The Seminar (3 credits)
Taught by Mildred Beltré, Associate Professor of Studio Art, Art and Activism will be focused on community, artist interventions, and the history of community activism through art. This course will look at art and activism in New York City in both a historical and contemporary context. It will be focused on community arts methods and the history of community activism through art, and will help place the internship in the thematic and political framework of the city.
Starting with a grounding of what context each of us brings to the city, we will consider the historical and current state of the city and how the arts and institutions function within it. The coursework is structured as nodes within intersectional constellations of issues, tactics, and artists. Through readings we learn about international, national, and New York-based movements, artists, and collectives.
Credit details: These credits count as academic elective credits unless otherwise approved by your department for major credit.
Professional Development Course (3 credits)
Students will meet every Thursday to begin to develop their professional identity and understand how to navigate the workplace as they get a feel for their career path in the arts. In small groups, students will interact with peers, identify and leverage their strengths and share their internship experiences. Throughout the program, students will build a portfolio that showcases what they’ve learned and documents their professional journey.
Credit details: These credits count as elective academic credits.
The Internship (9 credits)
Students will work at an internship for at least 24 hours a week (3-4 full days) doing meaningful work in the arts world. Students are responsible for applying for and securing an internship position (with our help) by the start of the program. Internships should be at
organizations that are related to the intersection of community, arts, and social justice. Past internship locations have included: the Brooklyn Museum, BRIC, Creative Time, Daniel Arsham Studio, Lower East Side Printshop, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens Museum, Franklin Furnace, Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and the International Studio and Curatorial Program.
Students will gain first-hand exposure to the workings of arts institutions and various aspects of the arts. They will gain knowledge of the diverse communities of New York and how communities access art through these institutions, as well as gaining a sense of how art and artists function in the world. What are the different audiences? How do artists get their work out? What resources are available to artists and arts institutions? What is their role in the city? What happens in an artist's studio?
Credit details: These credits count as elective internship credits, and DO count toward graduation. Keep in mind, however, that you can only count a maximum of 12 internship credits toward graduation as per CAS internship policy. Check with your advisor if you have questions.
The Fall Course (1 credit)
The fall preparatory course is designed to help structure your internship search and application process. It will also allow you to get to know your classmates before departing for New York! Students will meet in person several times during the semester, but most of the written work will be completed with Mildred and submitted through Blackboard. Students will be responsible for completing and submitting their own applications to internship sites as well as interviewing & accepting an internship by the beginning of the Spring 2023 semester.
UVM students must meet the following requirements in order to participate in Arts in Action:
- Junior standing during the semester you intend to participate. (In some rare cases we will consider a student with sophomore standing who has previous internship / professional experience or who is in their 3rd year at UVM).
- GPA above 2.5
- International students who hold F-1 or J-1 visa status must seek permission from the Office of International Education in order to participate.
This program will take the place of your spring semester. Required components of the application:
- Application form
The application form is designed to help you think about your reasons for applying to this program. It will ask you about yourself, your experiences, and your goals.
Your resume should list your education, previous employment, skills, volunteer experience, and any educational or leadership experience you believe has prepared you to be an intern. Try to keep it to 1-page. (Example resume)
- Sample Cover letter
Go online and find an arts organization in New York City that you would love to work for -- it can be anywhere, dream big! -- and write a cover letter as if you are applying to an internship there. This will be the basis for the cover letters you will write during your internship application process in fall 2022. (Example cover letter)
You will need to contact a professor or other professional reference and ask if they would be willing to provide you a reference. You'll be asked to submit their name on the application form. Then, they will be sent an auto-email asking for them to fill out a survey about your strengths as a candidate. A reminder email from you about this is always helpful!
If selected for the final round, you will be asked to attend an interview with program Director Mildred Beltre. This is to get to know you a bit more and to allow you to express anything that did not appear in your application materials. Interviews will take place in May 2022 and may be in small groups depending on the number of applicants.
Costs & Living
Tuition: Students will pay their normal tuition & fees for a 15-credit semester at UVM. All scholarships and financial aid applies.
Housing: Housing will be located in St. George Towers in Brooklyn Heights. Find more information on the Educational Housing Services (EHS) website. The Program Fee for this program will cover the housing cost.
Food: There is no meal plan associated with this program, so students will have to coordinate with their roomates to grocery shop and cook. Professor Beltre will also be able to recommend budget-friendly spots around the area.
Travel: Students will need to purchase a metro card and cover the costs of their arrival to and departure from New York at the beginning and end of the semester.