The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship ProgramThe Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program provides specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States from diverse backgrounds. The program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staff and developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences. In July 2015, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation published a report, Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey, which addresses the pilot phase of this program in more detail. The program is being implemented at six partnering institutions. Each museum holds a world-class, encyclopedic collection that represents the broad range of artistic production across history and around the globe.
- Art Institute of Chicago
- High Museum of Art, Atlanta
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
The program is intended specifically for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field. Applicants should express an interest in art, art history, or the museum field. In addition to having a strong academic record, applicants should be able to demonstrate, through areas of study, extracurricular activities, background, or other experiences, how they will contribute to the program. Who is eligible to apply?
- Individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field
- Undergraduates currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college
- Undergraduates who, if selected as a fellow, can commit to two years in the program prior to graduating (typically a current freshman or sophomore student)
- Individuals who are eligible to work in the United States
- Demonstrated interest in art, art history, or the museum field
- Enrollment at a university, college, or community college located near a partner museum
- Openness to the idea of pursuing a masters or doctorate degree in the arts or museum field
Students must first apply to a Summer Academy. Please complete the following application materials by January 31, 2018:
Application Form Please include your personal statement, résumé, and transcripts when you submit your application. Application materials should be submitted as PDFs. Personal Statement Please limit the personal statement to no more than 700 words and be sure to address the following:
- What interests you about the Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program? The program, which is supported by the Mellon Foundation, aims to expand the diversity of curatorial ranks in American art museums. Do you think this is important? Please explain.
- Describe why you consider yourself to be a student representing diversity in terms of culture, background, or experience, and why you feel committed to representing diverse perspectives. How do questions of diversity shape your academic interests?
- Drawing on your extracurricular activities, areas of study, background, or other experiences, explain how you can contribute to the Mellon Foundation’s initiative.
- Provide an example of an experience where you were able to offer a diverse perspective to a project, discussion, or dialogue, and explain the impact you had.
What is the Summer Academy? Summer Academies are one-week immersion programs designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose the participants to career options related to art and art history. Each Summer Academy includes workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum professionals. How long is the Summer Academy? Summer Academy participants spend one week at their host museum. When will the 2018 Summer Academy take place? The PMA’s 2018 Summer Academy will be held during the week of June 17-24. Is there financial support to participate? Yes. Summer Academy participants receive a modest per diem for the week. If students do not live in the host museum area, a modest travel stipend may be provided. Housing arrangements are also made for participants. How many students will be selected? Fifteen. When will students be notified if they have been selected to participate? Students will be notified in April for the PMA’s 2018 Summer Academy. Notification dates may vary at partner museums. Should students attend a college close to one of the partner museums? Yes, this is preferred. Participants in the Summer Academy who are selected for the Fellowship Program will be paired with a curatorial mentor at the host museum with whom they will work on projects and meet regularly during the academic year and summer.
The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program
What is the Fellowship Program? The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program is a multiyear program providing fellows with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. How long is the Fellowship Program? Fellows can expect to spend two years at their host museum. During the academic year, fellows must meet with their mentors and with a local program coordinator on a regular basis. In the summer, fellows will have ten-week, full-time fellowships. Fellows will also participate in a yearly national convening at one of the partner museums rotating annually and will engage their counterparts across the country in an online community platform. Is there financial support to participate? Yes. Once selected as a fellow, students will receive a yearly stipend of $10,000. A housing and travel stipend may also be provided to fellows during the summer. How are fellows selected? Students must first participate in the Summer Academy. After completing the Summer Academy, participants interested in becoming fellows will submit supplemental materials and have an interview for consideration for the Fellowship Program. How many students will be selected to be fellows? Two fellows will be selected following each Summer Academy. Do I apply to the Summer Academy and to the Fellowship Program separately? No. Students must first apply and participate in the Summer Academy in order to be considered for the Fellowship Program. If I applied to a Summer Academy and was not selected to participate, can I reapply when there is a future Summer Academy? Yes, you may reapply to the program if you still meet all the eligibility requirements. If I applied to a Summer Academy and participated but was not selected to be a fellow, can I apply to a future Summer Academy? No. Students who participate in a Summer Academy may not reapply to the program, but they may be considered for different opportunities at the partnering museums in the future.
Applications for the 2018 Summer Academy are due by Wednesday, January 31, 2018. This initiative is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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