Published 04/23/20

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The ARLIS/NA executive board in partnership with the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee and the Professional Development Committee endorse the Resolution Urging Art Museums to Provide Paid Internships passed by the Association of Art Museum Directors on June 20, 2019. 

Unpaid internships narrow the field of qualified candidates to those who are able to perform unpaid labor. Requiring students to work a specified number of hours without compensation disadvantages students without the financial means to do so. This practice runs counter to the ARLIS/NA Strategic Directions, which include promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting the development of art information professionals, and providing leadership and advocacy on behalf of our profession.  

As such, we urge member institutions to offer paid internships—even when completed by students for credit—and to provide transparency in internship postings indicating whether they are paid or unpaid. In addition to a wage or stipend based on local living wage standards, internship positions should provide training, mentorship, and supervision commensurate to an educational setting and should not be used to replace or displace professional staff. Programs offering master’s degrees in the art information professions should similarly facilitate, encourage, and give course credit to students for completing paid internships or comparable paid work opportunities.

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