Arts + Museums Transparency Internship Survey
With the Salary Transparency Spreadsheet (
), employees of art organizations and museums of all kinds came together to break the silence around low wages and workplace exploitation in the cultural sector.
The numbers that stood out the most to us were the zeros showing people working without pay, which hurts the chances of truly diversifying art + museum staff, and makes it impossible to address inequity at any intersection within art orgs and museums. Unpaid labor is never truly free, but foists the costs onto others, often the interns themselves, and ultimately suppresses wages all the way up the pay scale. The elimination of unpaid labor is a necessary first step towards change.
Please fill out the form if you are a current or recent intern of the last three years anywhere in the world in an arts or museum organization. Doing this will benefit fellow interns, those seeking internships, and just about all of us. If the base salary is $0, the next steps up are often not paid much more than that.
Please anonymize your information as needed---be safe, be comfortable.
-- The 2018 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation report "Interrogating Institutional Practices in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion," which identifies unpaid internships as "functionally exclud[ing] populations that are unable to work for free" and calls on museums to "pay all interns" (
-- Fair Museum Jobs Manifesto, Part 3
Place of current or recent internship (Org NAME, or TYPE, or REGION)
Department/general area of your internship (eg. education, visitor services, curatorial, etc)
Duration of current or recent internship (eg. 3 months)
Time commitment per week (eg. full time, 15 hrs, 2 days etc)
Year(s) of current or recent internship (eg. 2019, 2018-19 etc)
How much did you get paid for this internship? (eg $3,000 total stipend, $100 per month, metro card + lunch, $0, etc)
Did you get benefits with the internship eg. healthcare, travel funds etc?
What was your monthly rent while an intern?
What are/were the other jobs that you do/did to support yourself during your internship?
If you do/did other work while interning, what percentage of your living costs are/were made up by this outside work?
Approx. how much were you paying in total in monthly non-rent-related bills (gas, heat, food, travel, student loans etc) during your internship?
What's your highest level of education?
Did/does the internship program accept international students? If so, does it support temporary visas?"
What is your age range?
36 or older
Did you have a direct mentor or supervisor during your internship?
Did you have clearly defined tasks that were educational and helped you learn by doing?
Did you have chances for reflection on your internship performance during or at its end?
Were there enrichment activities during your internship? (eg. seminars, lectures, professional development)
If you could ask for change around museum and arts internships in the future, what would this be? What concrete steps do you suggest you and senior figures in (or outside) of the field could take to make this happen?
If you stay in this field, will you commit to never manage or benefit from the labor of an unpaid intern?
Any other notes, questions, or thoughts?
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