As an intern with Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater, Ellen Piazza is learning first-hand what it’s like to work at one of the local music industry’s most iconic venues.
“I am constantly handling different and unique projects, and I love working with so many different people who all love music,” said Piazza, a senior studying violin performance with the Butler School of Music.
But to take on this unpaid internship, the undergraduate had to say goodbye to her paid part-time job. Thanks to a new scholarship available to College of Fine Arts students, she was able to do so, and still support herself. For the first time, Fine Arts students are using scholarships specifically designed to support them during internships. Made available this semester, the scholarships will be available going forward in the fall, summer and spring.
“The intern scholarship has provided me with the financial stability to pay my bills. I could not be doing this internship without the scholarship and am forever grateful,” Piazza said.
The Meredith and Cornelia Long Internship Fund and the Becker Intern Scholarship are need-based scholarships that offer undergraduate and graduate fine arts majors the opportunity to professionalize their artistic and entrepreneurial ambitions. Students must demonstrate significant financial need to receive a scholarship and can receive up to $2,000 of funding to support their internship experience. Students who are traveling outside of Austin for their internship may apply for an additional $1,000 to use toward travel and lodging.
“Internships are not only a great way for students to gain experience, but also a great way for students to explore different professions within the arts, said Karen Munnelly, director of professional programs for the college. “These internship experiences can play a major role in obtaining a job after graduation. Many students work while they are in school, and that can make participating in an internship very challenging. The goal of the scholarship is to offset some of the financial burden students face and level the playing field, so that it is possible for them to do an internship.”
This semester five students received intern scholarships, and Munnelly said she’s eager to hear how it helped and see the program grow and expand. Internships not only give students valuable experience, but the work also can allow students to narrow down their career choices.
“Finding the place in the arts world that is the right fit is very important,” she said. “Students also have the opportunity to apply concepts and theories they learned in the classroom to a real world setting. This work experience will make them much more competitive in the job market.”
Meet the scholarship recipients
Get to know three of this semester’s five scholarship recipients and the experience they are gaining through internships in Los Angeles and the Austin art and music scene.