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Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage announces Marketplace Events Management Internship

Posted on January 8, 2014 by in The OFI Blog



Marketplace Events Management Internship

Each year, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) brings artists and tradition bearers from around the world to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to present their culture and community traditions through music, dance, ceremony, crafts, occupational skills, food, and more. The two-week Smithsonian Folklife Festival is one of the largest cultural events in the United States, often drawing more than one million visitors to engage directly with the participants who have been invited. In 2014 the Festival will focus on Kenya and China, as CFCH curators work closely with Kenyan and Chinese partners to tell a story about each country and celebrate their cultural heritage.

The Festival Marketplace is a unique shop where cultural expression and quality craftsmanship are valued over uniformity and mass productivity. The artistic sensibility, techniques, and choice of materials used by the artisans are informed by their cultural backgrounds and individual aesthetic preferences. As a result, each piece tells a rich story of community and identity. The Marketplace extends the appreciation of cultural heritage beyond the National Mall and into the homes of Festival attendees. By purchasing handmade items, Festival attendees support tradition bearers by honoring their work and their commitment to transmitting cultural knowledge to future generations.

In 2014 CFCH will test a new approach to Marketplace, with innovations to improve the artisan experience, increase revenue opportunities, and enhance the overall Marketplace experience. The Event Management Intern will work with the Marketplace Advisor to analyze the effectiveness of new Marketplace activities and provide recommendations for improvement for 2015.

Responsibilities and activities will include:

– Background reading and research on similar events, artisan supply chains, etc.

– Developing metrics to evaluate the Marketplace

– Conducting on-site research during the Festival

– Writing and presenting a report on findings, including recommendations for 2015

– Additional assistance as needed by Marketplace Advisor

Preferred candidates will have some combination of the following knowledge and skills:

– Excellent analytical and writing skills

– Relevant coursework and/or experience in data analysis related to events management

– Demonstrated interest in crafts, ethical fashion, fair trade, cultural heritage, and preservation of craft traditions

Intern will learn:

– Develop metrics for evaluation

– Conduct on-site research

– Write analyses and recommendations

– Presentation skills

This unpaid internship will take place in Washington, D.C., for approximately three months, starting after spring finals. Interns must work a minimum of 20 hours per week before and after the Festival, and fulltime during the Festival (June 25–July 6). Please apply through the online internship application at https://solaa.si.edu and specify the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. You will be asked to upload supporting material such as an essay and resume. For additional information about our Center and its activities, please see our Web site at www.folklife.si.edu