Artists at Risk Connection Protection Programs Internship

PEN America seeks interns who are passionate about human rights, artistic expression, and serving artists at risk and the organizations that support them to work with our Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) team. This internship will operate from our headquarters in New York City on a hybrid schedule during normal business hours. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application.

At PEN America, ARC safeguards the right to artistic freedom of expression around the world and works to ensure that artists of all disciplines everywhere can live and work without fear. With a global network of 800 organizations providing crucial resources for artists and cultural practitioners at risk, ARC plays the critical role of liaising between threatened artists and the organizations that support them. Since its inception, ARC has assisted more than 500 artists from over 63 countries in receiving direct support, including fellowships and residencies, emergency funding, legal assistance, and advocacy, among other forms of assistance, from partner organizations. 

ARC’s interns gain firsthand experience in artist protection work, as well as network building, communications, writing, fundraising, and research in a nonprofit environment, among other skills. Interns assist with reviewing requests for assistance from at-risk artists, communicate with artists as needed to gather more information and vet their case, and work with the threatened artist and with staff to meet the needs of the artist, whether it be helping them to refine applications for fellowships, find emergency funds to apply for, find legal or psychosocial support, or a range of other activities.

A limited number of paid internships are available through our Centenary Internship program and would require a commitment of 15-20 hours/week over 26 weeks, and would pay $15/hour for hours worked. All internships are also eligible for college credit.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist with research and outreach to identify and expand the network of organizations supporting artists at risk
  • Be involved in communications with individual artists at risk and the network of organizations that provide them with support, including reviewing artist applications to organizations providing direct assistance
  • Support work to identify sources of assistance for artists and development and maintenance of a database inventory of these resources
  • Draft profiles of artists and partner organizations for artistsatriskconnection.org
  • Draft press releases on violations of artistic freedom around the world
  • Perform prospect research and support other fundraising efforts
  • Assist with efforts to expand support for the initiative, including media communications
  • Research and monitor issues and cases concerning the repression of artistic expression worldwide
  • Other tasks as needed

Desired Attributes:

  • Must be able to provide proof of authorization to intern in the United States
  • Must be available 20 hours/three days per week during regular business hours
  • Knowledge of and interest in global free expression and artistic freedom issues
  • Strong research, writing, organizational, and administrative skills
  • Ability to work quickly, stay highly organized, and multitask in a fast-paced environment
  • Comfortable with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and G Suite
  • Experience managing social media accounts and drafting social media content desirable
  • Experience with online databases and website management desirable
  • Experience doing prospect research and grant writing
  • Experience working with populations at risk and/or refugees a plus
  • Proficiency in Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, or other languages a big plus

Application Periods:

Be sure to include the dates of your availability with your application.

  • Fall Internship: Please submit your application between July and September
  • Winter/Spring Internship: Please submit your application between November and January
  • Summer Internship: Please submit your application between March and May

To apply:

Please email a resume and cover letter (both one-page maximum), along with a writing sample to [email protected]. Please include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Fall ARC Protection Programs Internship – Jane Doe”).

PEN America does not discriminate in its selection practices, and in order to build the strongest possible team, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.

About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.