Arts, Culture, & Equitable Development Intern (Oakland, CA)


PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink collaborates with a broad range of partners to implement strategies to ensure that everyone — including those from low-income communities of color — can contribute to and benefit from economic growth and prosperity.

PolicyLink operates a summer internship program for continuing graduate students (master's or doctoral) in public policy, urban planning, and related fields. Internships are paid and the duration is generally 10 weeks. PolicyLink occasionally hosts interns during the academic year, depending on project needs and student interest. 

We strive to provide each intern with two main opportunities: 1) a meaningful and challenging assignment (or set of assignments) that provides a chance to apply and hone the skills they are learning in graduate school to influence public policy; and 2) the opportunity to learn about the process of policy change and the way that PolicyLink accomplishes our mission of advancing economic, social, and racial equity through policy change.

Each intern plays an integral role in helping our organization further policy impact through research, communications, capacity building, and advocacy. We have hosted interns from nearly 20 different universities and colleges, in programs such as urban planning, public policy, public health, community development, information management, and journalism/communications.

Interns gain insight into the field by assuming responsibility for a project under the guidance of experienced professionals. This year, four internship positions are based in our Oakland office and one in New York. The internship starts June 3 and ends August 9. Review the PolicyLink website ( to learn more about our work.

The Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development (ACED) Intern will have an integral role in supporting PolicyLink to advance equitable development through arts and culture strategies. PolicyLink is seeking a graduate student who can provide program management, documentation, and research support to our team on our various projects in the summer of 2019. These projects include:

  • We, the 100 Million — working with Michael "A Scribe Called Quess?" Moore to paint a portrait of the 100 million people in America living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level through poetry and storytelling;
  • Hewlett's Regional Funder's Network — convening a group of San Francisco Bay Area funders to think about how to prioritize arts and culture strategies in their work.

The core team at PolicyLink in arts, culture, and equitable development includes program, research, and communications staff with expertise and experience in considering arts and culture as essential tools in addressing such community needs as community safety, water equity and climate resilience, equitable development, and health. The intern will work out of the PolicyLink office in Oakland. The Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development Intern will be supervised by the Senior Fellow for Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development who will provide direction and guidance. The position may involve some local travel.

Assignments will include (but not be limited to):

  • Conducting research on how national coalitions/movements have successfully integrated artists and creative approaches in their work (e.g., Black Lives Matter, Fight for 15, United We Dream, etc.);
  • Supporting Michael (aka "Quess?") during his artist-in-residency at PolicyLink for the We the 100 Million Project (e.g., documenting the creative processes, participating in poetry workshops and other events, etc.); and
  • Contributing content and logistical support for a convening of funders from the Regional Funder's Network; documenting and synthesizing findings and next steps from the convening.

Desired qualifications and skills:

  • Graduate student in fine arts, arts administration/management, design, urban planning, public policy, nonprofit management, cultural geography, or other areas related to arts, culture, and/or creative place-making
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to organize and communicate interview feedback
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Great team player with experience working effectively with diverse stakeholders
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills
  • Strong sense of humility and willingness to seek ongoing feedback for improvement
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative
  • Strong commitment to advancing social and racial justice and appreciation of community-based work experience in low-income, communities of color
  • Experience with (and/or understanding of) artistic practice, as demonstrated through a portfolio of art, community, or other types of projects

Application Process

PolicyLink is accepting applications for summer 2019 internships. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2019. Candidates may apply for up to two internship opportunities. 


Please submit the application components in a single document so we can print double-sided. Interviews will take place during the months of February and March. Applicants will be contacted by telephone to schedule an interview that will take place in person or over the telephone. 

Please note: Only candidates selected for an interview will be notified. 

If you have additional questions, please email Please do not use this email address to apply for an internship; your application will not be considered. 

PolicyLink is committed to building and maintaining a diverse staff and a welcoming workplace.