The Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program (ALP) comprises an innovative Curriculum, guest speakers, Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate Programs, an internship program, career advising and advancement opportunities for students and young alumni. These offerings are designed to help Eastman students make a seamless transition from college to the real world, as well as cultivate the future leaders of musical America. Though elements of the program are available to all students, participation in the Internship Program is currently open to Arts Leadership Certificate Candidates only.

The Internship Program places ALP certificate candidates in internships designed to expose them to extra-musical tools and information that can only be learned in practical, “real world” settings. Benefits to the student include the cultivation of self-management skills and an awareness of the current climate for the arts in America. Those who participate in an internship will be better able to achieve their full potential as leading composers, performers, scholars, teachers, arts managers, and advocates of music of quality.

In addition to preparing our students to function in the ‘real world’, the internship program contributes to the Eastman School’s focus on the community. First, by supplying local, national and international arts organizations with high quality interns, the Eastman school is inadvertently satisfying a need for inexpensive but talented labor within cash conscious arts organizations, as well as giving them the opportunity to cultivate future employees. Second, by working closely with these organizations to create and maintain quality internships we are meeting a need for positive collaborations between training institutions and those organizations that present art and artists to the public.

Since we began in 1996-97 the Arts Leadership Internship Program has helped create hundreds of internships. Intern hosts include the Rochester Philharmonic, Sony Music, the Detroit Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, Orpheus, the American Symphony Orchestra League, National Public Radio, John F. Kennedy Center, Decoda, eighth blackbird and the Smithsonian Institution to name a few.

Many graduates find success as professionals as a result of their internship experience. Former ALP interns have worked for many notable arts organizations and institutions, including the Houston Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Endowment for the Arts, Columbia Artist Management, Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Detroit Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra League and Opera America.

The Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program is possible thanks to endowment support from the Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation. In honor of Mrs. Shouse, and of the support of the Shouse Foundation, all interns sponsored by the Arts Leadership Internship Program receive the title “Catherine Filene Shouse Fellows.” By supporting high quality internships we will indeed further Mrs. Shouse’ mission to promote the careers of promising young people in the arts.

The primary purpose of the Arts Leadership Internship Program is to provide exceptional Eastman students with high quality internship experiences. Through the internship program, the Eastman School will satisfy the objectives outlined below.

  • Interns will utilize internships to develop talents, and explore interests that they have been unable to pursue in a typical University setting;
  • they will gain skills, experience and professional contacts that will open up new and more diverse career opportunities;
  • they will graduate with a greater sense of ownership, and optimism concerning their musical futures, and the future of music in general many will develop self-management skills;
  • those pursuing traditional performance careers with symphony orchestras or opera companies will be able to play a constructive role in developing musician/management partnerships;
  • some will gain immediate employment in music-related fields;
  • many will take up positions of leadership within the national and international arts community;
  • former interns will expand opportunities for future musicians in ways we cannot yet imagine;
  • intern hosts will benefit from increased productivity and vitality;
  • hosts may use internships as inexpensive recruitment/training tools for future employees;
  • greater cooperation will be generated between the Eastman School and intern hosts;
  • the arts community will benefit from this positive collaboration between a renowned training institution, and institutions who present art and artists to the public;
  • through local internships Rochester will enjoy a stronger more unified arts community.

To achieve the objectives, the Internship Program adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Students are eligible to participate in an internship only after being admitted to the Arts Leadership Undergraduate or Graduate Certificate Program through an application/interview process.
  • All students considering internships meet regularly with Eastman’s internship coordinator, Assistant Director of the Institute for Music Leadership, for careful career/internship counseling before they are placed in an internship. Student input is deemed as essential to the placement process.
  • As many internship options as possible are presented to the student to ensure that they are placed in a suitable situation. These options include local, senior year internships, as well as summer internships with lengths from 85 to 120 hours.
  • Great care and attention is taken to make a good match between the intern and the host organization /intern supervisor.
  • The internship is continually supervised and evaluated by the Eastman internship coordinator – both through meetings, and written evaluations completed by the supervisor and the intern.
  • All academic year interns are paid at least a minimum wage, either through the Eastman School or their host organization. Summer interns can apply for funding in support of their living expenses while interning.