Bloomberg Philanthropies: Assessing the Impact of Arts Internships and Professional Training in High School Seniors

Image of a group shot of interns

Team: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Steven Holochwost, Jane Culbert, Henry Clapp, Kathleen Hill, and Abigale Franco

In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies engaged WolfBrown as the evaluator of its Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) program. Now operating in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Boston, BAI places rising high school seniors into paid summer internships at cultural institutions in their city and supplements this work experience with a college and career preparation curriculum. 

WolfBrown designed a comprehensive mixed-methods evaluation to identify both the short- and long-term effects of program participation. Short-term effects are measured using a randomized control design featuring quantitative measures, student work samples, and program observations and interviews. A longitudinal component follows alumni of the program to see what impacts persist in their educational, professional, and cultural lives. Additionally, WolfBrown facilitates peer-to-peer learning between cities to transform local innovations into national approaches.

In face of the growing recognition that arts and cultural institutions owe their communities programming which prioritizes inclusion and belonging, the BAI program encourages cultural institutions to engage with diverse youth, staff, and audiences. In that work, nothing is more important than opening doors and providing pathways to the next generation of cultural consumers, producers, and administrators.