Preparing Students for Future Employment: Kauffman Center Internships

photo by Kenny Johnson

The Kauffman Center’s internship program is an open-door invitation for students to acquire firsthand knowledge of the operational process of a nonprofit arts organization. The program presents students with a learning experience outside of their academic environment and is a unique opportunity to set the stage for future employment.

“I’ve grown up with the Kauffman Center; I’ve attended performances that shaped who I am as an artist, performed at the first and third annual Future Stages Festival and developed my professional skills as an intern. Being able to come full circle and give back to an organization that has given so much to me is exactly why I am so passionate about the Kauffman Center and how it shapes the lives of everyone in Kansas City. The staff is one of the most passionate and supportive teams I’ve worked with. The Kauffman Center, and everyone there, has been invested in my growth, not only as an intern but since I was 14.” — Mikaela Schmitt, summer 2021 intern

Who should apply for an internship?

College sophomores, juniors, seniors and recent graduates interested in learning more about the inner workings of a performing arts venue, as well as gaining hands-on experience in nonprofit work, are encouraged to apply for an internship at the Kauffman Center. Department supervisors seek dependable candidates who are detail-oriented and self-starters with previous experience or knowledge in the desired field of study. Interns should be local students available to work onsite at the Kauffman Center and should have some flexibility to work select evening and weekend events.

Hayden Hulet, facilities management intern, and Clara Ketchell, marketing and community engagement intern, spent their summer working with and learning from the Kauffman Center staff. (photo by Sarah Milosevich)
  • Internships are offered in the following areas at various times throughout the year:
  • Development and Donor Relations
  • Facilities Management
  • Facility and Event Sales
  • Marketing and Community Engagement
  • Patron Services Management

“My internship at the Kauffman Center has been so rewarding and I have gained many practical skills that I will use in the future. I have learned so much about how an organization operates and what each member of the team does to help it flourish. Moving forward from this internship, I now have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in any position I take on.” — Hayden Hulet, summer 2023 intern 

What do interns do?

The Kauffman Center’s internship program offers local college students the opportunity to learn from arts professionals, to build their portfolios and develop skills in various aspects of nonprofit arts management that can be applied to many areas of business or desired career paths. Depending on the internship, students walk away with improved copywriting and graphic design skills, a variety of writing samples for their portfolio, experience planning and executing events and enhanced project management skills. Kauffman Center staff set goals with interns, provide guidance in all aspects of their work and offer career mentorship and networking opportunities.

“Through my Kauffman Center internship, I was able to grow both professionally and personally in a supportive and exciting work environment. From strengthening my abilities in technical design to working on time management and organizational skills, I walked away with an improved portfolio and professional mindset, feeling more confident as I look towards future careers in the communications and arts industries.” — Anna Avery, summer 2021 intern

Kauffman Center intern Sophia Misle helps patrons at the annual Future Stages Festival, an event that interns help to plan, promote and execute. (photo by Ellie Fehig)

When are internships available?

Internships are available three times a year during the fall, spring and summer seasons and span approximately three months. The Kauffman Center looks for a commitment of 10-12 hours per week from their interns and offers a flexible weekly schedule to accommodate students’ course schedules and workloads.

Why should students intern at the Kauffman Center?

Albania Andrade interned with the marketing team in fall 2022 and gained important experience in content creation, copywriting and promotion of the various events at the Kauffman Center. (photo by Sarah Milosevich)

Nurturing, educating and developing the skills of future generations of artists and arts professionals in the Kansas City community is a vital part of the Kauffman Center’s mission.

Interns will acquire knowledge and experience that is transferable academically and professionally. Additionally, interns will receive a stipend of up to $1,500 and the opportunity to attend performances in a world-class facility. Internship supervisors are also happy to help arrange for college credit if offered through the student’s school.

The Kauffman Center is dedicated to creating meaningful opportunities and lasting connections for college students to grow their career skills, setting the precedent for becoming young professionals.

“Interning at the Kauffman Center allowed me to develop professional skills in non-profit and arts management, which I otherwise would not have been able to access. Between growing my social media management experience and learning new skills in mass email communications and copywriting, I felt like I gained new knowledge at each shift.” — Clara Ketchell, summer 2023 intern

How do students apply to become an intern?

Students interested in an internship should email a one-page résumé and one-page cover letter to
opendoors@kauffmancenter.org. In the cover letter, include why you want the position, relevant experience, computer skills, availability and at least one professional reference. To learn more about the Kauffman Center’s internship program, visit kauffmancenter.org/internships.

–Keyonna Steele

CategoriesArts Consortium

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