WHILE BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL students hear plenty of talk about opportunities in STEM fields, with good internships available that match them with employers in the region’s booming biomedical and tech industries, one important local sector – the arts — has long struggled to keep up when it comes to showcasing career pathways for young people.
Efforts to change that and expose more young people to work in the arts are getting a big boost thanks to a new partnership between EdVestors, a Boston-based school improvement nonprofit, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The New York-based philanthropy is making a $250,000 award to EdVestors to fund paid internships at arts organizations this summer for 25 rising Boston high school seniors.
“We’re incredibly excited about this opportunity that fits squarely at the intersection of our longstanding work to increase arts learning for students in Boston Public Schools and our newest initiative on career pathways in Boston high schools,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, the CEO of EdVestors.
The students selected for the internship will be paid minimum wage for the eight-week summer placements. Rousmaniere said the internships will range from positions at major Boston museums to jobs at smaller community-based cultural institutions.
She said there are far fewer paid internships at arts and cultural institutions than in other sectors because arts organizations are typically nonprofits without the budget to support such efforts. The new internship program will “open up windows” to career pathways for Boston students in the arts, a vibrant part of the city’s economy, she said.
EdVestors, which has played big role in expanding arts opportunities in Boston schools, will partner in the program with the Boston Private Industry Council, which has long served as a key coordinator of summer job placements for Boston youth.
“Boston is thriving in the arts world and the creative economy in general,” said Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston PIC. That sector “needs diversity as much as the rest of our economy, and knows it,” he said.
Plenty of students in Boston may “feel that artistic impulse,” said Sullivan. “But until you see it as a career, it’s tough to imagine. That’s our general theme – you have to see it to be it,” he said of the Boston PIC approach to career training and exposing young people to the breadth of options in the region.
Boston is the fourth city to join the Bloomberg Arts Internship program, an initiative of the philanthropic organization founded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Similar arts internship programs are in place in New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, where they have provided placements for more than 600 students.