Jump to content


Two young people sit at a table with a PRESS sign. They smile at someone cut off by the frame.

Interns welcome the press for a preview of Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

MCA internships provide valuable opportunities to learn how nonprofits operate in the company of like-minded young professionals. Many of our former interns go on to careers in museums and other cultural organizations. On occasion, they even join the MCA staff.


Collections and Exhibitions interns gain practical experience working directly with MCA registrars and preparators. Interns assist with daily operations involving collections management, exhibition organization, research, contracts, art loan paperwork, data entry, use of collections management software, research, preparing correspondence, and updating MCA Collection documentation. Candidates must have excellent computer and general administrative skills and be detail-oriented.

The Strategic Communications intern assists in Marketing, Media Relations, and Social Media, creating visibility for the museum, exhibitions, and programs. The intern participates in a variety of activities, such as: program-related research, responding to inquiries, maintaining the news clip system, managing listings distributions, writing media releases, assisting film crews and photographers, interacting with artists and media, participation in grassroots marketing efforts, conducting research on prospective audience markets, analysis of demographic information, data collection and analysis, email database management, producing eNewsletters, and monitoring and moderating social media interaction. Candidates must have strong writing, organizational, and computer skills and be familiar with all major social media platforms.

The MCA Chicago is excited to collaborate with Kate Neisser and the Neisser Family Foundation to launch this internship. The Neisser Family Curatorial Internship will serve as an opportunity for college and graduate level students of color to learn and work in a leading, globally focused museum that is vested in their growth and progression. Throughout the curatorial internship, interns gain an understanding of the organization behind major and small exhibitions while learning about the various responsibilities of the curatorial team. Interns work on research and writing projects related to MCA exhibitions, artists, and artworks, and assist with general administrative support for the curatorial department, such as preparing correspondence, filing and organizing, and responding to general inquiries from scholars and the public. Applicants must include a one- to two-page writing sample from an academic paper (preferably on art history, contemporary art, museum studies, or a related topic) with their application. Applicants should have a background and interest in modern and contemporary art. Candidates must have excellent research and writing skills as well as strong organizational, computer, and administrative skills. Applicants for the Neisser Family Curatorial Internship must identify as a person of color.

The Development intern will support the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of MCA donors. Candidates should be reliable and highly motivated. Interest in understanding the role and process of fundraising in a fast-paced environment and learning about Chicago’s philanthropic and artistic community is preferred. Duties may include drafting and editing funding proposals and reports, drafting thoughtful donor communications, conducting research on prospective funding sources, organizing and executing solicitation and stewardship mailings, helping to update the donor database, working at special events and exhibition previews (may require evening/outside of museum hours), and other administrative projects as needed. Candidates must be exceptionally detail-oriented, effective in-person and written communicators, and possess strong organizational, computer, and administrative skills (including experience with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel). Self-motivation, ability to multitask, and creative problem-solving skills are preferred.

Learning interns experience program development for youth and family audiences and contemporary pedagogy in a museum setting. Tasks include planning and executing programs for students, teachers, and families, including artist-led gallery tours for school groups, professional development programs and resources for teachers, assisting with the SPACE program and adult learning programs, and gathering and analyzing data. Due to programming, occasional weekend availability is required. Due to interaction with minors, candidates are subject to background checks.

Performance and Public Practice interns learn about live arts program development in a contemporary art museum, including a full range of design, delivery, and debriefing skills. Interns assist in developing and presenting dance, music, theater, media arts, and public programs. Tasks may include: planning, execution, and delivery of interdisciplinary programming; visiting and working with community organizations; interacting with artists, organizers, vendors, and technical staff during events, maintaining resources, compiling program notes, assisting in productions, and completing clerical and administrative tasks. Candidates should have in interest in performing arts administration.

Video Interns assist in the full scope of MCA video projects, from live production to digital delivery, and gain hands-on experience in this exciting area of digital museum content production. Tasks include videotaping museum programs and events, assisting in the recording of artist interviews, editing/post-production work, and assisting in maintaining the MCA’s YouTube and Vimeo accounts, as well as internal media platforms in and around the museum. Interns assist in researching and testing of various production equipment, software, and techniques. Film/video/media students are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be proficient with Mac computers and have a basic knowledge of video cameras, production equipment, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Basic experience with After Effects and other Adobe Creative Suite software a plus. Applicants should include samples with application.


Generous support for the MCA’s internship program is provided by the Zell Family Foundation, Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson, and the Neisser Family Foundation.