The lights dimmed, the amps fuzzed to life, and the Brighton Music Hall crowd of nearly 200 cheered as Boston-based singer-songwriter Padma struck her first chord.
In the back of the house, a group of eight also cheered—not just for the music they were about to hear, but for the pride they felt as the orchestrators of a successful event.
They weren’t seasoned event producers, however; this was a group of 18- to 20-year-old students putting on their very first show—a culmination of seven weeks of in-venue job shadowing, panels with industry professionals, and career development workshops, all part of Music Forward’s live music internships. Launching first in Boston in 2022, in collaboration with Citizens, and in New York in 2023, in collaboration with Northwell, the intensive summer internships are designed to inspire and empower young people with the knowledge, skills, and resources to explore and pursue careers in the music industry.
Participating interns have a unique opportunity to try out a bit of everything that goes into live entertainment, from shadowing box office and security to guest services and food/beverage at iconic venues across the Northeast. Additionally, interns partake in workshops designed to enhance their professional development, with topics including resume writing, networking, and even mental health.
“I felt like I was always doing something towards expanding my skills and ways of learning,” says New York intern Iliana.
But the most exciting component may well be the final showcase: interns apply all they learn throughout the program to curate, market, and present a concert of their own. Three nights after the Boston interns celebrated at Brighton Music Hall, the 12 New York interns shared a similar sense of accomplishment as they oversaw a sold-out show at Jones Beach Theater.
“Getting a group of people I never met before together to make something amazing was the best,” reminisces intern Angel. “I would never give up the knowledge, experience and people I met through it…and I made friends forever.”
Beyond exploring different career paths and forming lifelong friendships, summer internships allow young people to grow in ways they never imagined.
“My biggest takeaway was actually something personal,” reflects intern Victor. “I grew as a person and team player.”
“I’ve grown as a person,” adds intern Daniel J. “I’m confident in entering the workforce because of this opportunity!”
Thank you to our partners at Citizens & Northwell and all of the fabulous venues that opened their doors to our interns in Boston and Jones Beach that made these programs possible.
Both programs will return 2024. Learn more here.