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New arts initiative to provide paid internships to Boston public school students

Twenty-five Boston high school students will receive a paid eight-week internship in a Boston arts or cultural institution this summer, under a new initiative announced Wednesday.

The Bloomberg Arts Internship program seeks to develop the professional skill sets of rising seniors in Boston public schools. The program is a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the education nonprofit EdVestors.

Officials said the program will increase diversity in arts education and employment.

“This helps students build skills, networks, and connections,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, chief executive of EdVestors. “It’s potentially part of the pipeline for closing the equ-ity gap around profile people who work in arts and cultural institutions.”

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Interns will work in such positions as props managers in local theaters and youth coordinators for art museums. They will work 30 hours a week at minimum-wage salaries paid through Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Rousmaniere said many cultural and arts organizations operate as nonprofits, thus limiting paid internship opportunities. This deters lower-income students who can’t afford a summer without pay.

The payment aspect is “critical because the students might not otherwise have access to this type of summer opportunity,” Rousmaniere said.

Between 12 and 25 institutions will host one to two interns. EdVestors will select the employers and finalize the list soon.

EdVestors reached out to 75 local arts and cultural institutions with applications asking for specific plans on hands-on work experiences. Nearly all institutions will be located in Boston to make transportation easier, though a handful might be in Cambridge.

Kate D. Levin, who oversees arts programming for Bloomberg Philanthropies, said she was excited to launch the internship program in Boston.

“We’ve been looking for cities with robust nonprofit cultural organizations,” Levin said. “We were able to know the Boston cultural scene, and it was a good fit.”

Kara Elliott-Ortega, who heads Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture, said the students could also influence the communities they work with.

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“It’s a great way for our local organizations to get to know our really talented and diverse youths locally,” Elliot-Ortega said.

Students can start applying later this spring. Internships will run July 1 through August.


Annika Hom can be reached at annika.hom@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.