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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Arts Internships for High School Students

Updated: Apr 15

Why do internships in high school?

Before we jump into a long list of arts internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.

How to Find Arts Internships for High School Students

The best way to find arts internships for high school students is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships

However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.

10 Arts Internships for High School Students

Most of the arts internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!

  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines

StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.

  • Ages: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors

  • Location: NYU

  • Timeline: Spring

  • Deadline: November

The NYU Tisch Spring Future Artists Program is a pre-college program that is FREE of charge, open to all eligible students, and centered on educational opportunities in studying in the arts with the same rigor and training offered in the undergraduate departments. It is designed for students who may not have access to other programs in their schools and/or communities and who would qualify for financial aid at NYU. It is a commuter program for students from the New York tri-state area, including Connecticut and Pennsylvania, who are able to commit to traveling to NYU each Saturday.  

  • Ages: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior

  • Location: Boston, MA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Rolling

Recruiting Boston teens (ages 14-18 years) for an AMAZING opportunity to work in one of our six creative studios—3D Design, Animation, Creative Tech, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, and Video Production! Come work with a variety of fine art and design mediums in a creative studio setting. Work collaboratively with professional artists and designers, earn and learn new skills—all while providing creative services for AFH’s clients. Artistic experience isn’t necessary, but a passion for creativity and learning—and earning—on the job is!

  • Ages: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior

  • Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

  • Timeline: Flexible

  • Deadline: Rolling

Interns will assist ACT’s professional teaching artists by encouraging students to participate or helping guide them in warm ups, activities/games, scenes or choreography. Interns will also support the ACT admin team by preparing scripts, gathering supplies and materials for class, crafting costume/set pieces, and assisting with tech/backstage during class performances. 

  • Ages: 15 - 19

  • Location: Chicago, IL

  • Timeline: Year long

  • Deadline: May

This one-year, part-time staff position for Teen Creative Agency (TCA) alumni bridges the gap between youth programs and museum careers. Apprentices build their professional portfolios by designing programs and facilitating dialogue about urgent social issues for staff and audiences of all ages and backgrounds. They work across MCA’s Learning Programs, curate and produce public events, act as ambassadors and advocate for youth in and beyond the museum, and facilitate workshops and pieces of training.

  • Ages: Juniors, Seniors

  • Location: Boston, MA

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Rolling

The Teen Arts Council (TAC) is the MFA’s leadership development program for Boston-area teens. The TAC offers participants the opportunity to engage with art, culture, and history; develop workplace and team building skills; and learn about a range of professional options and career paths. Work includes: advising the MFA on engagement strategies for local teens; implementing programs and events for peers and the general public; learning about the arts and cultural sector in the City of Boston by engaging with the city’s other teen programs and cultural institutions. Participants must attend a Boston public school and/or live in Boston

  • Ages: 15 - 18

  • Location: San Antonio, TX

  • Timeline: 9 months

  • Deadline: Rolling April-June

Description: A nine-month, paid program designed for San Antonio area high school students (15-18 years old) to become advocates for contemporary art and young leaders in their community. Teen Council members work with Artpace staff and artists to develop teen programs, support Artpace events, and create community-based projects throughout the school year.

  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: Houston, TX

  • Timeline: Flexible

  • Deadline: Rolling

Each year, more than 1,000 people contribute to the cultural vibrancy of this great city by donating their time to the MFAH. People of different backgrounds, from students to retirees, help the Museum meet its goal of bringing art into the lives of people throughout Houston’s communities. At the MFAH, volunteer opportunities encompass various abilities and interests. Options include:

  • Leading tours of the Museum galleries

  • Helping in the MFA Shop

  • Assisting with clerical duties

  • Greeting guests

  • Facilitating children’s art projects

  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: Westchester, NY

  • Timeline: Academic Year

  • Deadline: August

Leadership Council members not only gain job readiness skills, but also help to improve and evaluate current arts educational programming. During the program, Council participants practice career and college-readiness skills through the lens of arts programming and administration. Guest presenters frequent the program and tend to be local arts administrators, ArtsWestchester teaching artists, and other arts professionals. Topics have included how to write personal statements that introduce their goals and construct resumes. They also met with administrators of local arts programs to understand the goals and challenges many organizations face. 

  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Barnard College

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April

Students enroll in one 3-credit course taught by a member of Barnard's world renowned faculty. Courses are held on campus, run for 7 weeks, and are fast paced and rigorous. Outside of the classroom students are part of our Barnard community and will explore New York City, participate in college readiness workshops and career exploration panels. 

Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding an arts internship for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 

How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 

Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 

How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 

You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.

How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 

For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 

Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 

If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 

Template for Finding an Internship

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Mr./Ms.____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


[Your name]

Template for Finding a Research Position

Subject: Student Reaching Out

Dear Professor/Dr. ____,

I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


[Your name]

Arts Internships for High School Students
Arts Internships for High School Students


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for an arts high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey! 


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