The Internship Program at WaterFire Providence

About our Internship Program

WaterFire Providence’s interns are given an up-close view of the inner workings of a major nonprofit organization dedicated to the ritual of renewal in a city through the magic of art and music, water, and fire. An internship at WaterFire Providence is a very unique experience that allows interns to work side-by-side with staff and members of the community to present an amazing and moving event.

Whether an intern is interested in learning more about the workings of a nonprofit, or about art, theater, music, or community, an internship at WaterFire Providence combines them all.

A WaterFire Providence intern will finish his or her internship with experience in many areas: nonprofit public arts administration, fundraising, event planning, and a better understanding of the intersection between art/culture and community.

Check out the WaterFire Intern Tumblr for a look behind the scenes of day-to-day operations at WaterFire Providence!

Video Provided by Johnson & Wales University

Internship Requirements

WaterFire is following the guidelines of the CDC and the RI state governor in regard to the COVID-19 virus. However, we are still planning for the upcoming WaterFire 2020 season. Therefore we are still accepting applications for summer internships and will continue to do so until further notice. 

  • The ability to confidently take and follow direction, as well as multitask
  • Experience with Google Docs/Sheets, Google Calendar, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Interns are expected to be outgoing on social media and to represent the Internship Program on our blog and on Instagram
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • The ability to work independently and with others
  • Access to a car and a valid driver’s license is preferable
  • A genuine interest in art, culture, community, and WaterFire’s mission

All WaterFire Providence internships are hosted at the WaterFire Arts Center located at 475 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02908. Full-time and Part-time internships are available during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms. Times vary and are flexible – please inquire for details.

How to Apply

We are still accepting applications for the 2020 Fall term.

We highly encourage prospective interns to volunteer with us during our event season. Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

We accept internships on a rolling basis throughout the year. To apply for an internship position, please email your cover letter and resume to Jerry Suggs, Manager of Educational Programming and Partnerships.  You can also apply for these opportunities on JoinHandShake.com. We would appreciate if you would include which internship you are applying for in the subject of your email as well as in the body of your cover letter.

For more information about interning at WaterFire contact Jerry Suggs, Manager of Educational Programming and Partnerships.

All WaterFire Providence internships are unpaid. Internships may be done for academic credit, career exploration, or service-learning.

I’m sad that today is my last day as a WaterFire intern, but I am thankful for all the fun memories that I have made during this internship and look forward to what the future has in store for me. Also thanks again for the awesome hoodie and mailing it all the way to San Diego. Signing off Josh Barre JWU 2021 SEEM major. ...

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Finishing up my internship today and I could not be more proud to have spent this time working with such a wonderful company comprised of such wonderful folks! Thank you @waterfireprov for the best Spring term before graduating that I could have imagined. Even through all of this! ❤️❤️ -Signing off, LeeAnn, JWU '20 ...

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Looking forward to May 21st, when I get to host an awesome trivia night for our volunteers- Josh Barre, JWU’21, WFH CA ...

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MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU! - LeeAnn, JWU '20, WFH in CT

credit: @mewrsingapore
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What a great virtual lighting of fires!!! Love this community!! Go to WaterFire.org/stayhome

#waterfire #STAYHOMEWATERFIRE #live #fire #lighting #waterfireprov
...

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It's okay to not be okay! It's okay to feel like you're "not doing enough". You are living, surviving and doing your best to take care of yourself (or at least we encourage you to do so!). Take some time to reflect on how different the world is, how different you are. You are a different version of yourself now and should find ways to celebrate that even in the midst of this pandemic.
. -@lookitsleeann, @jwuprovidence '20, WFH in CT
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Photo by @blcksmth
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Today’s quarantine breakfast edition ft with the “famous” TikTok coffee #happyfriday - Evelyn ...

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Internship Opportunities

Arts, Design & Research
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Art & Research Intern will work closely with the Graphics Designer and other members of the WaterFire staff to prepare for and carry out WaterFire related events.

Activities include: research associated with grants, public art, cultural collaborations, and creative fundraising strategies; preparing and designing manuals for various aspects of the WaterFire event (invites, signage, pamphlets, etc), updating and authoring portions of the website, preparing press materials, errand running, and various clerical and administrative tasks. Some experience with (or willingness to learn) Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator are helpful.

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Arts Management
spring | summer | fall

Working with the WaterFire artistic team, the intern will assist in this creative process.  Through relationship-building with local artistic partners, problem-solving in logistical details, and assisting in support functions, the intern will gain insight into the creative process involved in an arts organization.

Activities include: Support the Artistic Director in collaboration with external financial and artistic partners, research projects as needed, assisting in the management of a major arts grant, and collaborating and problem-solving logistical details involved in new artistic ventures.

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Branding & Merchandise
spring | summer | fall | winter

Work to develop, market, and brand WaterFire as it continues to expand its merchandising during WaterFire’s events and through its online store. Working with the graphic artist and head of merchandise, this intern will work primarily to market the WaterFire brand through product design/placement and reaching out to new contributors and markets in an effort to grow the brand name, increase sales, and to help to develop new products.

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Education Programs
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Education Programs Intern will provide support to the Manager of Educational Programming and Partnerships and gain valuable skills and insights into program development, recruitment, and engagement with school and college programs. The intern will assist in the online and in-person recruiting of interns, help with the research into new educational partnerships with schools, colleges, and educational training programs. The intern will also assist with a variety of activities and tasks including data entry, note-taking, organizing and project planning, career fair management, arranging on-campus interviews and related items.

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Events & Operations
spring | summer | fall

Work to prepare for and carry out the WaterFire event, focusing on special events, receptions, performers and operations-related tasks. Partake in a variety of activities including clerical and administrative tasks, assist with event planning and coordination. Assist with set up and breakdown of event venues; work with volunteers to complete tasks and projects, conduct research directed toward event-related artwork and performance. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Event Management!

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Facilities &Building Management
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Facilities and Building Management intern will work alongside the Facilities Associate to complete projects by assisting in overseeing the maintenance, cleanliness, and general aesthetic appeal of the WaterFire Arts Center prior to, during, and after in-house events. Help set up tables, chairs, and lighting in accordance with the needs of an event. Other projects may include small electrical, woodworking, audio, visual or painting tasks. The intern will also attend and assist in the production of WaterFire lightings if applicable during the internship.

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Grant Writing
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Grant Writing Intern will support the Development Team through researching, tracking and writing grants. As part of the Development Team, you will assist fundraising efforts by preparing and writing grants according to the grants calendar and outlined in the Strategic Plan. Working directly with the Development team and Development Associate you will manage and grow our grant database on the Airtable platform, submit grants for approval and edits to your supervisor and be the point person for communications with granting organizations.

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Nonprofit Management
spring | summer | fall

Work closely with WaterFire Management on grant-making and assisting in other long-term strategic planning working towards greater organizational sustainability.

Activities include: Working on grant research and grant writing, using social media as a tool, investigating organizational relationship building, running errands, researching and fact-finding based upon needs of management, sitting in and assisting in meetings, and managing small groups of volunteers during events.

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Philanthropy & Donor Relations
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Philanthropy and Donor Intern will provide support to the Development Team and gain valuable skills and insights into individual major gifts fundraising for general operating funds and special projects. As part of the Development Team the intern will assist with planning and executive fundraising events and campaigns, maintaining and expanding private donor support, developing new partnerships, researching prospects, developing individualized prospect strategies and more! The intern will also assist with a variety of activities and tasks including data entry, donor relations, note taking, organizing and project planning, event management, and related items.

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Photography & Visual Documentation
spring | summer | fall | winter

The intern will work to prepare for and carry out WaterFire photography for events, capturing special performances, stage performances, receptions, volunteers, the audience, and general WaterFire perspectives. The internship will involve the Intern in a variety of activities including clerical and administrative tasks necessary to prepare for the events, assistance with photography database within the office, work with other interns to provide edited photos with proper resolution and size for web or print materials, and a wide range of responsibilities on the evenings of the event.

Activities include organization of current photo library, photo documentation of specified events at WaterFire events from prep work to break down, volunteer management, and categorization of incoming photography.

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Retail Marketing
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Retail Marketing Intern will provide support to the WaterFire Store, and work with the Retail Manager to research new product lines, vendors, strategies for the store. Activities may include working with local vendors, artists, designing new contests or promotions for the store, assisting with stocking, inventory and store layout changes. The intern will also assist the Retail Manager and the Creative Services team with operating the store during events.

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Social Media & Audience Engagement
spring | summer | fall | winter

Work with the Interactive Media Manager of WaterFire Providence and collaborate with the rest of the digital media team in developing and executing WaterFire’s digital media engagement strategy.  This intern will work to maximize WaterFire’s communication with its stakeholders and also look for new ways to utilize social media to promote and engage audiences. Along the way you will also gain critical insight into the nonprofit sector, cause marketing, creative process, and ever-evolving interaction between WaterFire and the community.

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Sponsorship & Marketing
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Marketing & Development Intern will work closely with the Manager of Sponsorships and Corporate Relations, the Development Associate, and other members of the WaterFire staff to prepare for and carry out WaterFire events. The Sponsorship and Marketing Intern will work closely with the Manager of Sponsorships and Corporate Relations. the Development Associate, and other members of the WaterFire staff to prepare for and carry out WaterFire events.

Activities include press releases, sponsorship relations, media contacts, organizing and project planning, website maintenance, new media projects, assistance at events, and more. Responsibilities on the evenings of the event which may include: communicating with volunteers and VIP guests, set-up, errand running, organizing boat rides, decorating, breakdown, and clean-up. The Marketing & Development Intern will work closely with the Director of Resource Development, the Development Associate, and other members of the WaterFire staff to prepare for and carry out WaterFire events.

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Venue Management and Programming
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Venue Management and Programming intern will work with the Development Assistant for Venue and Corporate Relations and assist in the management of the WaterFire Arts Center including clerical and administrative tasks, venue operations and coordination, general marketing, and sponsorship/development. The intern will assist by working directly with potential clients, write rental agreements, coordinate with our exclusive catering and A/V vendors and assist with post-event analysis.

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Videography and Media
spring | summer | fall | winter

Working directly with the Associate Media Producer, this internship will involve assisting in video production and post-production and marketing projects for the 2014 WaterFire season. Projects and tasks might include capturing significant occurrences during WaterFire lightings, assisting in various marketing projects utilizing video captured during the season, editing and post-production work on material for both internal and external sources, working with and organizing the WaterFire Media Library, and assisting in the program and project development.

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Volunteer & Event Engagement
spring | summer | fall | winter

The Volunteer and Event Management Intern will work closely with the Volunteer Coordinators and other members of the WaterFire staff to prepare for and carry out WaterFire events.

Activities include clerical and administrative tasks necessary to prepare for the events, assistance with volunteer coordination, physical tasks in preparation for the events, and a wide range of responsibilities on the evenings of the event. Event day tasks might include: set-up, errand running, filling braziers with wood, organizing lunch for the volunteers, cleaning up the river, gardening, decorating, staffing donation stations, fire tending, breakdown, and clean-up.

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