The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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Jobs and Internships


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We have several internship opportunities at the MAH. An internship is different from volunteering in that we ask you to make a significant time commitment to the museum, take responsibility for a specific project, and learn to work across many areas of the museum. Each intern has a manager on staff who will work with you to develop a project plan, provide mentorship throughout the project, and provide feedback on your work. All MAH internships are unpaid. It is possible to get school credit if that works for your professors/teachers/administrators.

We offer internships in three time frames:

  • summer
  • school year
  • other – usually short-term intensives for graduate students or professionals
Applications for open internships are accepted on a rolling basis. When we find the right person, we close the internship. If you’re interested in something, don’t wait to apply…

Please note that internships at the MAH are a full-contact sport. We don’t have a comprehensive program to provide extensive training or structure, and things move quickly here. That can be exciting or chaotic depending on how you look at it. Successful MAH interns are self-directed, energized about the opportunity to take on significant projects, and undaunted by the unknown. Feel free to talk with us more about what the experience is like (or read blog posts by our interns!) to make sure it’s right for you.

Public Spaces

Public Playmaker Internship

Deadline to Apply: September 22nd

Hours: Minimum of 8-12 hours per week; 4-9:30PM on event nights.
Days: 2-3 days per week, prep days are flexible Monday- Friday; occasional Friday, Saturday and Sundays for off site Abbott Square prototyping programs
START DATE: INTERN ORIENTATION – Saturday, October 1, 2016
END DATE: June 2017
Reports to: Public Playmaking Catalyst

Position Summary:

The Public Playmaking Intern supports the design of creative and participatory projects within Abbott Square, a new creative marketplace that will be an expansion of the MAH. Abbott Square will feature restaurants, a bar, plentiful seating, a family-friendly secret garden green space, and weekly performances and programs. Many of these programs will have the MAH “feel” of interactive art, history and culture. Our goals here are twofold: create new interactions with art and history in Abbott Square, and to bring new visitors into the museum itself.
This internship will be split into two phases:
1.) Fall/Winter 2016: Working offsite in diverse Santa Cruz County locations (think: farmers markets, restaurants with outdoor areas, parks, downtown) to prototype the best kind of projects for Abbott Square.
2.) Spring 2017: Activate Abbott Square with art, history and community building experiences

This position is geared for someone who is excited to experiment with the MAH while we are learning about engaging new audiences in public space. You will be working with people of all ages and gain experience in: event planning, arts education, creative placemaking and community engagement. Read full description here.

Please send a cover letter and resume via email to Emily Hope Dobkin, Public Playmaking Catalyst at Please title the email ‘Public Playmaking Internship’ and clearly state your availability.

Young Writers Program

The Young Writers Program Writing Project Assistant serves students in grades 4-12 in a variety of countywide classrooms including Alternative Education sites. The Writing Project Assistant provides students with one-on-one attention to their writing, with an effort to engage in active listening to encourage and support student voices.

Writing Project Assistants are asked to:

  • Contribute at least 2 hours a week in volunteer hours.
  • Attend Young Writers Program trainings, particularly the Best Practices training held in September and January
  • Follow the classroom teacher’s lead: please respect the teacher’s methods and style
  • Attend orientation meetings for each project
  • Follow the school rules as laid out in the orientation
  • Respect students and the teacher by being on time to the classroom session
  • Direct all concerns about a particular student to the teacher

Interested? Contact Robin Estrin at