LA County saves performing arts internship money

Posted on: March 24, 2010

Tuesday (3/23) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mike Boehm writes, “Los Angeles County’s 10-year policy of paying the salaries of college students who serve internships in the management offices of local arts nonprofits will survive into an 11th summer, after a Board of Supervisors vote Tuesday to spend $250,000 to save the program in scaled-down form. ‘It’s a new crop of potential arts leaders, and there’s no smarter way to make such an investment,’ said board member Mark Ridley-Thomas. Mike Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky also voted to continue the program; Gloria Molina was opposed, and Don Knabe abstained. Molina said that given today’s budget pressures, she wants the program funded by donors or retooled into an unpaid internship for college students; she would rather have arts organizations take advantage of funds the county received under last year’s federal economic stimulus package, which calls for hiring unemployed workers rather than collegians. The paid internships are ‘a wonderful thing if you have the money,’ Molina said. Last year the county spent $500,000 to sponsor 125 interns; this year there will be 75. Interns earn $3,500 for 10 weeks’ work.”

Posted March 24, 2010