Arts Workforce Initiative


The Arts Workforce Initiative (AWI) is a paid internship program that gives Connecticut college students, emerging creative professionals and military veterans an opportunity to gain engaging, hands-on work experience with not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations throughout the state. Each intern works 25 hours a week for 10 weeks for the selected host organization.

This internship is specifically designed to fund opportunities for applicants from diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to gain professional experience in the arts.

  • Selected host organizations will be granted $3,750 per intern to be used to pay each intern at the rate of $15 per hour.
  • Interns will receive payment from the host organization where their internship will take place.


To be eligible for an AWI Internship, individuals must:

  • be a Connecticut resident; 
  • have availability to successfully complete the program;
  • have experience in or wish to grow professionally in the following categories: arts administration, arts presenting/curating, media arts, performing arts, visual arts, arts education and literary arts;
  • be enrolled in an accredited college or university OR be an emerging arts professional (for the “40 and Under” Category) or be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (for the “Veterans in the Arts” Category).

To be eligible as an AWI Host Organization, an organization must be:

  • a not-for-profit Connecticut arts/cultural organization;
  • able to provide an internship opportunity within the following categories:  arts administration, arts presenting/curating, media arts, performing arts, visual arts, arts education and literary arts;
  • able to provide a hands-on and engaging internship opportunity;
  • in alignment with and display an understanding of COA's READI Framework;
  • able to accommodate an intern or interns between June 1, 2019 - September 30, 2019; 
  • committed to ensuring that the intern or interns complete(s) the required 250 hours;
  • able to provide a dedicated work space for the intern or interns.  An intern may not work remotely; 
  • able to employ the intern or interns as a contractor.  A W-9 form is required; 
  • willing and able to meet with the intern(s) with the first week of the internship to establish S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Establishing S.M.A.R.T. goals will improve the chances of a successful internship for both the intern(s) and the host organization.  S.M.A.R.T. goals must be submitted to COA and consistently tracked by the host organization and the intern(s).  S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
  1. S: Specific
  2. M: Measurable
  3. A: Achievable
  4. R: Relevant
  5. T: Time-bound

How to Apply

Individuals interested in applying may submit an application on-line.  Applications must be received by 9 am on Monday, April 22, 2019.

The Arts Workforce Initiative application for host organizations is now closed.  The deadline was February 11, 2019.

The Connecticut Office of the Arts of the Department of Economic and Community Development provides equal opportunities to all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.    

Reporting Requirements

Both the selected intern and a representative from their host organization will need to attend one (1) in-person, "check-in" meeting at the Connecticut Office of the Arts' offices in Hartford, Connecticut.

Host organizations will be required to submit a certified final report including:

  • a narrative explaining the duties and projects that the intern completed;
  • a work schedule/time sheet to document that the intern completed the required 250 hours;
  • a financial summary showing payment to intern;
  • final evaluation of the S.M.A.R.T. goals; and
  • supplemental documentation.

Interns will be required to submit a final report. 


For information or if you have questions, contact Adriane Jefferson via email at