Teens to get internships

When the Contemporary Jewish Museum opens its doors this weekend, the friendly staffer answering visitors’ questions just might not be old enough to drive.

With its Teen Art Connect program, the CJM is opening its gallery doors to high school youth eager to be part of the museum. Billed as a career exploration opportunity, the paid internship invites teens from 10th and 11th grades to apply.

“We were looking for kids interested in the arts,” says Mary Eckstein, CJM youth programs coordinator. “A lot of them are very creative. Some are writers, musicians and artists. We’re also looking for kids interested in intercultural exchange.”

The program has already chosen its first group of 13 teens from eight Bay Area schools and diverse multicultural backgrounds. They will be training throughout the summer.

Their tasks include leading guided tours, helping out with family programs such as Sunday art-making activities, or simply greeting visitors to make them feel welcome.

Paying $9.36 an hour, the Teen Art Connect internship gives teens a chance to earn some money while they learn about the art world. The participating youth will have opportunities to shadow senior staffers, meet with curators and gain an insider’s view of a world-class museum’s day-to-day operations.

“There are learning opportunities built into it,” adds Eckstein.

Applications for 2009-2010 slots will be available in January.

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.