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Benjamin Lawless Internship for Stories


An internationally recognized exhibition planner, designer, filmmaker, and writer, Benjamin Lawless began his career at the Smithsonian in 1953 and became deeply involved in the development of a new generation of exhibitions. During his time at the Smithsonian and right up until he passed away in 2013, Ben was a pioneer of innovative museum exhibitions and techniques that are now commonplace, including theatrical designs and lighting, the use of diverse audio-visual technologies, and the introduction of humor into exhibition spaces.

In 2016, to honor Benjamin Lawless’s legacy, his friends and family established an endowment for this internship in order to provide opportunities for future innovative storytellers.

How It Works

The Benjamin Lawless Internship for Stories provides interns with the opportunity to learn about audience engagement, exhibition design, and research stories associated with objects of all kinds and the people who used and created them.

Over the course of twelve weeks, interns are expected to engage in this internship for a total at least 40 hours. Upon the conclusion of their internship, interns should be ready to make a short presentation of their experiences to their museum colleagues. Lawless interns are supported by a stipend of $600.

Possible Fall Session Dates Include: September 1 – December 31


Any rising high school senior is eligible to apply.

How to Apply

To apply, create an account on the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). Then start an application for this internship program, which is listed under the Office of Fellowships (OF). Follow the steps shown, and be sure to upload any necessary supporting documents.

As part of this application, you will be asked to submit your resume, two letters of recommendation, and a writing sample about the stories you would like to discover, research and share.

Application Deadline

Fall Semester (September – December): July 15