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CIVA intern Athena Snyder (right) smiles for a picture while at an event at the San Jose Museum of Art.

CIVA intern Athena Snyder (right) smiles for a picture while at an event at the San Jose Museum of Art.

CIVA Gives Students a Taste of Life in the Professional Art World

This summer, several SCU students with majors and minors in Art and Art History got a taste of what it’s like to work in the art field, thanks to a summer internship program  which is one element of the College of Arts and Sciences  Community Initiatives for the Visual Arts (CIVA) grant, an annual program that matches students to full-time internship positions at local art organizations. Participating institutions included the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Saratoga’s Montalvo Arts Center, and the San Jose Museum of Art.

This program is funded by the Hearst Foundations, which, through the CIVA grant, provide each student with a stipend ranging from $2,250 to $4,500.  Seven students in all received awards, five in Studio Art and two in Art History.

With the CIVA internship, students are able to gain a hands-on experience on how art relates to our modern community. Katharine Aoki, the chair for the department, describes the CIVA internship as a great opportunity for students to “gain professional experience in the visual art industry.”

“I learned a multitude of skills regarding museum work and became more comfortable interacting with superiors in the workplace,” said Maddie Wilcox, an SCU junior who’s double majoring in Studio Art and Ethnic Studies. Wilcox interned at`the Triton Museum of Art, where some of her responsibilities included handling collections and records, art installations, and planning some events.

Another SCU student, Athena Snyder, a senior double majoring in Art History and Economics, worked at San Jose Museum of Art’s development department.

“One of my main projects was helping to create a foundation for measuring the success of one of our exhibitions: Your Mind, This Moment,” Snyder comments. “I was also in charge of creating multiple slideshows for the [museum’s] gala. I learned a lot from this internship; [it] meant the world to me.”

The CIVA internships are a great resource for SCU’s art students to learn and grow as individuals.  In fact, internships like these, which provide experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom, are an increasing area of focus within the College of Arts and Sciences.  Such professional work experience provides SCU students an opportunity to express their creativity and apply their skills well beyond their college years.

To learn more about the CIVA program or other internship opportunities provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, please contact Katy Korsmeyer or visit the REAL website.

More about CIVA.


CIVA intern Athena Snyder (right) smiles for a picture while at an event at the San Jose Museum of Art.