New Orleans Museum of Art

Dorthy Ray was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She recently completed her B.A. in Art History at Louisiana State University. She works primarily with Futures Fund, a program offering training in the arts to middle through high school students. As a curator, photographer and mixed media artist, her work seeks to challenge viewers to explore the ambiguities of identity, gender, and sexuality as they relate to the Black body.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

Akili Davis is a junior Sociology major and Visual Studies minor at Bryn Mawr College. Her academic interests include museum studies and moving image media. Akili has previously interned with other Philadelphia cultural institutions like the Slought Foundation and Till Arts Project, and she is currently on the Barnes Foundation Campus Outreach Council. On her college campus, she is the Civic Engagement representative to the Student Government Association. Although she is originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Akili calls Philadelphia home and hopes to continue working in the arts community there after graduation.


Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Jacynth Serrano Rodriguez is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) located in Richmond, Virginia. In May 2019, Jacynth will receive her Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in both Art History and Media Studies. In addition to receiving the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Internship, she previously held internships with Blackbird Literary Journal and VCU's Recreational Sports Program. In 2016, she received awards and accolades for her visual and written work including the 1st Place and Purchase Award, the Vincent Hammond Visual Arts Scholarship, and the Chadab Foundation Scholarship for the Arts at Northern Virginia Community College. Upon graduating in the spring, Jacynth plans to attend graduate school and continue exploring the nexus of her passions and her studies: art, culture, and media.

Program Sponsors of the 2018-19 Souls Grown Deep Intern class are Jay Ptashek and Karen Elizaga.

2019-2020 Souls Grown Deep Foundation Internship Program

What:  Three internships for students of color are being offered annually at select museums, affording part-time professional experience at a leading art museum during the academic year. Includes a trip to visit the Foundation in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast, scheduled during a weekend in the fall of 2019. Interns are required to commit to a minimum of 8 hours per week. Each intern will receive a $10,000 stipend from the Foundation.

Who:  Designed for students interested in exploring professions related to museums and the visual arts. Priority is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs.

  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic coursework and are in good academic standing
  • While a demonstrated interest in art and art history is preferred, students in all majors are encouraged to apply
  • Previous museum experience is not required

Where:  The Baltimore Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Minneapolis Institute of Art

When:  Applications due on May 3, 2019. Three academic year-long internships to begin in September 2019, and conclude in May 2020.

How:  Applicants should prepare the following materials:


Please explain what you would hope to learn from the experience of interning in an art museum and what you seek to contribute and to achieve from participating in the Souls Grown Deep Internship Program. Maximum of 800 words.


Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.


Please include internship and work experiences, relevant academic courses, and computer and language skills.


In addition to the emailed attachments above, applicants must have at least one confidential letter of recommendation sent to their preferred museum at the email address below. A letter of recommendation may be submitted by faculty at your college or university or by current or past employers who are familiar with your skills and abilities. For example, your direct supervisor at your job, volunteer placement, or internship. The letter of recommendation must come directly from the recommender’s institutional email address and should clearly indicate the applicant’s name in the subject line.

Applications should be submitted directly to the museum:

About the SGDF Internship Program

In light of an expanding mandate, the Foundation began offering a grant program beginning in 2019.  Successful applicants are afforded the opportunity to work alongside curators, conservators, educators, and administrators, and gain experience in museum work in general. The internship includes a trip to visit the Foundation in Atlanta and the artists and communities it serves in the Southeast, including an excursion to Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

The Mellon Foundation's pioneering study on the challenges of diversifying museum staff pointed to the need to support students at the undergraduate level, to encourage the pursuit of graduate education. Our program will offer yet another avenue for students of color to develop a professional museum background in our emerging field through any one of a number of arenas: curatorial, registrarial, conservation, education, or administration.

About the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Souls Grown Deep Foundation is dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of artists from the African American South in the canon of art history, and the cultural traditions in which they are rooted. The Foundation’s collection encompasses over 1,000 artworks by more than 160 artists. In 2014, the Foundation initiated a program to transfer the bulk of its holdings to the permanent collections of leading art museums, and has to date placed over 350 artworks by 108 artists in 16 institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. The Foundation derives its name from a 1921 poem by Langston Hughes (1902-67) titled The Negro Speaks of Rivers, the last line of which is "My soul has grown deep like the rivers."