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Cultural Intern Scheme in Birmingham

Cultural Intern Scheme in Birmingham

1st June 2011

Internships are available at leading Cultural Organisations within the West Midlands region as part of the University of Birmingham’s Cultural Partnership Scheme. Applicants must be University of Birmingham graduates.

Applications are now being sought for 5 interns at leading Cultural Organisations within the West Midlands region as part of the University of Birmingham’s Cultural Partnership Scheme. The paid placements are for 6 months and will start in October 2011. Each placement offers a different opportunity to learn about aspects of the arts & culture industry.

For more information and details of how to apply email culturalintern@contacts.bham.ac.uk . The closing date for applications is 30/06/11.

Placements are available at:

  • Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Birmingham Opera Company
  • CBSO
  • Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
  • Library of Birmingham
  • Sampad South Asian Arts

What is the Cultural Intern Scheme?

This is the first year of an innovative new intern scheme sponsored by the University of Birmingham and its Cultural Partners.

We're looking for positive and creative people with demonstrable interests in:
  • new and digital media
  • content production
  • arts performance and production 
  • collections management
  • language / communication
  • learning & access

There are 5 placements available for this six month paid internship; each offering real opportunities to gain high quality work experience undertaking meaningful projects at leading cultural organisations in the West Midlands region. The programme is designed to increase graduates’ knowledge and skills, and for interns to gain an interesting and valuable introduction to the workplace which will enhance their future employment prospects. The structure of the programme includes joint training sessions based at the University at the start, mid point and end of the internship, a six month work based placement and individual mentoring.

Each intern will be eligible to claim a bursary of £7,000 for the period of the programme.

What are the placements?

One placement is available at each of the following organisations. Applicants can apply for up to 2 placements. The 5 best applicants will be selected.

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery

The intern will be based within the Exhibitions team, a part of the wider Programming department, for the duration of the placement. The placement will enable the intern to contribute to the creative development and delivery of the Spring 2012 exhibitions programme, enabling them to gain both exhibitions project management and practical hands-on experience of developing and installing museum exhibitions on a range of different scales.

Birmingham Royal Ballet 

Based within the fundraising team, the intern will analyse projects from the Department for Learning to assess impacts on learning workshop participants in different parts of the country and/or on different projects. The intern will gain insight into innovative forms of communication and using facebook, twitter and other electronic means the intern will support the development of creative ways to gather information from participants.

Birmingham Opera Company

The intern will gain insight into the process of creating a participatory opera production. (The timing of this placement is fortuitous as the placement will include the rehearsals and performances of a new commission.) The placement will give an overview of the production process and opportunity to gain specialist experience. Leading practitioners in the art form, in technical support and managerial support will share skills and contacts to support the successful transfer of students from the academic world into the theatre and opera industries.


This placement focuses on Communication and the intern will receive training and guidance in media relations, social media, stakeholder engagement, internal communications, and monitoring and analysis. Supported by the Communications Manager, the intern will receive training and mentoring around each of these core areas. This will include a range of activities including education and chorus projects, CBSO concerts, fundraising initiatives, advocacy campaigns and marketing promotions.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Based within the Trust’s Marketing Department, the intern will contribute to bespoke programmes working with local and regional media and promotional projects with business and other tourism and cultural organisations. The internship will focus specifically on the Museum’s Science, Sport, Life programme, part of the official London 2012 Cultural Olympiad under the national ‘Stories of the World’ project. The project consists of 2 exhibitions at the Coalbrookdale site and a full events programme.

Library of Birmingham

The intern will support the creation of engaging online content for the new Library of Birmingham designed to increase and diversify access to the Library’s internationally renowned archives and heritage collections. The placement provides an opportunity to become familiar with a wide range of archive and heritage materials in a variety of media (textual, audio and visual) and to gain insight into how they are used by a broad range of audiences including schools, the general public and specialist interest groups.

Sampad South Asian Arts

The intern will gain experience of working with young people and artists and learn skills in project management while assisting with all areas of the management of the MOVING EARTH project. This is an exciting project which will bring together dance, choreographed martial arts, live music and Dance-dub. In particular the intern will support the design, implementation and delivery of a leadership training programme for young producers, designers, tutors and animators.

What training will I receive?

Each placement has a set of learning outcomes and throughout your placement you will be trained in the skills you require to complete your objectives. The residential and midterm training sessions will focus on core communication and business skills, as well as offering an insight into the cultural industry through expert speakers and visits.
You will have the opportunity to discuss projects and experiences with the other interns and learn from each others experiences.

Who can apply?

The scheme is open to University of Birmingham students graduating this year and alumni who graduated during or since 2009. You will have a first class Honours degree or Masters degree. You will have volunteering experience within the arts or cultural sector, strong communication skills and an ambition to kick start your career in the cultural sector.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying for a placement you need to email culturalintern@contacts.bham.ac.uk to request further placement details.

Once you’ve seen all the placements on offer you will need to email us your CV and you should also include a document of up to 500 words in support of your application, stating what interests you about the placement and why you are the most suitable candidate for the position.

You can apply for up to 2 placements and should clearly state your first and second choice. You should produce a 500 word document for each placement that you are applying for.

Return your application to us electronically by the closing date on 30th June 2011.  Interviews will be held during week commencing 18th July 2011.  Successful applicants are expected to start at the beginning of October and work through to the end of March.


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