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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

Art Institute of Chicago Accessibility Internship in Gallery Activation (Academic Year 24/25)


The Art Institute of Chicago’s division of Gallery Activation, in partnership with the SAIC Wellness Center, is excited to offer an Accessibility Internship position to work with their team.

The Accessibility Intern in Gallery Activation supports accessibility practice and research as it pertains especially to live gallery experiences. The Accessibility Intern will research, share, and aid the implementation of public program accessibility practices affecting differently abled museum guests and staff. The intern will consider “accessibility” expansively, researching accessibility as it pertains to physical ability, language, race, class, and more.

Gallery Activation is a team within the department of Interpretation. We design, produce, and facilitate live experiences in the galleries, including tours, conversations, performances, artmaking, and workshops for adults. Our goal is to make art accessible and compelling to a wide variety of visitors. We are a highly collaborative department that interfaces regularly with other departments and with the public.

The intern will join a museum-wide intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their placement in Interpretation. Mentorship is provided throughout the experience and connections with an intern alumni network will be established.

About the SAIC Wellness Center

The SAIC Wellness Center provides empathic and compassionate support and care dedicated to ensuring that every SAIC student's experience is a successful one. They are deeply engaged with wellness initiatives at SAIC and reaching into Chicago and provide support, programming, and resources for wellness initiatives across the city.


In this position, the intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Research, assess, and support the implementation of accessibility strategies in museum programs;
  • Develop skills in producing public engagement programming;
  • Develop public speaking skills;
  • Develop collaborative skills;
  • Develop project management skills;
  • Become familiar with art museum processes, organization, and trends;
  • Develop strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Research, assess, and support the implementation of accessibility strategies in museum programs;
  • Conduct evaluation of accessibility practices; analyze these findings and create actionable reports;
  • Research, plan, support, and facilitate public gallery tours and other programs as needed;
  • Attend meetings to discuss and contribute to programming, accessibility, and teaching initiatives across Gallery Activation and Interpretation;
  • Attend weekly check-ins with mentors: Director, Gallery Activation and Tours Specialist, Gallery Activation;
  • Attend intern cohort professional development programs and museum practice seminars.


  • Undergraduate or graduate student; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered;
  • Due to onsite necessity, applicants must be based in the Chicagoland area and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area during the internship term;
  • Ability to comfortably facilitate conversations with art, preferably with adults;
  • Commitment to exploring disability culture as it pertains to art, museums, and museum programs;
  • Commitment to exploring intersectional access needs across age, ability, language, class, race, and more;
  • Enthusiasm for community building and connecting with groups through teaching and conversation;
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to be open-minded and work collaboratively with colleagues across the museum;
  • Willingness to interact with visitors of all ages, dispositions, and backgrounds;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite and Google Suite;
  • Detail-oriented mindset and demonstrated organizational skills; ability to multitask and be flexible when appropriate;
  • Ability to analyze quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Awareness of and/or curiosity about art museum culture and current events in the field.


Please apply on our website: must upload all of the requested materials below (résumé and essay responses) into only one pdf document and list your last name and “AY 24-25” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_AY 24-25.pdf.) Please upload your materials where asked in the online application.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be considered if any requested application element is missing.

To apply for this internship, tell us your story. We want to understand who you are, what motivates you, how you think, and where you’re coming from. Please submit the following materials:

  • Résumé
  • Instead of a traditional cover letter, please respond to the following questions in short essays (no more than 300 words per answer.) We encourage you to provide specific examples to support your answers or to illustrate your ideas:
    • What about this job description interests you the most?
    • With the objectives of this internship in mind, what perspectives might you bring to this role that you think museums need more of?
    • How do you envision this opportunity helping you towards your professional goals?

DEADLINE: The deadline to submit an application to this position is Tuesday, July 16 at 11:59 pm CDT. We will not accept late applications. We will contact the candidates we want to interview within three weeks of our deadline.


Duration of Position: 32 weeks / September 2024 (start date anytime during the week of September 23–27) through April/early May 2024 (end date anytime during the week of April 28–May 2)

Compensation: Paid / $16.32/hr / Part-time / Temporary

Schedule: This is a part-time, 32-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 14 hours per week, for a total of up to 448 hours over the course of the internship. Work days will occur between Monday–Friday; the start date and schedule will be determined upon agreement with the candidate and the host department.

Hourlong virtual and in-person intern professional development programs will be scheduled throughout the internship term that the student is strongly encouraged to attend. These programs will occur during the week; we ask that the intern make this part of their internship schedule.

Format: The internship will be a hybrid of onsite and remote workdays. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship; technological accommodations will be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Number of openings: 1

Contact Info:
Academic Engagement and Research Department
(312) 857-7146
Job Type: Paid Internship
Compensation: $16.32/hr
Location: The Art Institute of Chicago