Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI offering museum, art internships in Alaska, New Mexico

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Candidates will get hands-on experience in museum sciences and art practices

Dec. 14, 2022

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Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is recruiting undergraduate and graduate students for paid museum and art internships in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in New Mexico.

Museum Internships

Students may apply for either a position at SHI in Juneau, Alaska, or for an opportunity at IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Museum interns will gain hands-on experience with cataloging museum collections, object storage management, and exhibition planning, research and/or installation.

The SHI-based museum studies internships will start May 30, 2023, and last for six weeks (ends July 10, 2023). The interns will work with SHI's collection of Northwest Coast objects, assist with museum exhibit preparation and work alongside SHI staff in collections management.

The IAIA internships begin on June 20, 2023, and last for six weeks (ends July 28, 2023). MoCNA holds the National Collection of Contemporary Native American Arts with close to 9,000 artworks, including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, photography, contemporary apparel, textiles, cultural arts, new media and installations. The interns will work with the MoCNA team to develop and install a summer exhibition.

Art Internships

The SHI-based art internships, also based in Juneau, will start May 30, 2023, and last for nine weeks. At the conclusion of the program interns will have a broader practical understanding of what is expected from an artist when engaging in a variety of income-generating activities; increased artistic knowledge and skills; a practical understanding of how to plan and operate special arts events, summer programs and arts learning opportunities; experience with operations of a nonprofit organization; and knowledge of reporting requirements for operating community activities.

The selected interns will prepare and implement in-person and online arts events and activities, plan and implement online and/or in-person summer camps for youth, participate as an SHI “artist in residence” focusing on developing skills in Northwest Coast art forms and provide general assistance to the art department team.

All internships are available to undergraduate students who have completed two years of college and to graduate students majoring in museum and art studies or a related field. Preference will be given to applicants with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

The candidates must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and background checks are required for all eligible applicants.

The programs are part of a larger effort to support an Alaska Native arts associate degree or certificate at UAS and a studio arts and museum studies degree at IAIA.

More information regarding compensation, housing and logistics is available on the application. The application deadline is Jan. 31, 2023.If you have any questions regarding the museum internship, please contact Dr. Kaila Cogdill, Collections and Curatorial Manager, at If you have any questions regarding the art internship, please contact Kari Groven at

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Kathy Dye, SHI Communications and Publications Deputy Director, 907.321.4636,

Caption: SHI museum interns in SHI’s collections vaultPhoto by Kaila Cogdill, courtesy of SHI. Note: news outlets are welcome to use this photo for coverage of this story. For a higher-res version, contact