A $5-million donation will allow the Metropolitan Museum of Art to pay all its interns.

Wallace Ludel
Aug 4, 2020 5:08PM, via The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image via Flickr.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Monday that philanthropist and businesswoman Adrienne Arsht pledged $5 million to support the MetLiveArts series and the museum’s internship program, allowing the Met to become the largest art museum in the United States to pay all of its interns. The forthcoming paid internship program, now dubbed the Adrienne Arsht Internship, will begin in spring 2021, with applications opening up this September. The museum is expecting to hire roughly 120 undergraduate and graduate interns per year.

Max Hollein, directory of the museum, said in a statement,

These funds will activate a landmark shift in The Met’s expansive and multidisciplined internship program, enabling greater inclusivity and access while also significantly furthering the Museum's continued dedication to engaging with diverse contemporary performance artists through groundbreaking live arts commissions. We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Arsht’s support. [. . .] Paid internships are an important step towards increasing opportunities and supporting equity in the art field. This, along with an enduring focus on themes of resilience, lifting up artists from a variety of backgrounds through the Museum’s performance programming, forms the foundation of my gift.

Arsht’s donation will also support a new MetLiveArts initiative called “Gallery View,” which features live-streamed, in-gallery performances beginning in September 2020.

The donation is in keeping with the Met’s 13-point plan to address diversity within the institution, which was unveiled earlier last month and includes ensuring that all intern positions are paid in order to foster greater access within the industry.

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Wallace Ludel