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 in Spring 2023!

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.  Previous participating majors have included: Linguistics, Gender/Women Studies, Film and Televison, Art Education, Studio Art, Neuroscience and English.

Deadline for Spring 2023: TBD - will be in mid-April 2022. Applications open in January 2022.

    "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?

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

    "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 from course syllabus

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


    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 elective academic credits.

    THE FALL COURSE (1 Credit, fall 2021):

    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 semester. Required components of the application:

    1. Application form
    2. Cover letter
    3. Resume
    4. References: 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. 
    5. Interview

    Apply now


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

    Housing: TBD 

    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. Professor Beltre will also be able to recommend budget-friendly spots around the area.

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

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What does "normal tuition" mean?

    "Normal tuition" means the normal amount you pay for a UVM semester. This will of course be slightly different for each student which is why we do not name a sticker price here. All of your grants, scholarships and loans will apply as normal because these are normal UVM credits. Please get in touch with SFS if you are unsure what your normal financial aid package includes. 

    If I go during my sophomore year, does it count toward the 2 year "on campus residency" requirement?

    Yes, this program is considered "on campus" housing because UVM has reviewed and approved the housing provider. If you are signed up for UVM housing already for spring 2022, please let us know. One of the steps in the pre-departure checklist will be to work with ResLife to cancel your contract (this will not cost you anything). 

    Can I go during my last semester of senior year? 

    Yes, this program counts as UVM credit, so you will not be breaking the "30 of the last 45 credits earned for the UVM degree must be taken at the University" rule set forth by the Registrar or your academic program.

    How do I select my internship?

    The fall 2021 course built into this program will include steps and deadlines that will help you appky for and land your internship in New York. Mildred Beltre will play a integral role in this process. When you enroll in the program, you will first meet with her to determine what types of internships would be best for you. She will also help you work on revising your applications and cover letters. Mildred has set up partnerships with many New York organizations eager to host UVM students, so you will not be starting from scratch! If you have an idea for an internship site, please make sure to mention this to Mildred. 

    Can I count any of these credits toward my major/minor?

    In some cases, you may be able to count the academic course "Art and Activism" toward your major or minor. With permission from your department chair, the Dean's Office can process an exception on your degree audit to make the AS-196 course count toward your major or minor. Without this step, or if the course is not approved by your department chair, it will count as elective credit toward your degree. 

    What if I have already done an internship for credit?

    If you are in CAS and have already taken 4 or more credits of internship credit, then some of the internship credits for this program will not count for you. CAS has a maximum of 12 internship credits. If you have questions about this, please get in touch with Sophia Trigg.

    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 visa status must seek permission from the Office of International Education in order to participate.

    What to do after you get accepted to the program:

    Check out our pre-departure checklist and follow all instructions from EHS!


    Mildred Beltre, Director

    Sophia Trigg, CAS Experiential Learning Coordinator

    (Header photos by Ilana Goldstein)

    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. Photo by Ilana Goldstein.


    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)

    Arts in Action students Zmira and Mahntra pose in NYC.