Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA)

From internship positions to free admission for college students, the North Carolina Museum of Art(NCMA) offers a variety of college programs. Angela Lombardi, director of outreach and audience engagement, said NCMA strives to be a resource that is welcoming to all.  

“We want to be a resource because art speaks to a lot of different needs,” Lombardi said. “It really connects us in emotional ways to people of other times. … It tells us a lot about the human condition to know how people creatively express themselves to get through hard times and good times. It is a valuable resource in the community and we want people to know that it’s here and they are welcome.” 

For students interested in getting involved with NCMA, consider checking out the different programs. 


Students can apply for internship positions in the summer or during the spring and fall semesters. 

“We try to connect people with things that we think they might be interested in,” Lombardi said. “At the same time interns are asked to create a presentation, so at the end of their internship they can reflect on what they’ve gotten out of the experience, whether it's an independent research project, or just reflecting on the department that they worked with.” 

The 10 week long positions are mostly unpaid and will include what are called enrichment sessions. 

“We have Zooms where staff describe their jobs and describe how they got into their careers just so that students can see the diversity of jobs that exist within the museum,” Lombardi said. “They can have exposure to other staff that they aren’t necessarily working with directly.” 

Park art

Students also have the opportunity to submit their artwork for a chance to have it displayed on a billboard in the museum’s park. Artists that are selected will also win $500. 

“There are three billboards back on the trails in the woods, viewable to all people. Thousands of people use the park every year,” Lombardi said. “It’s a great opportunity for college students to have their work seen.” 

The program is open to college students who study in or are from North Carolina. The next call for submissions will be in about six months. 

“Working with college students, the number one thing I always try to tell them is just submit, even if you think you're not ready,” Lombardi said. “Everybody has that fear that they're not good enough, but just send it because we need to see as much art as we can.” 

College take-over 

The museum’s college advisory council is a group dedicated to planning events for college students at the museum. On Nov. 18, the group will be hosting its first college night in two years. 

“There’s a large exhibition coming called The Phillips Collection,” Lombardi said. “Things like Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, just a lot of art that people are going to be excited to see in person.” 

The last college-takeover night displayed an exhibition on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. 

“With the Frida and Diego exhibition, we worked with the Wolfline so that there was a rotating bus,” Lombardi said. “For people who didn’t know how to get here, we were hoping to facilitate some of that transportation.”

Free admission for college students 

College students are also given the chance to have free admission to the special exhibition if they bring their student ID from 3-5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

“We definitely want to encourage more students to come and not feel like it’s going to be cost prohibitive for them, but to come at the end of their day, come by the museum and see some free art,” Lombardi said. 

The permanent collection is always free and open to the public. 

“We've been working with some college students to also create a self guided tour that is designed to let students know that the museum is a place where they can just relax,” Lombardi said. “If your day feels really stressful, this is a very calming and soothing place to be. You don’t need to know anything about art to be here, just enjoy the gallery.”  

The museum will host an event on April 23 for Earth Day with art making, free exhibition tours and artwork by college students on display. The event is all day and open to everyone. 

For more information about the different programs, visit its website.  

Staff Writer

I am a second-year student studying English creative writing. I joined Technician as a writing and copy editing correspondent in August of 2021, and I am currently a staff writer. I plan to graduate in spring 2024.