AWP Internships is an annual internship scheme, running since 2012 that places recent graduates from University of the Arts London in high-quality internships at some of London’s most respected small scale arts organisations.
Unpaid internships block learning opportunities for all but the most advantaged sector of society, who can afford to work for free. The AWP Internships programme aims to level the playing field, placing UAL’s recent Outreach graduates in paid roles to ensure diversity and equality of access to jobs in the visual arts.
Artquest have devised a set of high-quality, structured internships for recent graduates paid at above the London Living Wage. Interns get access to some of the capital’s most innovative and respected visual arts organisations, and in return these small-scale companies receive extra staffing to work on specific forthcoming projects. Each organisation provided an overview that candidates applied for, and worked with them part-time over 6 months to realise these projects.
The programme was shaped by our literature review and report, Intern Culture, commissioned by Artquest and written by Sophie Hope and Joanna Figiel.
Each intern receives
- A paid role at some of London’s most respected small scale arts organisations
- A mid-term review of progress halfway through their internship
- Induction and orientation from their host organisation
- An exit interview and evaluation
- A reference for future job and internship opportunities.
AWP Internships are supported by the UAL Outreach programme and applicants must be from this background. To apply for an AWP Internship, you must:
- Be graduating from a BA course from one of University Arts London colleges finishing in the year of the internship. Those completing MA or other higher courses are not eligible for the AWP programme.
- Not enrolled on any course of study during the period of the internship.
- Come from a family where neither parent has been to University
- Have permission to work in the UK. We cannot support work visa applications.
Find out more about the AWP Internships programme: Nick Kaplony outlines the aims of the programme and how you can be involved.
In 2012, the first year of the AWP programme, we interviewed interns and organisations who took part about their experiences as part of our evaluation of the scheme. The films chart the experiences of participating organisations and graduates and consider some of the wider issues around fair internships. Three shorter case studies were also filmed looking at more detail at the interns experiences at selected organisations who participated in the programme.
Host organisations that have participated in the scheme since its inception include.
Afterall – a research and publishing organisation responsible for the Afterall journal, the One Work book series, the Exhibition Histories book series, and Afterall Critical Readers. Afterall focuses on contemporary art and its relation to a wider artistic, theoretical and social context. The intern will earn editing experience, discuss contemporary art with Afterall’s editorial team and gain an insight into the publishing process.
An artist run organisation that commissions and produces new work – collaborating directly with emerging artists. Founded in 2007, it aims to provide a framework for developing alternative approaches to production and exhibition formats.
Cinenova is a non-profit organisation dedicated to distributing films and videos made by women. Formed in 1991 from the merger of two feminist distributors, Circles and Cinema of Women, Cinenova provides the means to discover and watch experimental films, narrative feature films, artists film and video, documentary and educational videos.
Cubitt Gallery and Studios is an Arts Council-funded artist-led organisation in Angel, Islington. Comprising of an internationally-recognised contemporary art gallery, 30 studios for professional artists, and a local education programme, Cubitt is a unique hub for the development in curatorial, artistic and educational practice in the visual arts.
Gasworks – a contemporary art organisation based in South London, housing artists’ studios and offering a programme of exhibitions and events, artists’ residencies, international fellowships and participation projects. The intern will work directly with Triangle Network staff on network-wide projects, such as international artists’ residencies and workshops, gaining an insight into the coordination of a dynamic global network of grass-roots arts organisations.
Peckham Platform is a young, ambitious charity championing social arts practice in one of London’s most vibrant communities. Peckham Platform believes communities can inform and shape their engagement with their locality by working with contemporary visual artists. They promote this vision through a co-commissioning model that brings together artists and community groups from Peckham’s diverse community to co-create new and participatory artworks for the public exhibition.
Part of Wandsworth Borough Council, Pump House Gallery is a public contemporary exhibition space housed in a distinctive four story grade I listed Victorian tower in Battersea Park, South London. The gallery’s programme has engagement at its core and delivers a broad range of projects, exhibitions and activities. Collaboration is central to Pump House Gallery’s programme, working in partnership with curators, artists and organisations to bring engaging contemporary art to the Wandsworth borough and beyond. Pump House Gallery seeks to create opportunities for artists to explore new ways of working that connects with social and civic spaces and opens the gallery up as a catalytic site for creativity, debate and exchange.
The Showroom – a contemporary art space focused on a collaborative and process-driven approach to the production of artwork, exhibitions, discussions, publications, knowledge and relationships. It is committed to supporting artists who have not previously had significant exposure in London.
Studio Voltaire – a leading independent contemporary arts organisation that exists to support artistic practices and create a space for thinking, experimentation and reflection; its main activities are the provision of affordable studios, a renowned programme of exhibitions, performances and commissions, and a pioneering education programme. The intern will support the trading activities of the organisation, to ensure smooth delivery of its output of artist editions as well as other trading and fundraising activities at its gallery base and offsite at Frieze.
As well as supporting smaller arts organisations, Artquest is working with the Tate (Schools and Teachers team, Learning Department) and supporting them in the recruitment of paid interns who have come through the Outreach programme at University of the Arts London.
The AWP Internship programme is funded by UAL’s Outreach programme, which encourages students who are the first generation attending HE in their families or from low socio-economic backgrounds to go to higher education. It works with schools and FE colleges across London, with around 97% of young people coming through the programme going on to attend an HE course, and around 30% coming to UAL. The programme is funded in proportion to new, higher HE fees paid to UAL – the more full-fee paying students attending UAL, the larger the budget to work with Outreach programme students.