Supported by a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, five American museums have announced the launch of an undergraduate fellowship program to provide specialized training to curators from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds.
Through the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City will work to develop gifted curators committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences.
To that end, twenty undergraduate fellows will be selected following intensive weeklong summer programs in both 2014 and 2015 and will receive a stipend to participate in a multiyear program that provides hands-on experience inside a museum setting, including working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. The grant also will fund a national fellowship coordinator based at LACMA who works with regional coordinators to implement the program.
The program is open to college freshmen and sophomores who represent groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field and/or who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums.
"We are honored and excited to participate in this important initiative and to help foster future leaders and diversity in the curatorial field," said Michael E. Shapiro, director of the High Museum of Art. "This program offers the very special opportunity for undergraduate students to gain a true understanding of how museums work and for art institutions to become more inclusive and representative of the communities they serve."