Sounds of California Archives and Media Intern

Apply by: Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

This paid internship position is part of the LA County Department of Arts & Culture’s Arts Internship Program, open to enrolled undergraduate and community college students in Los Angeles County. The Sounds of California Archives and Media Intern is based out of ACTA’s Los Angeles field office, though the position will be remote during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The intern must work a total of 400 hours by March 1, 2021, and may propose a schedule between 16 and 24 hours per week, depending on their academic commitments. Intern’s weekly schedule will be determined at the start of the internship, but may be flexible. For example, an intern seeking a 16-hour schedule may need to work additional hours at certain points to meet the 400 hours requirement by March 1. The purpose of the County’s internship program is to provide undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience working in nonprofit arts organizations.

The Intern will work primarily with archival and newly-created multimedia materials related to our ongoing Sounds of California project, a state-wide research and community engagement initiative developed in 2016 in partnership with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. The Sounds of California project explores music and auditory expressions as vital to collective experience, creating a sense of place and belonging in communities. The initiative has been based in three California locales (East San Jose, San Francisco’s Bayview, Oakland). In 2020 it will take place in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, cultivating stewards of place by engaging residents to explore, analyze, create, and share the local soundscape, and focusing on themes of anti-displacement and belonging. A key part of Sounds of California in Boyle Heights is the cultural asset mapping methodology that ACTA has developed to recognize and document the cultural treasures of particular communities. The Intern will aid in the development of a comprehensive Sounds of California microsite, culling material from ACTA’s fieldwork-based photos, audio, and video recordings collected from each of the Sounds of California projects, and will participate in the curation and dissemination of new multimedia collected in the 2020 Sounds of California project in Boyle Heights.

La Familia Peña-Govea performs at ACTA’s 2018 Sounds of California concert in Bayview, CA. Photo: DeShawn Davis.
  • Assist the media team in the development of a browsable digital archive of Sounds of California multimedia materials
  • Pitch and develop new feature articles and social media content related to Sounds of California materials, both archival and new (Boyle Heights)
  • Catalog, organize, and edit audio and video recordings from the Sounds of California collection
  • Assist with development of a new online microsite platform for the content
  • If public health measures allow, possibly assisting with organizing media from Boyle Heights by supporting documentation with ACTA staff and partners at site visits, community-centered recording days, and online public concerts
  • Assist in processing survey data, recordings, and other media collected through the cultural asset mapping process

The intern will also attend weekly staff meetings, bi-weekly check ins with the media team, meetings with the Sounds of California program team, and weekly check-ins with their direct supervisor. The intern will contribute to ACTA’s social media channels, will be tasked with website content updates as needed, and may be involved in editorial content development beyond the Sounds of California project.


As determined by the LA County Dept. of Arts & Culture

This position, as part of the County’s Arts Internship Program, will be open to currently enrolled undergraduate (2 or 4-year) students and community college students who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County. Recent graduates may apply as long as they have completed their degree between May 1 – September 1, 2020. The Department of Arts and Culture encourages eligible students from all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as disabled students, to apply. Eligible students may participate in the Arts Internship program once.

  • Students who have previously participated in the program are not eligible to participate a second time.
  • Students who are invited to participate in the program will be asked to provide verification of eligibility via college transcripts, driver’s license, and other documents to show enrollment status and/or LA County residence.


  • Writing
  • Research
  • Some experience with Audio and Video Editing
  • Cultural competence with diverse communities and cultural traditions
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial and cultural equity and social justice
  • Ability to develop dynamic social media content (experience with Instagram stories, etc.)
  • Ability to work independently as well as to function as part of a team
  • Ability to ask questions and think collectively
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to travel within Los Angeles, if needed

Preferred but not required:

  • Bilingual, English and Spanish
  • Some experience with archival media cataloging or Digital Asset Management platforms
  • Some experience interviewing subjects in the field
  • Some experience with WordPress or other CMS
  • Experience with and knowledge of Los Angeles artists and communities
  • An interest in community engagement, organizing, and collaboration
  • Ability to take initiative in problem solving in partnership with colleagues
  • Other non-English language abilities a plus
  • Ability to lift 35 pounds

Submit a cover letter communicating your interest and qualifications, resume, and 2-3 media samples you have developed (e.g. Instagram posts, articles, websites, photo essays, video, radio or podcast pieces—ideally related arts, culture, community engagement and social justice) to with SOC ARCHIVES AND MEDIA INTERN in the subject line. Please also include your desired work schedule, including desired number of hours per week (range: 16-24 hrs/wk).

Deadline: Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

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