Arts in Action logo on a sunset background with NYC skyline

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

Students will spend a semester interning in New York and gaining firsthand knowledge of the art world and arts in community.

The program consists of a 3-day-per-week internship, professional development work and one academic course called Arts and Activism. Students of all majors are invited to participate. It is an especially great fit for studio art, art history, and art education majors as well as any student interested in the social and educational roles of art in communities.

The Internship (12 credits):

Students will work full time Monday through Wednesday at their internship so that they are on the job enough to do real meaningful work and feel like part of the team. Interns will be placed 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 artists’ 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.

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, strigg@uvm.edu

The Academic Course (3 credits):

Taught by Mildred Beltré, Associate Professor of Studio Art, Arts and Activism will be focused on community arts methods and the history of community activism through art. The online course will look at art and activism in New York City in both a historical and contemporary context. Looking at various New York-based movements, artists and Collectives such as Act Up, The Guerilla Girls, Brooklyn Hi Art Machine, John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres and others, students will complete an independent project centered around their Arts and Activism.

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

The Costs

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. 

Application Process: 

This program will begin Spring 2020. The application deadline is July 1, 2019. Required components of the application: application form, cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation from faculty members. The first step of your application process should be to contact two faculty members for letters of recommendation. Once you complete the application form below, these professors will be contacted for their letters. 

Arts in Action Application form

Program Fee Details:

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 (strigg@uvm.edu). 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.