Spelman College in Atlanta has announced a five-year, $5.4 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to establish the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies.
In conjunction with grants for scholarships at Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, the grant from the foundation will be used to establish an art history major and curatorial studies minor at the Atlanta University Center, with the goal of creating an educational pipeline into art museum leadership that is more representative of the nation's increasing diversity. The grant also will support activities aimed at encouraging art history majors to minor in fields such as business and technology; paid internships at major museums, archives, and other cultural institutions; the hiring of a distinguished visiting professor/director and a visiting associate professor of art history and curator-in-residence; a 2019 lecture series featuring at least three guest lecturers; an intensive summer program for high school students; and guest faculty members in art history.
"The Atlanta University Center has a rich history of excellence in the arts. Atlanta University was the home to the first art department at a historically black college and university and their art annuals event was one of the most prestigious exhibitions for black artists," said Spelman president Mary Schmidt Campbell. "The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and Clark Atlanta University Art Museum are national treasures. The Walton Family Foundation grant builds on this history. We applaud the foundation's commitment to closing the diversity gap to ensure that leadership at the nation's cultural institutions begins to reflect the shifting demographic profile of the communities they serve."