Yale Arts Apprenticeship Program

The Yale Arts Apprenticeship Program is an initiative that connects Yale undergraduates, particularly those on financial aid, with professional arts practitioners of any discipline.

As an option within Yale’s Summer Experience Award (SEA) funding model, the Arts Apprenticeship must fulfill the same basic requirements. Additional details, as well as those specific to the Arts Apprenticeship are included below.

Yale faculty, alumni, or other arts practitioners interested in featuring positions through the program should contact Yale’s  Creative Careers advisor.

Who is Eligible?

  • Must be first-year, sophomore, or junior enrolled in Yale College.
  • Must be first-time recipient of the SEA (formerly known as the DSA). Students that have previously used their SEA/DSA are not eligible.
  • Must have secured an eligible summer opportunity.
  • Must be recipient of Yale financial aid that includes Yale aid for the spring term leading up to the SEA summer.

Which Opportunities are Eligible?

  • Must be at least 30 hours/week, for at least 8-weeks over the summer months. Those 8-weeks do not have to be continuous if the mentoring Arts Practitioner agrees on a different schedule. The time commitment need not all be in direct contact with the Arts Practitioner. Independent projects, tasks, research, etc. can comprise much of the experience, as long as the Arts Practitioner is checking in regularly with the student to provide oversight and career-based context.
  • The opportunity cannot be with a for-profit organization. The engagement for an Arts Apprenticeship should be directly with an individual Arts Practitioner and not with a company. The only exception to this would be if the company overseeing the apprenticeship were a registered non-profit organization.

Arts Apprenticeship FAQs

  • What artistic disciplines are compatible with the Arts Apprenticeship program?

    Any creative professional engaging work within an artistic field can be considered a candidate for establishing an Arts Apprenticeship. Examples include architects, creative writers, designers, visual artists, filmmakers, theater creatives, dancers and performance artists, musicians and composers. Please speak with the OCS Creative Careers advisor to discuss potential eligibility.

  • Are there existing Arts Apprenticeships that can be funded with the SEA?

    Yes, examples of current, posted SEA eligible apprenticeships can be found on the sidebar of this page, or by searching within the Yale Career Link Job Board for the term Yale-coordinated “Apprenticeship”. These opportunities are open for application, but can also be seen as models to help the student or artist consider seeking out or developing their own eligible apprenticeship.

  • My Yale professor also has a professional arts practice. Would a summer apprenticeship with his/her practice qualify for an SEA?

    Yale faculty members with an arts practice, willing to take on the necessary mentoring engagement, are acceptable candidates for the Arts Apprenticeship model. It is also possible that a research-based experience with a Yale arts faculty could SEA funded. Please meet with the OCS Creative Careers advisor to discuss further.

  • I have an unpaid opportunity with an arts-related for-profit company this summer, could I use the SEA to fund that opportunity?

    No, the for-profit status of the U.S.-based company will make this ineligible for traditional SEA funding. The SEA Arts Apprenticeship category is reserved for students planning a mentoring relationship with a practicing artist in the U.S. It cannot be used to fund a summer engagement with a for-profit company in the U.S., even if that employer is arts-related. An appropriate apprenticeship experience needs to be supervised by an Arts Practitioner, and built around the individual mentoring relationship with that creative.

  • What if the apprenticeship program requires me to pay tuition for the training, or the artist I’m working with needs to be financially compensated for his/her mentoring role?

    For an Arts Apprenticeship to be considered for SEA funding, financial compensation cannot be provided to the artist. In general, a tuition component is not allowed as part of an apprenticeship program; exceptions will need to be discussed with the OCS Creative Careers advisor.

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