experience how different departments work collaboratively to make these events possible.

Graphic Design Interns assist the Senior Editor in completing a variety of daily projects, as well as long-term projects such as brochures, programs, invitations, posters, tickets, signs, etc. that help create visibility and awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. A qualified intern should be able to design and work on their own and show initiative in coming up with design solutions while taking into account materials, quantity and cost factors.

The ideal intern will have a background or completed studies in Graphic Design, be an excellent communicator with strong organizational, visual and verbal skills. Must be capable of working on Macintosh computers in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well as various peripherals such as scanners and printers. Only college senior students considered.

While this internship is unpaid, the individual will get a number of completed pieces to add to their portfolio. Interns’ schedules are determined based upon the number of hours required for college credits, the Museum’s needs and the individual’s own schedule. Interested individuals should submit their resume with contact information and access to previous work (if available). Candidates will be contacted for an interview and print portfolio presentation.

If interested, email a resume to Senior Designer, Andrea Krivak

The Erie Art Museum presents an ambitious schedule of exhibitions, classes, workshops, concerts, lectures and other programs. The Museum’s fast paced, hands-on environment allows interns to experience how different departments work collaboratively to make these events possible.

Photography Interns work with the Senior Designer to create photographic art for use in publications, as well as working with the Assistant Curator to photographically document the exhibits and objects from the Permanent Collection for Museum archives. Interns photograph a wide range of subject matter, ranging from objects to exhibits to participants in the tours, classes, workshops and live concerts that the Museum offers. Only college junior and senior students considered.

Photography interns’ schedules require some flexibility, to encompass after-hours and weekend events.

If interested, email a resume and photography portfolio to Senior Designer, Andrea Krivak
(Portfolios may be submitted as a web-link to a personal website, Google drive folder, or Dropbox folder.)

Every year the Erie Art Museum hosts one intern for a full-time internship for 12 weeks starting sometime in the winter, spring, or fall. This internship can focus on Exhibition Development, Museum Education, or Public Folklore. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree before the internship starts. Prospective interns must be willing to relocate to Erie for the duration of the internship. The Cheteyan is a paid internship in which the recipient will receive a stipend of $2,500. Applications are due by April 10, 2017.

Download the application for more information

Testimonials from former Cheteyan Interns:

“I have interned at museums that boast Caravaggio’s and Bernini’s, but none of them could compare to the experience I received as the Cheteyan Intern at the Erie Art Museum. Before this internship, I’d been confident in my abilities as a critical thinker and art history scholar, but my skills in education were scant. I learned from the EAM educators how to let kids be kids and have fun while still challenging them to stretch their creativity and observational skills. I applied this philosophy to adults, too, with equal success! Now back in Richmond, I have become the Education Coordinator at a community print shop and am working at a history museum. I am confident in these positions. The internship has more than adequately prepared me for the job and I am also excited to bring to my new occupations a little seed bomb of the positive energy, compassion, and ingenuity that made the Erie Art Museum, for me, a life-changing internship experience.”
Beth Reid, 2015 Cheteyan Intern focus on Museum Education

“Watching the people of this museum work, and working alongside them, has been eye-opening. The “roll up your sleeves and get it done” attitude of everyone in this museum is what makes it so powerful and far-reaching. If you create limitations of what an art museum can do, then that is what it will do. But you if you reimagine those constraints or get rid of them altogether, then amazing things can happen and a museum becomes a locus of culture in new, beautiful ways. The wonderful thing about working in a regional museum of this size is that the ultimate mission of the institution is never lost: the museum is made to build up the community so that anyone who wants to engage with art, can. Simple. It was wonderful to see that goal embodied by all the people I met here, dedicated to Erie and passionate about nurturing a thriving culture in this city.”
Alina Borja, 2014 Cheteyan Intern focus on Museum Education

“On my cover letter, when I applied to be an intern at the EAM, I wrote: “I recently discovered the Erie Art Museum and your commitment and dynamism impress me. I especially identify myself with your gathering spirit. The Erie Art Museum embraces traditional and contemporary arts, music and foreigners culture. It implies an open-mind and consciousness that museums are for everyone.” I was right! I got to experience all the ways your museum works globally and with the community. I also gained self knowledge. I learned I am creative and I can take initiative. I learned I could rely on people. And I am slowly learning to relax! Despite my different language and culture, my internship provided me the knowledge and practice I need to start a professional career.”
Melissa Cassagrande, 2013 Cheteyan Intern, focus on Exhibition Development

“The Erie Art Museum is a remarkable institution. I was very fortunate to spend three months working there. During my tenure as Cheteyan Scholar, I assisted in organizing exhibitions, giving tours, installing artwork, researching artists and writing publicity. The experience will be invaluable as I continue in my career as a museum professional. However, it has also changed the way in which I view museums as a positive force within the community. Partnering with different organizations and populations, the Erie Art Museum makes Erie a more beautiful and interesting place to live.”
Sarah Buyer, 2012 Cheteyan Intern, focus on Exhibition Development

“In today’s competitive job market, graduates have come to heavily rely on internship opportunities—often unpaid—to enhance their resumes. Because there are so many students seeking hands-on experience some institutions take interns for granted. I am fortunate that the Erie Art Museum exceeded my expectations. I was exposed to all aspects of the curatorial process and helped with multiple shows in various capacities. It was impossible not to immerse myself in the museum’s collaborative, supportive work environment. I developed tools in giving tours and collections management beyond my exhibition emphasis. Since earning my masters in 2010, I have pursued various assistantships and internships. While they have all been valuable, my experience at the Erie Art Museum has surpassed them in quality.”
Olivia Fales, 2011 Cheteyan Intern focus on Exhibition Development