Each year, the Ojai Music Festival Arts Management Internship Program welcomes a dozen college students and recent graduates to go behind the scenes of a renowned summer music festival. Interns work closely with the staff and production team, providing critical support and gaining invaluable hands-on experience and skills for their future careers. Each intern receives during their 2-3 week internship:
- An immersive experience in the world of a festival and inside knowledge into the many different pieces that come together for a successful weekend of concerts
- Training for their areas of responsibility from staff and leaders in the field
- Free and discounted tickets to Festival concerts (depending on work schedule and availability)
- Housing and/or homestay in the beautiful Ojai Valley and most meals during the Festival
Fill out the 2021 Internship Application Online:
Proud of our fabulous 2019 Festival Interns:
“As an intern for the Ojai Music Festival, you become a messenger for the organization’s purpose: to dare the audience to be innovative listeners of new music. The office staff and other interns become your mentors and family for the duration of your internship experience. Working with like-minded people creates the perfect atmosphere for discussion and pushes you to be your best creative self.” – Emily Persinko, San Diego State University, Ojai Alum 2016-2018
The Festival invites students from all fields of study to apply. The program is ideally suited for curious, motivated individuals who are interested in the diversity of possible careers in the arts, events, and the nonprofit world. Festival interns have gone on to have successful careers in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors – those who have gone on to work in the arts have done so at organizations across the country, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Pacific Symphony, Early Music Guild of Seattle, and Voices of Change, as well as forged new paths as entrepreneurial performing artists and composers. Read more about the 2018 interns here.
In 2011, Ojai Valley residents Ila and Fred Rothenberg provided the Festival with a new fund to help support the internship program, which is dedicated to in memory of their son, Steven Rothenberg. Past Rothenberg Fellows are Glenna Adkins (2019), Jamie Leidwinger (2018), Fiona Digney (2017), Luke Martin (2016), Rebecca Shasberger (2015), Lauren Eales (2014), Emily Praetorius (2013), Alissa Strople (2012), and Ryan Strand (2011).
Festival interns have come from colleges and universities throughout the country, including:
- Baylor University
- Boston College
- Boston Conservatory at Berklee
- California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
- California Lutheran University
- California State University, Long Beach
- California State University, San Diego
- Manhattan School of Music
- Oberlin College
- Occidental College
- Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins
- Rice University
- Sarah Lawrence College
- Thomas Aquinas College
- Tufts University
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of California, Santa Barbara
- University of Kansas
- University of Puget Sound
- University of Redlands
- Westmont College
- Wheaton College
Applicants must be 18 or over. Knowledge of classical music is suggested, but is not a requirement. Interns commit to 2-3 weeks in Ojai and must be available during the Festival week. Please indicate on your application if you have special schedule requirements.
How to Apply – Deadline for the Ojai Music Festival (September 16-19 2021) is June 1, 2021
- Complete the internship application, including the four essay questions, and return along with a cover letter and resume.
- Submit two letters of recommendation. Letters from college faculty should include how the applicant would benefit from the Internship, and how the Internship would strengthen the applicant’s specific college and career goals. Letters from college faculty must be on school letterhead. These letters may be sent with the application or to the office directly.
Ojai Music Festival Internship Program
PO Box 185
Ojai, CA 93024
Attn: Laura Walter
Each of the Festival’s internship opportunities places interns in a specific area of responsibility, enabling them to gain specialized experience. However, the multilayered nature of the Festival means that often interns will assist in many different areas, as projects require. Read the brief descriptions below to see what might best interest you and indicate your interests in order of preference when you apply. The “good fit for” is not at all a requirement, just a suggestion.
Administration interns work with the Office Manager to provide a critical central point of contact for artists, staff, and vendors. They maintain office communications and coordinate/complete projects essential to all areas of the Festival. A good fit for: interns looking to gain experience in administration, customer service, and office management.
“We were able to work closely with caring staff and interact with world-renowned artists in a laidback but professional atmosphere, all while learning how to preserve a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience for patrons. This internship provided a priceless firsthand look into the world of arts administration, a field which I now feel equipped to explore.” – Sarah Voshall, CalArts, Ojai Alum 2018
The audio/sound intern works with the production team and the sound designer for the Libbey Bowl concerts. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience on sound design and logistics.
Development and Special Events
Development and special events interns work with the Director of Development to produce the various social and donor events throughout the Festival. They manage RSVP lists, coordinate and schedule vendors, create materials, and assist with other fundraising projects. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in special events coordination and fundraising.
“Interning with the Ojai Music Festival pushes you to be a dynamic participant—to be able to work in a broad range of disciplines, no matter the concentration of your assigned position. Because of this mobility, you also have opportunities to work and connect with your fellow interns, the artists, and staff who bring relevance and innovation to the music presented in Ojai. The people you work with not only demonstrate the immense talent that goes into running such a festival, but establish relationships that teach and inspire.” – Glenna Adkins, Sarah Lawrence College, Ojai Alum 2018-2019
Front-of-House/Education (Audience Engagement)
Education interns work with the education events producer to produce the informative pre-concert lectures and talks that occur throughout the Festival weekend. In addition, they will work with the audience experience manager in providing a wonderful and safe experience for all our patrons. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in event coordination and gaining experience in patron interaction.
Live stream interns work with our live stream crew which videotapes performances and interviews and live streams all of them during the Festival. Live stream interns are also responsible for editing the live feed into archival video for the Festival and for YouTube. Knowledge of Photoshop, Google Docs, I-Movie, and Final Cut Pro. A good fit for: interns interested gaining experience in video editing and live film work.
Stage intern works and assists Festival stage managers in various performance venues. A good fit: interns interested in gaining experience in stage management.
“As an intern at the Ojai Music Festival, I was immediately ushered into the entire community of staff, fellow interns, and performers. The energy of intense dedication combined with constant warmth and openness opened me up to ask questions, think creatively, and share the inclusive and daring ideas perpetually growing at the Festival.” – Molly Tucker, Oberlin, Ojai Alum 2018
Patron Services/Box Office
Patron services interns work in the box office, serving as a guide to the Festival experience for ticket buyers, donors, and community members. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining customer service and hospitality experience.
The production intern is also each year’s Rothenberg Fellow. The production intern works with the Festival Producer to coordinate artists and their needs throughout the Festival. They also work on stage and with the Stage Manager to help produce the Festival’s concerts, manage rehearsals and performances, stage changes, and coordinate between lighting and sound engineers. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in concert production.
“As the public relations and marketing intern, I engaged with staff, fellow interns, artists, and guest contributors to share the Festival’s collaborative spirit with our partners and audience. I loved working alongside friendly and knowledgeable staff, and it was exciting to work in a position constantly evolving according to the needs of the festival. I felt incredibly rewarded and invigorated being surrounded by such dedicated humans.” – Jamie Leidwinger, Peabody Conservatory, Ojai Alum 2017-2018
Public Relations and Marketing
Marketing interns work with the Director of Marketing & Communications and other marketing team members in communicating with and coordinating press in the days leading up to and during the Festival. They also assist with the Festival’s social media presence during the Festival and creating and distributing marketing materials. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in public relations, marketing, and social media.
Patron Services (Retail/Concessions, Front of House)
Patron services work with the Retail Managers and the Marketing Director to sell and manage merchandise. They complete pre- and post-inventories, determine signage and décor needs, and provide a warm customer experience during the Festival. A good fit for: interns interested in gaining experience in customer service and retail management.