Folklife Internship

Applications must be received by email or in our office by Monday, March 2, 2020, at 5 p.m.
The internship takes place for twelve weeks between May and September, 2020. Candidates will be notified of decisions by March 16, 2020.

Who May Apply

Applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate study in folklife or related field (ethnomusicology, anthropology, history, American Studies) or have equivalent experience with traditional arts and culture.

Description of Program

This three-month internship provides intensive, directed training and experience with the Arts Council's Folklife program and other N.C. Arts Council activities. Training experiences are designed to introduce the intern to a range of issues and activities, including planning and implementing public programs, organizing original field research in support of folklife projects, grantsmanship, financial planning and administration, publicity and promotion of public programs, advising local organizations and arts agencies on folklife projects, and fostering interagency relationships at the local, regional, and state levels. 

Folklife projects for the summer of 2020 include support for the 2021 North Carolina Heritage Award selection panel; original fieldwork documentation for NCAC social media and blog; building comprehensive directory profiles for the Millennial Traditional Artists Project, including interviews, transcription, photography, and profile-writing; and collaboration with NCAC staff developing folklife content for Come Hear NC.

The intern receives a $6,000 stipend for the three-month period. Interns are responsible for their own living arrangements during the program. The intern should have a car available throughout the internship. 

Interns will be chosen based on the following evaluation criteria:

  • Interest in professional public-sector folklife programming and administration as a possible career choice
  • Demonstrated organizational and research skills
  • Writing samples
  • Demonstrated experience with folklife documentation (e.g.: interviewing, photo, video, social media)
  • Commitment to working in the field of public folklore in North Carolina

How to Apply

Application Form
Provide answers to all questions on the Internship application form. Be sure to indicate that you are applying for the Folklife Internship. The application form is available here. The application form can be returned by email with other application materials to: Zoe van Buren​

Application Narrative
In addition to the application form, please attach an application narrative which addresses the evaluation criteria and includes the information requested below. Your responses should be numbered to correspond to the information requested.

  1. Formal education (include school, years, degrees, majors, special study, and/or training and folklife research projects)
  2. Current and previous employment (include special projects, publications, field experience, or work-related activities in folklife)
  3. Community work experience (include volunteer work, clubs, organizations, or other special activities)
  4. Goals (describe your career goals and how the internship program will serve them)
  5. What specific training and experiences in public-sector folklife programming and administration do you most desire?

Please list three references, and include name, address, daytime phone number, and relationship to you.

Samples of Work
Include samples of your work in folklife research or public presentation. For non-print materials submitted, be sure to adequately describe the subject matter. Label all materials with your name as it appears on the application form. Please do not send your only copies as the work samples will not be returned to you.

  • Required: Writing Sample
    Submit up to 25 pages of a research paper, public presentation or publication, preferably based on original field research.
  • Suggested: One or More of the Following
    • Photography
      Submit a selection of up to 20 images on a CD or DVD or provide links to internet access or file sharing.
    • Audio Recordings
      Submit a standard CD with noted selections not more than 15 minutes in duration or provide links to internet access or file sharing.
    • Video Recordings
      Submit a DVD that will play on a PC or provide links to internet access or file sharing.
    • Social Media campaign
      Send links to any Facebook, Instagram or other project-associated social media that you have created to support a folklife artist, event, place or other folklife topic.
    • Interview Transcriptions
      Submit a sample of an interview you have conducted and transcribed, preferably with a folklife-related interviewee.

Assembling Application Packet
Assemble your application package in the following order:

  • Cover Letter
  • Application Form
  • Application Narrative
  • Résumé
  • Work Sample(s)

You can email your entire packet to

If sending through US Postal Service, please utilize:
N.C. Arts Council
Attn: Zoe van Buren, Folklife Director​
4632 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4600

If sending through FedEx or UPS or for hand delivery, please utilize:
N.C. Arts Council
Attn: Zoe van Buren, Folklife Director
109 E Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

For more information, contact:
Zoe van Buren
(919) 814-6518