2023 Summer Arts Management – Special Events Internship

Arts Management – Special Events Internship

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $7.7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports making lives meaningful through making.

Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

Penland welcomes everyone. Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and other people who identify as people of color or BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply, as are people holding other marginalized identities related to gender, sexual orientation, ability, and class background.

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. 

Position Summary 

A Penland internship offers a unique opportunity to live and work in a dynamic, creative educational community and work with accomplished professionals in a mutual learning and knowledge-sharing environment. The Arts Management/Special Events Intern is an important member of the development team who provides administrative support while learning about the preparation and management of Penland’s Benefit Auction, which is a weekend fundraiser that grosses over $600,000 for the school and is the 3rd largest craft school auction in the U.S.  This position allows you a high level of responsibility through which you will gain valuable knowledge and experience in auction fundraising, planning, and executing a multi-day event, event registration, data management, and follow-up procedures. You will report to the development associate for special events and assist the development operations manager with registration and check-out closer to and during the event.

This experience begins on May 16 and concludes September 1, 2023 (Start and end dates have some flexibility). 

You will receive $200 per week (up to $3000 for the experience), and housing and meals will be provided at no charge to you for the duration of the internship period. If the dining hall is closed, we will not offer food, but there are kitchen facilities in the housing units. Class and studio access are not provided. Penland will work with individuals seeking educational credit for the internship and meet any college or university requirements. Details can be discussed in the interview process. 


  • Assist with event preparation, including inventories, permits, supply orders, updating documents, and other organizational tasks leading up to the Penland Benefit Auction.
  • Oversee ticket reservations, including receiving and tracking data, making follow-up phone calls with patrons, reporting ticket sales to staff, maintaining confidentiality, etc.
  • Research and solicit in-kind gifts using phone and email. This may include cold-calling potential donors. 
  • Oversee catalog mailing, including organizing volunteer assistance and preparing letters, ticket receipts, inserts, labels, and postage. 
  • Assist the development operations manager and IT manager with the registration and check-out systems’ set-up and breakdown.
  • Assist the development operations manager with running the auction registration and check-out areas along with auction check-out. 
  • Assist with event follow-up, including generating and mailing follow-up letters, inventory of supplies, etc.
  • Attend relevant departmental meetings as well as auction planning and training meetings.


  • Must be highly organized and possess excellent time management and problem-solving skills. Must have the ability to manage large amounts of information is essential. Attention to detail and accuracy are critical. 
  • Must be highly self-motivated, task-oriented, and goal-oriented.
  • A high level of emotional maturity, self-confidence, and a sense of humor are required.
  • Must be able to work within deadlines, under pressure, and with a positive attitude at all times.
  • The ability to accommodate a flexible work schedule is required; must be fully available the month of August
  • Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and a professional manner.
  • Excellent customer service skills are essential; be comfortable making phone calls and in-person communications with patrons, supporters, instructors, and students.
  • Must have a proven ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of individuals.
  • Possess a high level of familiarity and comfort working with Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel (essential). Strong command of mail merging is a plus.
  • Experience with development office work is preferred but not required. Please indicate if you have experience with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge fundraising software or Greater Giving auction software.
  • A demonstrated interest in the arts/arts management is important.
  • Must have current COVID vaccination and boosters or a Penland-approved exemption.

Physical Demands 

This position requires you to walk unaided up and down hills and over uneven terrain, bend, stoop, reach above your head, use fine and gross motor skills, and work on campus. You must have normal visual acuity at a near and far distance with correction and hear the spoken word. You must be fluent in English. While performing this job’s duties, you will be regularly required to sit and work at a computer. You will frequently be required to use hands to finger, handle, or touch objects, tools, or controls. You may occasionally lift and/or move heavy objects weighing up to 75 pounds. 

To Apply  

The internship will remain open until filled; however, the initial review of applications will consist of applications received by February 13, 2023. Send a cover letter and resume addressing relevant experience and interest in the internship, personal contact information, and email contact information for at least three references to employment@penland.org.  Please put 2023 Special Events Internship in the subject of the email.  

We look forward to hearing from you!