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Pointers for Video Applications – Performing Arts Internships

In 2014, we added a new requirement to the application process for our Performing Arts Internships: a 60-second video featuring the prospective intern and mentor speaking together. It personalized the applications really nicely – but we also saw a number of common challenges. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Answer the question.
We ask you to answer: “Which item on the work plan is of greatest interest to you and why?” Many people told us why the internship opportunity was exciting to them, but we will read that in your written material. We suggest focusing on a specific element of the work plan to show why this is about professional development for the intern (and not simply a job).

2. Watch the time limits.
60 seconds seems short, but it actually allows more than enough time to answer the question. Don’t spend half your time, however, introducing yourselves and giving your résumés. We can read that in your application. Just give your names, and answer the question.

3. Show the relationship between the intern and mentor.
Both the intern and mentor should speak in the video – it helps us see the relationship more clearly. Be careful of gimmicks. Performing “cute” scenes or just reading your answers took away from our ability to see the relationship. Many people did benefit, however, from planning their talking points in advance.

4. Let us see energy (and some effort).
If you are excited by this opportunity, we should see it; if you aren’t, why should this application be selected for funding? We don’t believe that this video should be onerous, but we should see some effort.

5. Remember – You’re the star!
It’s great to see people in their work environment, but remember to minimize the distractions around you in the video. Let us see you clearly and don’t have too much background activity.

One final word. There were other changes to the application requirements, so please make sure you always read the full guidelines carefully.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact the Arts Program Director at the Foundation. We would be pleased to help!

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