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The Spoleto Festival USA Apprenticeship Program is a unique, seasonal employment opportunity to develop skills under the guidance of professional arts administrators and technicians while assisting in producing an international arts festival. Apprenticeships are available for college-age/early career professionals for a period of 4 – 6 weeks, with some positions beginning as early as April. Many colleges and universities recognize the Apprenticeship Program as a paid internship for required credits. Past employees in this program have gone on to work for major arts organizations and production companies around the world.

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Apprentices receive:

  • A weekly salary of $600.
  • A one-time travel assistance stipend of $250-$350 (depending on departure location, and only for those outside of the Charleston, SC region).
  • Free housing in dorms at the College of Charleston with shared bathroom and a communal kitchen and living space OR a housing assistance stipend.
  • A Festival access badge for attending other eligible events and performances at the Festival (subject to availability).

Candidate requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age. Certain functions of some positions require candidates to be 21 years of age or older and are noted in the job descriptions.
  • Must be able to pass and maintain a clear background check.
  • For roles with driving requirements, candidates must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
  • All candidates should be prepared to bend, lift, carry, move, etc.; apprentices should be physically able to lift 40 lbs. on their own.
  • Position must reside and work onsite in Charleston, SC for the entire period of the apprenticeship (approximately May 12 – June 9, 2024).
  • Apprentices work a minimum of 40 hours per week in a specific department; long workdays and six-day workweeks are typical. Flexibility with work schedule, including working nights, holidays, weekends, and extended hours is expected for all roles.
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S. either independently (through citizenship status, green card, etc.) or through Student Visa Curricular Practical Training (CPT) approval from a current school by April 15, 2024; Optional Practical Training (OPT) approval timelines are often difficult for those graduating in the spring of 2024, so consult your school’s international student services officer for feasibility of OPT.

Application process:

  • Before applying, please review the position descriptions below. You will be asked to apply to one position as your primary area and you may be considered by other departments for other roles depending on availability.
  • Before beginning your application, ensure that you are available for the entire period of the apprenticeship (approximately May 12 – June 9, 2024).
  • Ensure that you have prepared your Cover Letter, Resume, and References.
  • Some positions may require examples of your previous work. Please include a link to your uploaded material or to the media platform you want to share.
  • Complete the Apprentice Application Form. Note: When you link to our application, you will be prompted by Google to sign in. You are able to use a non-Google email to complete the sign-in process.
Artist Services

Assist with arrangements and execution for artist housing, travel, hospitality, and community engagement activities. Responsibilities include preparing artist welcome packets, administration of backstage hospitality, local transportation of artists, escorting artists to various engagement events, and basic 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. Professional demeanor is a must. All artist services apprentices must be able to drive, and a valid driver’s license is required. Positions are available mid-May through the end of the Festival; candidates must commit for the entire time period. Some apprentices in these positions must be at least 21 years old. 5 positions are available.

Box Office

As representatives of the Festival, Box Office Apprentices will gain a hands-on understanding of the Spoleto ticket buyer’s experience from purchase to performance. Apprentices will learn the Tessitura ticketing system and handle ticket sales in-person at kiosks and performance sites, while serving as expert references for ticket buyers on program and venue information. Box Office Apprentices collaborate closely with our House Management staff and volunteer usher corps to gain a wide range of customer-facing and supervisory skills across our 8+ venues and sales locations. This position requires articulate, detail-oriented individuals with strong interpersonal skills, database experience, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Previous experience in customer service, hospitality, and performance venues is a plus. 16 positions available.

Chorus/Orchestra Library

Assist the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra Librarian in all duties including, but not limited to, preparing, marking, distributing, and maintaining all materials needed for the Spoleto Festival USA orchestra. This includes opera, ballet, orchestral, and chamber music productions. The library team (Librarian and Apprentice) will staff rehearsals and performances as needed, maintain office hours in cooperation with the Orchestra Management team, and be available to administrators and musicians as needed. At the conclusion of the Festival, the library team is responsible for returning all rental materials and for packing and storing purchases, library equipment, and unused supplies. Please note: Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted and asked to complete a test and to supply work samples. 1 position is available.

Chorus Personnel

Assist the Spoleto Festival USA Chorus Personnel Manager and Festival Librarian in all duties including, but not limited to, preparing and distributing parts, taking attendance at rehearsals, tracking timings/breaks of choristers’ services, maintaining and communicating rehearsal and performance schedules, assisting conductors, and other related duties. The Apprentice may also be asked to assist in setup of rehearsals and other production tasks as needed. The Spoleto Festival USA Chorus is engaged in opera, choral, and chamber music productions. Candidate must be able to work under tight deadlines and prioritize. Familiarity with chorus operations and equipment is required, as well as a willingness to work with the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists. 1 position is available.

Computer and IT System Support

Provide technical support to users in the office, other venues, and in our box office. Answer questions or resolve technology problems for users in person, via telephone, or electronically. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, installation, word processing, electronic mail, and operating systems. If residing locally, there is a possibility of additional work weeks beginning May 1. 1 position available.

Marketing

Assist the marketing team in producing digital content and engaging with online audiences through social media platforms and blog, with a heavy emphasis on video capture and production. Apprentices will also staff the Festival press office, manage photo opportunities, and distribute promotional material. Coursework or experience with social media, journalism, Adobe Creative Suite, videography and/or photography is helpful. May provide a writing sample OR self-produced creative work (link to video, graphic design project, Instagram/TikTok account, etc) with application (optional). 1 position available.

Music Operations

Assist with all phases of music operations, including set-up and equipment management for concerts, rehearsals and special events. Responsible for frequently moving, tracking, and caring for instruments, chairs, stands, choir risers, and all related equipment for the Orchestra, Choir, and Chamber series. Some heavy lifting is required. Must be able to drive a cargo van, and a valid driver’s license is required. Candidates must have a willingness to work hard, a flexible/positive attitude, familiarity with musical instruments/equipment especially percussion, and a sensitivity to the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists. 2-3 positions are available.

Orchestra Personnel

Assist the Orchestra Personnel Manager and Festival Librarian with administration of orchestra, including taking attendance; tracking timings/breaks of all orchestra musicians' services; preparing and distributing orchestral parts; helping to maintain and communicate rehearsal and performance schedule; assisting conductors, production staff, and musicians as needed; and other related duties. Candidate must be able to work under tight deadlines and prioritize. Familiarity with musical instruments and equipment is required, as well as a willingness to work with the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists. 1 position is available.

Production

Work with professional theater staff in one of the following areas: stage carpentry, stage electrics, wardrobe, wigs/make-up, properties, sound, video, 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 theater. Requires working very long hours including most nights and weekends. Related experience in technical theater is necessary. The majority of production apprenticeships will begin April 29 and end June 10. There are many positions available depending on the background and experience of the applicant pool.

Special Events

The Special Events Apprentice position lies within the Development Department. This position assists with logistics for over 30 special events ranging from a large opening night fête to donor tea parties. This position involves extensive phone work, managing RSVPs, event setup and breakdown, and assisting with many last-minute details. Excellent communication, organization, and basic computer skills are required, and candidates should feel comfortable with Excel, Paperless Post, and learning basic functions of the Tessitura constituent database. Working hours are frequently outside of normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. Tasks may require light physical labor and extended periods of time outdoors. Hospitality/service industry experience and customer service interaction is a plus, but candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Must be able to drive a festival-provided vehicle, and a valid driver’s license is required. Must be 21 years of age or older and may be responsible for transporting and serving alcohol to support various events. If residing locally, there is a possibility of additional work weeks beginning May 1. 1-2 positions available.

Dates and Deadlines

The priority deadline for all applications is January 1, 2024, and you will be notified of the status of your application by early April. Some departments may continue to accept applications after the deadline depending on their specific needs.

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For questions or assistance, please contact [email protected].

Spoleto Festival USA is an equal opportunity employer and committed to diversity in hiring. Equity is central to our culture, mission, and who we are as an arts organization. Spoleto Festival USA does not discriminate in employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, sex, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, hairstyles or hair texture, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, individuals with disabilities, pregnancy, parental status, marital status, military status, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law. Our greatest strength comes from our ability to come together as unique individuals — come as you are and bring the best version of yourself.