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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. Most internships will include a mix of remote work and in-person hours at the WaterFire Arts Center.

  • 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

How to Apply

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 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.

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.

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Internship Opportunities

Arts Management

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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Creative Services

Working with the Creative Services team, the intern would be involved in many aspects of the organization for the purpose of learning not only how a nonprofit arts organization operates but also how we can collectively communicate our message and vision. The intern could get experience in branding and merchandising, marketing, social media engagement, visitor communication, graphic design, production, project research, retail experience in our WFAC store, and archiving photographic collections.

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Development Programs

Working with the Development team, the intern would be involved in many aspects of the organization for the purpose of learning not only how a nonprofit arts organization operates but also gain valuable skills and insights into marketing, fundraising, public relations and major gifts fundraising for general operating funds and special projects. The intern could also get experience in researching, tracking and writing grants, assisting in the development of new ways of developing community partnerships in social media and the business community, assisting with planning and executing fundraising events and campaigns, maintaining and expanding private donor support, developing new partnerships, researching prospects, developing individualized prospect strategies, retail experience in our WFAC store and more!

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Education Programs

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

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

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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Venue Management & Programming

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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Volunteer & Event Engagement

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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