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Arts for Learning/Miami ArtWorks Paid Summer Internship Program returns for 12th Year

Written By Josie Gulliksen
March 15, 2024 at 2:42 PM

Film interns of A4L Miami’s ArtWorks program produced a short film based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, writing, directing and producing the film with guidance from an A4L Teaching Artist.
Photo courtesy A4L Miami.

A paid summer arts internship program is invaluable for students to gain experience prior to entering college and for 12 years Arts for Learning/Miami has been providing just that.

“This year we’re expanding the number of students we serve from 87 last year to up to 150 this year which would be the largest group we have ever served,” said Ivy Bennett, Arts for Learning program director.

The six-week program is open to students between 9th and 12th grade in Florida who are at least 14 years old. Non-Florida residents can apply and will receive community service hours.The deadline to apply is April 3, 2024.

Internships are facilitated by industry professionals and professors who serve as local teaching artists and the program culminates with a showcase of the participating interns’ work in the following eight tracks available.

● Animation
● Architecture
● Creative Writing
● Dance
● Film
● Music Production
● Theater
● Visual Art

“We added music production and architecture last year,” said Bennett, “and we held the program at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center in Little Havana, basically utilizing the entire facility.”

For summer 2024, they’ve reached out to a few other venues around Miami-Dade and are awaiting confirmation.

Growing the program has always been a goal to help accommodate the growing number of applications they receive each year. They have received as many as 150 applications and each year “we would nudge up the numbers. This is why we’re looking for larger spaces because the demand is there. We’re one of the few places that offer arts internships which makes us unique, so students are very interested in it,” Bennett said.

Visual Arts interns of A4L Miami’s ArtWorks program work independently and collaboratively to create works of art they exhibit at the closing of the program. Photo courtesy A4L Miami.

The students love that they’re amongst colleagues their age which adds another layer of friendship and fun. Bennett has seen lifelong friendships form across school districts from throughout South Florida.

“We’ve had on average about 25 or 26 different high schools represented during our program, meaning we become a hub and because they’re students who have never met they end up maintaining their friendship beyond their internship,” said Bennett.

The program also becomes a safety hub because the population includes students from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Dance interns of A4L Miami’s ArtWorks program work under the guidance of a professional Teaching Artist to study technique to create original choreography as a team. Photo courtesy A4L Miami.

“It is a welcoming space and we are aware of the student’s needs and we fulfill that need so both participants and parents see us as a reliable and safe space,” said Bennett.

From the beginning during the interview process, students are gaining valuable workforce skills and self confidence and ultimately a transformation.

“We have seen so many success stories. I see the students transformed from nervous kids during the interview process to confident performers who take the stage with a mic in their hand, ready to entertain an audience,” said Bennett.

Music Production interns of A4L Miami’s ArtWorks program collaborate to produce songs, guided by a professional Teaching Artist. Photo courtesy A4L Miami.

Even parents have incredible feedback about the confidence it builds in their kids and the program which helps to legitimize the student’s passion. Parents too are transformed once they hear the feedback from the professional teaching artists on their talented kids.

“We get to see, in real time, the difference the arts make in these kids’ lives,” said Bennett.

Visit the Arts For Learning/Miami website for information and to apply to the program at  a4lmiami.org/artworks-internships-in-the-arts.

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