In June 2023, Sarasota/Manatee became the sixth location nationwide to host the Diversity In Arts Leadership (DIAL) internship, presented through Americans for the Arts. The program was a partnership between the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Cross-College Alliance (comprising New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art & Design, State College of Florida, The Ringling/FSU and the University of Florida Sarasota-Manatee), and local arts nonprofits.

Top Five College Interns Secure Paid Arts Leadership Internships with Mentors

Five college interns were selected out of a pool of 39 finalists nationwide were selected to complete paid internship programs in arts leadership at the Sarasota Ballet, CreArte Latino Cultural Center, Manatee Performing Arts Center, Sarasota Art Museum, and the Historic Asolo Theatre. In addition to the internship opportunity, each student was paired with a mentor in the arts who could help them navigate the new professional journey.

Equitable Arts Leadership

With equitable arts leadership at the center, the Diversity in Arts Leadership internship program provides undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who have a career interest in arts and cultural equity a hands-on introduction to leadership, administration and management in the arts sector during a 10-week summer internship. By focusing on a healthy, vibrant, and equitable arts ecosystem, interns are interwoven within the arts and culture community and plugged into a cohort of field leaders, mentors, and other cultural practitioners. Altogether, the DIAL network commits to continuous learning and advancing of a more equitable arts ecosystem. Elsewhere in the nation, DIAL programs are offered in Nashville, Southern New Jersey, New York City, Boston, and Raleigh.

With coordination from Cross College Alliance’s Initiative Coordinator, Josephine Eisenberg, and led by USF professor and artist Marlon Davis, the program offered a rich experiential learning experience to participants. 

The opportunity came to us through passionate arts philanthropist Flora Major, whose support of the arts nationwide inspired her to bring this robust program to the Sarasota-Manatee community. Other funding support was provided by Jack and Priscilla Schlegel and the Ruby E. and Carole Crosby Family Foundation.