Emerging Arts Leader Intern, Development

Seattle, WA
Entry Level

Emerging Arts Leader Exploratory Internship

Fall Quarter 2024

Applications Due Date: August 16, 2024

Position Start Date: September 30, 2024 (Estimated)

TITLE: Emerging Arts Leader Intern, Development

DEPARTMENT/LOCATION: Development Department

STAFF MENTOR: Director of Institutional Giving, Senior Associate for Institutional Giving


Seattle Art Museum connects art to life. SAM strives for its employees, volunteers, and interns to reflect the community in which it exists. Emerging Arts Leader internships are intended to open career pathways for individuals who bring dynamic backgrounds and perspectives to their work in art, museums, or community engagement.

While diversity can embody many characteristics, this internship program is intended to engage with historically under-represented groups in the museum field including, but not limited to, individuals of African American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent.


Working with SAM’s Institutional Giving Team, this intern will complete project work related to corporate membership and corporate, foundation, and government giving programs. Additional projects may include corporate, foundation, and government prospect research, drafting acknowledgement letters to SAM’s institutional funders, and engaging with the grant writing process.

Candidates with interest in nonprofit administration, fundraising, or communications are especially encouraged to apply.


This intern will learn to navigate a multi-department organization, form meaningful professional relationships, and gain foundational knowledge and skills related to nonprofit development, including:

  • Familiarity with the purpose and value of institutional giving at SAM.
  • Communication strategies for maintaining institutional relationships.
  • Use of SAM’s membership database to track interests, past philanthropy, communications, and other key information about institutional partners.
  • Administrative, recordkeeping, and reporting skills needed for a career in fundraising and development.
  • Exposure to other areas of development work, such as prospect research, individual giving, grant applications, and major gifts.

PAY RANGE: The hourly rate for this role is $19.97.


This intern will be hired as a temporary, non-exempt employee. Along with the above pay rate, this intern will be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Paid sick time accrued at a rate of 0.0385 per hour worked, estimated at 5.78 hours total for a 10-week intern.
  • SAM Savings & 403(b) Retirement Plan, with Roth option available.
  • Fringe benefits including two free guest passes to SAM, access to RIC Fitness Center, Tier III AAM membership, discounts for SAM memberships, SAM Shop, and MARKET, access to member rates for ticketed events at SAM, and a subsidized ORCA card.


Duration of internship is 10 weeks, with intern working up to 15 hours per week.

Due to the hands-on nature of this internship, a majority of this position’s work will be on-site.


  • Become familiar with all aspects of SAM’s corporate membership program, including key partners, success metrics, and administrative needs.
  • Communicate with institutional partners through email, acknowledgment letters, and in-person conversations.
  • Complete corporate sponsor reports for exhibitions and other projects.
  • Track and report corporate membership enrollments and attendance using SAM’s membership database (Tessitura).
  • Develop a 30 minute gallery tour or equivalent presentation, featuring your interests, perspectives, and experience at SAM.
  • Complete a 2 hour job shadow with frontline volunteers during open hours.
  • Complete a one-page reflection or blog post about your internship experience.
  • Attend enrichments, informational interviews, and check-ins as available.


  • Demonstrated interest in nonprofit fundraising, development, or corporate partnerships. Competitive candidates will be able to articulate why this internship supports their professional goals in museums, fundraising, or the wider arts industry.
  • Strong writing skills and ability to clearly describe goals, progress, and outcomes to a professional audience
  • Clear understanding of and ability to discuss concepts related to racial equity, intersectionality, and social justice.
  • Basic filing, typing and computer skills is required. Experience with Outlook, Asana, or Tessitura are preferred.
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently, and ask for help when needed.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and tactfully to staff, volunteers and public.
  • Ability to work with colleagues in a professional manner on a variety of tasks.
  • Ability to adhere to museum policies and support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.


Candidates are not required to have previous professional or museum experience. Competitive applicants will show a demonstrated commitment to the arts and leadership in community building.

Candidates are not required to have a specific degree to apply, but some familiarity with fundraising, corporate relations, or nonprofit administration is recommended. At minimum, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.


Exposure: Work areas are primarily inside, in a climate-controlled environment with light background noise. Events work will be performed at outdoor sites. Evening events may feature loud noise and bright lights during musical performances.


Stationary WorkApproximately 80% of time is spent stationary while working at a desk. Balance of time (approximately 20%) is spent moving around the work area. Occasional extended periods of standing may be required at museum events.

Communication:  Clear and effective communication with volunteers, donors, members, the public, and co-workers is necessary.

MovingThe ability to move up to twenty pounds is necessary for moving files, equipment, and supplies. Must be able to regularly position self to access files.

Office WorkAbility to effectively and regularly operate a computer, keyboard, and other office productivity machinery, such as copy machines and printers, and ability to inspect, prepare and use paperwork, files, equipment, and supplies is necessary.


Centering equity, diversity, and inclusion as an organization, and as individuals, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is committed to ensuring that all employees and volunteers enjoy a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. SAM is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, caste, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, status as a mother breastfeeding her child, presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability, political ideology, gender identity or expression, genetic information, honorably discharged veteran or military status, use of Section 8 certificate, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or any other class protected by federal, state or local laws.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check.

Please be aware that SAM does not sponsor work or study visas for interns at this time.


Applications are only accepted via the online form at https://seattleartmuseum.applytojob.com/apply.

Application materials in PDF format may also be sent to [email protected].

Each application should include:

  • Application Form (completed online)
  • A Personal Statement of no more than 700 words detailing:
  • How your personal background or artistic/professional experiences inform your perspective on leadership and community.
  • How questions of equity, inclusion, and belonging shape your personal and professional goals.
  • What you hope to gain from this experience and how it might enhance your education and career plans.
  • How you consider yourself as meeting the specific criteria set out in the job description for this internship.
  • What specific areas of museum work you are most interested in learning about.
  • Resume, which describes experience you believe is relevant to this internship and your professional goals. This may include professional experience, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, passion projects, community service, or academics.
  • One Letter of Recommendation, ideally from a teacher, supervisor, or mentor. References should be emailed directly to [email protected], with the applicant name noted in the Subject line.

For additional information or to request reasonable accommodations for the application or interview process, please contact Human Resources at (206) 654-3188 or [email protected]


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