Souls Grown Deep Foundation : Internship Program


What:  Three internships for students of color are being offered annually at select museums, affording part-time professional experience at a leading art museum during the academic year. Includes a trip to visit the Foundation in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast, scheduled during a weekend in the fall of 2019. Interns are required to commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week. Each intern will receive a $10,000 stipend from the Foundation.

Who:  Designed for students interested in exploring professions related to museums and the visual arts. Priority is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs.

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic coursework and are in good academic standing
  • While a demonstrated interest in art and art history is preferred, students in all majors are encouraged to apply
  • Previous museum experience is not required

Where:  2019-2020 participating museums will be announced in February.

When:  Applications due on May 3, 2019. Three year-long internships to begin in September 2019, and conclude in May 2020.

How:  Applicants should prepare the following materials:


Please explain what you would hope to learn from the experience of interning in an art museum and what you seek to contribute and to achieve from participating in the Souls Grown Deep Internship Program. Maximum of 800 words.


Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.


Please include internship and work experiences, relevant academic courses, and computer and language skills.


In addition to the emailed attachments above, applicants must have at least one confidential letter of recommendation sent to their preferred museum at the email address below. A letter of recommendation may be submitted by faculty at your college or university or by current or past employers who are familiar with your skills and abilities. For example, your direct supervisor at your job, volunteer placement, or internship. The letter of recommendation must come directly from the recommender’s institutional email address and should clearly indicate the applicant’s name in the subject line.


Founded in 2010, the Souls Grown Deep Foundation is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of artists from the African American South, and the cultural traditions in which they are rooted. We advance our mission by advocating the contributions of these artists in the canon of American art history, accomplished through collection transfers, scholarship, exhibitions, education, public programs, and publications. We are concurrently at work to support the communities of those artists whose reputations we advocate.

An ever-increasing number of art historians, curators, museum directors, art critics, and journalists are studying, exhibiting, and publishing the hundreds of objects being transferred to multiple museums over the next several years, and the over 10,000 documentary photographs, and scores of archival interviews and recordings now part of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Collection at the Southern Folklife Center at UNC, Chapel Hill. Our original focus–staging exhibitions and publishing catalogues–has now transitioned to having the nation’s leading museums assume that responsibility. Thankfully, the original aspirations of our founder William S. Arnett are being met: the artists we champion must be and are being championed by others.

About the SGDF Internship Program

In light of an expanding mandate, the Foundation began offering a grant program beginning in 2019.  Successful applicants are afforded the opportunity to work alongside curators, conservators, educators, and administrators, and gain experience in museum work in general. The internship includes a trip to visit the Foundation in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast, including an excursion to Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

The Mellon Foundation’s pioneering study on the challenges of diversifying museum staff pointed to the need to support students at the undergraduate level, to encourage the pursuit of graduate education. Our program will offer yet another avenue for students of color to develop a professional museum background in our emerging field through any one of a number of arenas: curatorial, registrarial, conservation, education, or administration.

About the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Souls Grown Deep Foundation is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of artists from the African American South in the canon of art history, and the cultural traditions in which they are rooted. The Foundation’s collection encompasses over 1,000 artworks by more than 160 artists. In 2014, the Foundation initiated a program to transfer the bulk of its holdings to the permanent collections of leading art museums, and has to date placed over 300 artworks in a dozen institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. The Foundation derives its name from a 1921 poem by Langston Hughes (1902-67) titled The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the last line of which is “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”


To find out more information and apply, visit:



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