Headlands Center for the Arts

Employment, Internship, & Volunteer Opportunities

Headlands Center for the Arts is dedicated to providing a supportive, creative and stimulating work environment where staff and interns are encouraged to reach their full potential and are recognized for their contributions to the organization.

Current Openings & Opportunities

Click on the job titles below to learn more.

Fall 2016 Live-In Program Internship

What is an artist residency? What role do residencies play in today’s art world? How do residencies impact the lives and careers of working artists?

About Headlands’ Internship Program

Headlands Center for the Arts seeks self-motivated individuals for on-site internships. Headlands’ size, unique mission and collaborative approach enables interns to gain knowledge of multiple aspects of a nonprofit arts organization and engage in a hands-on manner in the day to day operation of one of the nation’s premier artist residency programs.

Headlands’ offers internships of up to 3 months during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons to correspond with our residency program. Interns are considered integral members of the staff and represent the organization in various ways. Interns have direct access to Headlands’ arts community, and are able to engage with Headlands’ history, participating artists, and public events programs.

Live-In Program Internship

The live-in program internship at Headlands includes opportunities for on-going administrative and daily operations support, event-based and programmatic tasks, and special projects that introduce interns to the non-profit work environment. Program interns develop arts administration skills through hands-on experience. Although most known for the Artist in Residence program, the program department at Headlands also encompasses several additional artist programs and public events, from exhibitions to artist-led hikes and hands-on projects. Working with a wide range of artists and public audiences, program interns are important members of our dynamic team, and are asked to participate in daily operations and program development tasks across a range of projects.

These projects may include:

On-going program office administration and daily operations:

  • Database filing, report generation, statistical analysis
  • Artist program outreach, research and support
  • Public event attendee support for registration, on-site welcome and orientation
  • General event production assistance, front and back of house
  • Artist program selection support; application processing, panel support
  • Activity materials sourcing, set-up, inventory management
  • Artist pick-up, drop-off and occasional project support
  • Kitchen support; dinner guest check-in, public greeting coffee + tea service set up
  • Studio and housing preparation

Potential program intern special projects:

  • Exhibition planning, design, install support; guest curator and artist liaison
  • Commission project support; artist liaison
  • Public events planning support and coordination
  • Support planning and execution of other emergent projects and programs

*Open to intern-generated special project proposals within intern scope of work and in alignment with organizational priorities


Interns must be reliable, energetic, creative, self-motivated and possess good communication skills. Interns are required to work independently and with attention to detail; have an interest in the creative process; and be willing to engage with visitors. Experience with relational databases (particularly FileMaker Pro), Mac OS X, and Microsoft Office preferred. Strong writing skills, attention to detail, and people skills are a plus.

Live-in Program Interns are required to work 30 hours a week and receive a room in one of our artist houses. An 8-week commitment is required. Start date is flexible, and based on candidates’ and Headlands’ needs.

A note about the application materials:

Please share why you are interested in the program internship at Headlands, and how a position here aligns with your future goals in your cover letter. As this is primarily an arts administration internship, it is not necessary to include your artist resume, though applicants’ interest and experience as a practicing artist is valued!


College and graduate students of all disciplines are welcome to apply. Headlands will work to tailor aspects of the internships to students’ interests whenever possible, and will work to ensure students receive academic credit for their internships when applicable.

TO APPLY: Please send cover letter and resume via email, with the subject line “Fall Live-in Program Internship/Your Name” to Madeleine Wilhite, info@headlands.org. Applications for the fall session are due Friday, May 20. Applications for all seasons are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Interns must provide their own transportation to Headlands’ Marin location. No calls, please.

Internship Program General Information

Headlands’ internship programs offer students and graduates across all disciplines and interests the opportunity to engage in the behind the scenes of a non-profit art center. Interns provide support for a wide range of Headlands’ activities including public events, artist programs, and the management of day-to-day operations. We welcome applications from driven, curious, and thoughtful individuals with an interest in supporting Headlands’ unique mission.

2016 Internship Information

Live-in Program internship periods: Spring (March-June), Summer (June-August), Fall (September-November), Winter (December-February)

Live-in internships are 30 hours/week. 

Live-out internship periods: Ongoing, 6-month commitment ideal, but not required.

Live-out internships in Development, Communications, and Operations are 8-16 hours a week.

Contact Madeleine Wilhite for an overview of internship descriptions and more information on how to apply.

2016 Benefit Art Auction Volunteer Opportunities

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

6:30PM General | 5:30PM VIP Preview

Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco

Click here for event details and directions.

Headlands’ Benefit Art Auction marks our biggest celebration and fundraiser of the year, and one of the Bay Area’s most beloved events for collecting cutting-edge art. Headlands needs a team of key volunteers to make this event great! Volunteering is your ticket to the event, and you’ll get a behind the scenes peek into what it takes to produce a successful auction. Great for first timers and volunteer pros alike. Grab some friends and sign up! Contact bficken@headlands.org to sign up for your preferred shift.

Event begins at 5:30PM; volunteer orientation time varies by role and length of shifts. Some positions may have preliminary orientation over the phone.

Check In
You will:    Welcome guests, sell tickets at the door, and manage the check-in list
We need:    12 volunteers
Shift:           5PM orientation with volunteer captain; 5:30-8PM shift

Pop Up Shop

You will:   Staff our Pop Up Shop, filled with one-of-a-kind limited editions
We need:    3 volunteers per shift
Shift:           Orientation by phone; 5:30-8PM or 8-10:30PM

Coat Check
You will:    Assist guests with their coats & bags
We need:    3 volunteers per shift
Shift:           Orientation by phone; 5:30-8PM or 8-10:30PM

Art Showcaser

You will:   Present art on stage during the live auction
We need:  8 volunteers
Shift:         7PM orientation with volunteer captain; 7:45-9:15PM shift

Lot Closers

You will:    Close the lot at the end of each silent auction period
We need:   5 volunteers
Shift:          Orientation by phone; meet volunteer captain at 8:30PM; 9-10:30PM shift

Silent Auction Art Handler

You will:    Remove purchased work from the wall as the silent auction lots close
We need:   6 volunteers  art handling experience is a plus!
Shift:          Orientation by phone; meet volunteer captain at 8:30PM; 9-11PM shift

Check Out

You will:   Assist guests as they pay for their purchased art work
We need:  4 volunteers—cashiering experience a plus!
Shift:         Orientation by phone; meet volunteer captain at 7:30PM; 8-10:45PM shift

Art Pick Up
You will:   Assist guests in collecting the art work they’ve purchased
We need:  3 volunteers—art handling experience is a plus!
Shift:         Orientation by phone; 9-11PM shift

Email bficken@headlands.org and specify the position and shift you’d like to fill by May 23rd.

More Volunteer Opportunities

Email bficken@headlands.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Headlands Center for the Arts.