Graduate Research Assistant, Paid Internship

Arts Business Collaborative Rising Tides Research Institute
Due March 19, 2021

COVID-19 and the Creative Economy Project Summary

The goal of this project is to identify the conditions that POC artists and arts nonprofits face as a result of structural racism and systemic barriers to accessing support, capital, and education across all aspects of society. We do this by functioning under the foundational understanding that:

1. Artists of color and nonprofits run by leaders of color face systemic barriers to raising capital via both for-profit and philanthropic avenues;1

2. COVID-19 has negatively impacted Black and Latinx communities at disproportionate levels compared to white communities;2 and

3. The arts and arts education often occupy a precarious or marginalized space in American society.

ABC and the Rising Tides Research Institute (RTRI) will conduct a two phase impact study on the economic survival of POC-led arts nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and artists during and after COVID-19, through the investigation of three areas:

  1. Access to emergency aid during COVID-19.

  2. Socio-political and economic conditions faced prior to and during COVID that impacted stability and growth.

  3. Key strategies for funding and crisis management.

About Us RTRI is an action-oriented institute that conducts external research using transdisciplinary methods to address the enduring systems of inequalities that have impacted POC, Black people in particular, with a focus on key stakeholders in the arts: artists, business owners, and nonprofit organizations. The work of the institute aims to address best practices in nonprofit and arts program execution, sociocultural and socioeconomic issues impacting POC artists and nonprofits, and larger frameworks of public policy. RTRI strategically uses research to support the development of relevant, partner-facing programming capable of adapting to change and providing data which is meaningful and accessible to the communities with which ABC and RTRI partner.

Impact (Vision)

RTRI’s departmental vision for impact involves contributing to progressive and radical public policies and methods for advocacy by Furthermore, RTRI envisions its research as an avenue through which to address issues of capital access and facilitate the improvement of economic conditions of POC artists and arts businesses.


RTRI operates tactically and strategically from the values of integrity and innovation. This means that our systems and processes aim for a highly integrated and designed via a racial equity framework. The goal of these values is to foster structural and ethical soundness. Accordingly, RTRI promotes a working environment that supports and values respect and accountability. We enact these values when engaging with each other, the larger ABC team, community members who are the main subjects of research, the public, partners, and potential funders.

Graduate Research Intern/Community Administrator

This position is ideal for a graduate level student with interest in action-based research, community organizing, and interdisciplinary research that intersects with the arts. As a junior research associate role this position involves a significant amount of community organizing, partner outreach and administrative organization. Candidate will work directly with research participants, manage project scheduling, recruitment of subjects, data management, participant communications and other logistical needs. Mentorship of the Intern will be directly supervised by the Director of Research and Strategy, but the intern will work closely with all members of the research team. Furthermore, two paid hours per month will be dedicated to mentorship sessions with the Director and Associate Director.


  • Develop community outreach strategies for specific research projects and execute under the direction of Lead Researcher
  • Outreach to and vetting of research subjects and partners

  • Recruiting research subjects

  • Managing logistical needs for connectivity, virtual meetings and in-person meetings with the assistance of the administrative assistant

  • Post-project follow up communications and relationship maintenance

  • Developing and executing dissemination plans for official research documents.

  • Collaborate with Director of Research and Strategy to cultivating relationships with educational and cultural institutions to maximize our research impact and outreach

  • Collaborate with the Associate Director and Director of Research and Strategy to inform protocols for RTRI strategies and policies as related to radical pedagogical practices in arts education and cultural strategy.

  • Engage in other duties as determined by the specific projects that Rising Tides Research Institute engages.


Enrolled in a graduate program in the humanities, social sciences, arts administration or closely related field. Must have impeccable discretion, organization and communication skills. While the institute is highly collaborative, because of remote working conditions, the person must demonstrate the ability to work independently as deadlines are high-priority.

Pay Structure

Rate: $30/hour Total hours: 10 hours per week

This position is a contracted, paid internship position and does not include health benefits. Interns will be evaluated at 6 weeks and 3 months with the option to extend based on performance. The pay scale and total number of hours for this role are tied to and thus contingent upon the grant for the specific project. Coordination with graduate schools to maximize opportunity for earned credit should occur. This candidate must be as committed as a standard employee and prioritize completion of all tasks in a timely manner. All candidates must be enrolled in a CUNY graduate program.

How to Apply