NOMA Receives $125,000 Grant from Walton Family Foundation to Debut Immersive Intern Program for Teens

NEW ORLEANS, LA-Beginning this summer, NOMA will debut the Creative Careers Internship, a new immersive educational program for teens in the New Orleans area.

“NOMA’s education programs introduce youth to the arts at all phases in their development, while simultaneously encouraging continued engagement by educating teachers and motivating parents, said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “The Creative Careers Internship offered by NOMA is one way to create more opportunities for teens to interact with and learn from the museum, while providing a valuable paid intern experience that can provide exposure to many different types of careers in the arts. We believe this program will open the doors to new ways of engaging the next generation of arts leaders and stewards who will nurture the notion that the arts are an important part of a healthy vibrant city.”

NOMA will introduce rising high school seniors to the many career options available within the museum field by providing job shadowing and mentoring opportunities within a professional museum environment. NOMA’s program is modeled after the Opportunity Delta: High School Residential Internship Program at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas and is similar in size and scope. NOMA’s program, however, is urban and non-residential. NOMA partnered with KIPP Renaissance High School located in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood, where students participated in an interview process to be selected into the program which is a paid internship.

“We find that many students don’t know about the types of positions available in museums,” says Allison Reid, NOMA’s Deputy Director for Interpretation & Audience Engagement. “We hope this experience will increase awareness about the variety of job opportunities available in the museum field and other arts organizations.”

Interns will shadow museum staff as they complete their daily responsibilities, working in departments such as Visitor Services, Curatorial Affairs, Education, Accounting, Security, Administration, External Affairs, Human Resources, and the gift shop. Through these experiences, students will gain an understanding of how museums function, including professional practices, initiatives, services and departments. Local business leaders from The Links, Inc. will provide mentoring sessions for interns, focusing on topics such as resume building, interview skills, meeting manners, and leadership. At the end of each work day, interns will reflect and record their experiences in a journal.

Students participating in the internship will play a key role in helping the museum develop new, innovative programs for a teen audience. They will assist museum staff in researching trends and best practices in teen programs around the country, building on the information gathered earlier this year at NOMA’s first Teen Summit. Interns will make their recommendations for engaging teen audiences to the museum staff in a formal presentation in August.

Rounding out their experience, interns are visiting a number of cultural organizations around the city to compare and contrast the functions of various types of museums. Excursions are planned to the National World War II Museum, McKenna African American Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Louisiana State Museums, among others. Additionally, interns are touring local universities such as Xavier University of Louisiana, University of New Orleans, Tulane University, Dillard University and Delgado Community College to learn about arts-related academic programs.

About NOMA and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.