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What do WorkART fellows do?

WorkART fellows are outstanding students from any discipline with a demonstrated interest in contemporary art. They are interested in careers in the nonprofit sector, cultural management, or communication. Internship fellows can help install exhibits, assist the curating director and board members at art openings or other social events; design, update, or translate websites and flyers; organize a symposium or a workshop for children, as well as multiple other art programming-related jobs. Fellows are comfortable with new people, are responsible and reliable, have experience living away from home, are flexible, independent, and quickly adjust to new environments. Demonstrated office skills and other organizational skills are a plus. German-language abilities are desired but not required.   

How does this fellowship work?

Each internship fellow works with the head and the staff of their assigned Kunstverein according to an individually negotiated schedule for the full internship period. The Kunstverein, in return, will host the intern. The head of the Kunstverein will either arrange for a member to provide accommodation, or offer a guest room in his or her home. Fellows may thus stay in the household of a single person, a couple, a family, or a Wohngemeinschaft (a shared apartment). All shared living arrangements will be visited and pre-approved by the program’s German partners. In addition, some Kunstverein chapters have extra living quarters that are used as artist residences and may be offered to the intern fellow. All fellows will have a private room with a bed and space to store belongings, access to a shared or private bathroom, and access to kitchen space to prepare meals. Grocery stores are within walking distance or easily accessible by public transportation. The art associations are usually placed in the city or town center or in neighborhoods with cafés and restaurants. Living expenses during the internship should therefore not exceed the costs of living in Minnesota. A minimum of $150 in personal funds is required for each week to cover food costs, public transportation, and occasional short excursions during the internship period. CGES provides health insurance for the fellowship period to all fellows. Fellows receive a travel reimbursement grant of $350. Fellows may have their internship credited according to the requirements of their respective degree program.

All internship fellows will be placed based on their individual strengths and best fit with the participating Kunstverein chapters. The Organization of German Art Associations (Arbeitsgemeinschaft deutscher Kunstvereine, ADKV) in Berlin coordinates all matching of fellows in collaboration with CGES. Decisions on acceptance into the WorkART program will be made by a CGES award committee with experts from the University and the Twin Cities art community.

Background: Germany’s Kunstverein Tradition

The German Kunstverein tradition goes back to civil society initiatives that fostered contemporary art in the first half of the 19th century. Today about 300 of those member-based art associations are found in cities, towns, and even some rural areas across all parts of Germany. They are active centers of art critique, art promotion, and art appreciation. Rather than following the traditional museum agenda of collecting and preserving art, Kunstvereine showcase contemporary art in their galleries and organize artist talks, lectures, and educational programs. Individual Kunstverein membership size varies greatly. The smallest chapter has two dozen active members; the largest boasts several thousand members. Since art is international and collaborative, Kunstverein chapters are especially open to international cooperation and exchange.