By Pilar Tompkins Rivas and Joseph Daniel Valencia
The Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) is pleased to announce The Smithsonian Undergraduate Internship Program, a joint collaboration with VPAM, East Los Angeles College (ELAC), the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI), and the Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC). The internship launches this winter and is sited in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York City.
East Los Angeles College students will be immersed in a week-long museum studies workshop led by ELAC’s Vincent Price Art Museum, followed by a four-week internship embedding students in different departments within the Smithsonian ranging from curatorial, museum education, digital archiving, and exhibition development and planning. Students will be exposed to a range of museum careers amidst the Smithsonian’s unparalleled collection of over 156 million objects.
The inaugural cohort includes four ELAC students, Hope Flores, Melissa Marinero, Gabriela Padilla and Vanessa Quintero, who will be placed with mentors at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Office of Smithsonian Exhibits.
Through this program, the Smithsonian, VPAM, and ELAC seek to prepare future generations of museum professionals and develop new and innovative strategies for engaging students early in their studies. The organizations believe this early engagement will ensure a diverse and continuous pipeline of students into a multitude of museum studies professions while also connecting communities across the country.