The College of Arts & Sciences at UVM is offering a semester-long socially engaged experience in New York City with a focus on community, art and activism.

Students will spend a semester interning in New York and gaining firsthand knowledge of the art world and arts in community. This program is for students that are interested in using the visual arts and the city of New York as a lens for exploring and understanding issues of inequality and the struggle for social justice.

The program consists of a 3-day-per-week internship, professional development work and an academic course, Art and Activism. Students of all majors are invited to apply!  You do not need to be an arts related major.  Arts in Action uses art intuitions and art practice as a framework to understand issues in New York city and beyond. Previous participating majors have included: Linguistics, Gender/Women Studies, Film and Televison, Art Education, Studio Art, Neuroscience and English.

"The Arts in Action internship in New York City was an incalculably meaningful and influential opportunity for me. My experiences at The Brooklyn Museum and in the Arts and Activism course taught by Mildred Beltré have upended so much of what I thought I knew about systemic issues and how institutions occupy the world. You are compelled to continuously explore ideas relating to place, hierarchies, the “culture wars,” and how the understanding of perspectives outside your own can only be accomplished through critical analysis and empathy; concepts that are naturally imbued within the class studies. I had the chance to thoroughly investigate institutions and their diversity (or lack thereof) as well as the chance to work hands-on in a museum setting while exploring how art activism ignites resistance and revolution. Once you learn through the Arts and Activism lens you cannot go back." 

-- Ashley Bertolino, 2020 Arts in Action participant (Art Education, '20)


Program Components


Students will work at their internship sites 24 hours a week (3 days or 4 per week) doing meaningful work as part of the team. Placements will be at various community, arts, and social justice arts organizations in New York City. 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?

Interns 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, interns will interact with peers, identify and leverage their strengths and share their internship experiences. Throughout the program, interns will build a portfolio that showcases what they’ve learned and documents their professional journey.

In Spring 2020 internships were at the Brooklyn Museum, BRIC, Creative Time, Daniel Arsham Studio, Lower East Side Printshop, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens Museum, and Franklin Furnace.

Credit details: These credits count as electives, and DO count toward graduation. However, you can only count a maximum of 12 internship credits toward graduation as per CAS internship policy. So if you have already done an internship for credit, some of the credits you earn will not count toward your total 120 required hours. Check with your advisor if you have questions. Sophia Trigg, Internship Coordinator, can also help,


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 online course will look at art and activism in New York City in both a historical and contemporary context.

"This course is part survey and part seminar, and will draw from the experiential learning at the internships. While in your internships you will be gaining first-hand practical knowledge. This course, focused on community arts methods and the history of community activism through art, 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.”

- Excerpt of from course syllabus

Credit details: These credits count as academic elective credits unless otherwise approved by your department for major credit.

Learn more about Mildred


The semester before you head to New York, you will enroll in a 1 credit hybrid (online and in person) course that will help structure your internship application process and help you get to know your classmates! 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. 


Application process:

This program will take the place of your spring 2021 semester. The application deadline is May 1, 2020. Required components of the application: application form, cover letter, and a resume. You will also be asked to identify two faculty members who can serve as references for you. The first step of your application process should be to contact two faculty members to ask if they would be willing to be a reference. Once you have applied, they may be contacted by our selection committee for letters of recommendation.

Apply now

Priority Deadline: May 1

Final Deadline: October 1



Tuition: Students enrolled in this program will pay their normal tuition for a 15-credit semester. All scholarships and financial aid applies.

Housing: Students will pay a program fee to UVM that will cover their housing and materials fees. Housing will be located in St. George Towers in Brooklyn Heights. Find more information on the Educational Housing Services (EHS) website

Food: There is no meal plan associated with this program, so students will have to coordinate with their roomates to grocery shop and cook. 

Travel: Airfare and travel to NYC is not included since students will be coming from their hometowns. Students will also need to purchase a metro card.


If you are selected for the program and submit the course commitment form and pay the non-refundable program fee deposit, you agree to formally register for the course (as soon as registration opens) through myUVM and acknowledge responsibility for all course-related tuition and fees on your student account. Tuition and the balance of the program fee will be assessed on your student account after you formally register for the course according to the UVM Student Financial Services billing cycle.

Program fee refunds may be granted in rare circumstances and must be requested at least 61 days prior to the start of the semester in which you are enrolled, in writing, to Sophia Trigg, CAS Internship Coordinator ( No program fee refunds shall be made less than 60 days before departure. A portion of the program fee MAY be returned, excluding the unrecoverable program fee* expenses and the non-refundable deposit.

* Unrecoverable Program Fee Expenses are funds that UVM has already committed that cannot be recovered from service providers for expenses that may include, but are not limited to, housing, ground transportation, and entrance fees.

Refund of tuition follows the UVM tuition refund schedule. For disciplinary reasons, a student may be sent home at his/her own expense, without any refund, at the discretion of the Faculty Director. You are strongly advised to purchase travel insurance on your return ticket in the event of cancellation for any reason.

If UVM cancels the course due to insufficient enrollment or for any other reason, you will receive a full refund of course-related tuition and fees, including the full program fee.

Eligibility Requirements

UVM students must meet the following requirements in order to participate in Arts in Action:

  1. At least Sophomore standing during the semester you intend to participate. (In some rare cases we will consider a student with first year standing who is in their 2nd year at UVM).
  2. GPA above 2.0
  3. International students who hold F-1 or J-1 status must seek permission from the Office of International Education in order to participate.


Mildred Beltre, Director

Sophia Trigg, CAS Internship Coordinator

Program Policies & Procedures


Hear from a past participant!

Ellie Guyon ('21, English) speaks about her time interning for BRIC and Creative Time


The Spring 2020 Cohort:

Ashley Bertolino, Zmira Stouber, Alex Escaja-Heiss, Mahntra Hennessey, Kate Heilenbach, Ilana Goldstein, Ellie Guyon, Olivia Homolac


Perfect for any major

"As a linguistics and Spanish double major, I was a little concerned that I would feel out of place not only in this art oriented program, but also working in an arts institution.  I quickly learned that this was far from the case, and I am so so grateful for this insightful experience, and the new perspectives and tools I have acquired.  I cannot stress enough how beneficial this program is to everyone - especially those whose areas of expertise lay outside the realm of the arts.  Through having students from a myriad of backgrounds, our class was truly able to grapple with complex and multifaceted issues from a multitude of lenses.  I feel like a much more well-rounded, educated individual, with new passions and interests to explore further."

- Ilana Goldstein (Linguistics, '21)