About Our Program
For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 150 performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in disciplines ranging from opera, theater, music theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music, as well as the visual arts. Called “one of the best arts festivals in this country” by The Washington Post, Spoleto has presented over 100 world premieres and almost as many American premieres since its inception in 1977.
The Apprentice Program is a short-term intensive and exciting opportunity to learn about the world of the performing arts and acquire hands-on experience under the guidance of professional arts administrators and technicians in producing an international arts festival. Apprentices work a minimum of 40 hours a week; long workdays and nights as well as weekends are typical. Housing, a small travel allowance, and a living stipend are provided.
Areas of Apprenticeships
Assist with arrangements for artist housing, travel and hospitality. Responsibilities include preparing artist welcome packets, administration of backstage hospitality, local transportation of artists and administrative tasks such as data entry and correspondence. Candidates should have excellent organizational and time management skills and the ability to work well with a variety of people and work long hours. A professional demeanor is a must. Two positions are available for the festival period only (mid-May through the end of the festival); one position is available during the year (part time from February to May and full time from May through mid-June).
As representatives of the festival, you will interact directly with the public, artist services, development, production, and media staff. Handle ticket sales in the box office, over the phone, and at performance sites; maintain effective communication with on-site house management; be an expert reference for ticket buyers on program and venue information, reconcile daily ticket sales, and learn Tessitura Ticketing. Position requires articulate, detail-oriented individuals with initiative, customer service skills, database experience, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Previous experience in phone sales, retail, or hotel environment is a plus.
Assist with logistics of over 30 special events ranging from a black-tie gala to outdoor tea parties. Involves extensive phone work, managing invitation mailings, RSVPs, hand-addressing hundreds of invitations, and assisting with many last-minute details. Position requires excellent communication and basic computer skills, to include Excel, and light physical labor.
Assist with the maintenance of the administrative office’s building, garden and three parking lots. Responsibilities include event set-up and break-down, coordination of needed repairs, shopping for supplies, supporting building security and parking rules, daily staff-kitchen maintenance, and other custodial upkeep as needed. Candidate must have a willingness to work hard, a flexible and positive attitude, and an ability to work well with a wide variety of people. Maintenance skills are a plus. Job requirement includes ability to life 50 pounds unassisted. The ideal candidate would start May 6 or 13 and stay on through June 21 or 28 to assist with the post-Festival coordination and execution of office building’s storage clean-out.
Assist with all areas of accounting including payroll (including tax and compliance), cash receipts (including contributions and ticket sales), accounts payable, purchase orders, petty cash, bank reconciliations and other accounting and administrative functions of a full-charge accounting office. Duties include data entry into accounting systems, handling petty cash, verifying employment documentation, issuing and reconciling purchase orders, filing and financial data-compilation projects as needed. A deep working knowledge of Excel, prior experience with accounting databases and two semesters of Accounting are preferred. Candidates should be detail-oriented and capable of working with sensitive information.
Staff the Festival press room and assist working journalists to obtain interviews, photos, and story information for print, online, radio and television coverage of the Festival. Manage photo opportunities, create media kits/press packets, maintain press clippings and photo files, as well as handle day to day operations of press room. Requires strong organizational, interpersonal, and computer skills. Public relations, journalism, social media, videography, or photography experience or coursework is helpful. Must provide a writing sample with application.
Assist orchestra managers in all phases of orchestra operations, including set-up and stage management for concerts, rehearsals and special events; lifting and moving of heavy equipment such as harpsichords and pianos; personnel office and librarian assistance; and other related duties. Candidate must be able to drive a cargo van and work under tight deadlines and prioritize. Familiarity with musical instruments and equipment required, as well as a willingness to work with the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists.
Work with professional theater staff in one of the following areas: stage carpentry, stage electrics, wardrobe, wigs/make-up, properties, sound, orchestra operations, stage management, or production administration. Candidates must have a willingness to work hard, a flexible/positive attitude and a desire to pursue a career in technical theatre. Related experience in technical theater required.
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Click here to download an application form.
- Most apprenticeships begin Monday, May 12, and end Sunday, June 8.
- Most production positions begin Monday, April 28, and end Thursday, June 12.
- Finance/Accounting apprenticeship available beginning Thursday, January 2, on a part-time basis (5-10 hours per week). Apprenticeship is full time from May 12–June 8.
- One Artist Services apprenticeship will be available beginning Monday, February 3, on a part-time basis (5-10 hours per week). Apprenticeship is full time from May through mid-June. Remaining Artist Services apprenticeships begin Monday, May 12, and end Sunday, June 8.
- Housing at the College of Charleston and $50 travel reimbursement.
- Living stipend available for all apprentice positions.
- Living stipend available for Finance/Accounting and Artist Services apprenticeship for the period that is full time (mid-May to mid-June).
- Completed applications and all materials, including resume, cover letter, and two letters of recommendation must be received by February 14, 2014.
- Media Relations applicants must also include a writing sample.
- Finance/Accounting applicants should submit their applications as soon as possible.
- Applicants for the Artist Services apprenticeship position beginning in February should submit their applications as soon as possible.