Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship
Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship
The Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship (MUCF) programs provide specialized training for students across the United States from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field and those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. These programs seek to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences. In July 2015, the Mellon Foundation published the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey report to address the need for and goals of these programs in more detail.
Each year, the High Museum hosts a one-week paid Summer Academy for undergraduate students across the Atlanta metro region interested in learning more about the curatorial field. The Curatorial Fellowship is an intensive two-year paid program open to eligible students who have participated in the Summer Academy. The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program is implemented at six partner institutions: The Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
These opportunities are generously sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Questions? Please contact:
Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowship Program Coordinator
High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309
Mellon Summer Academy
The High Museum of Art welcomes applications for the Summer Academy from undergraduates interested in exploring the museum field. The week-long Summer Academy provides fifteen students with a special opportunity to learn about art museums and curatorial practices.
During the Academy, students will:
- Learn about how a museum works behind the scenes
- Learn what it means to be a curator through activities and conversations with High Museum curators and other curators in the Atlanta area
- Visit local art museums, artists’ studios, private collections, and galleries
- Learn about art museum audiences
- Participate in team exhibition workshops with the High’s exhibition design, curatorial, and interpretation staff
- Research and present on a favorite collection object
- Meet other students from across the region who share an interest in museums
A stipend and housing are provided for the week. Candidates must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the time of the Academy to be eligible to apply. The Academy will run from Sunday, June 2, through Saturday, June 8, 2019. Full participation for the week is required.
Eligible students who complete the Summer Academy may apply for a Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship.
The application deadline for the 2019 Mellon Summer Academy is Monday, February 4, 2019.
Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship
The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship (MUCF) is a two-year paid program that offers specialized training and mentoring in the curatorial profession for students from communities that are historically underrepresented in the museum field. Fellows will participate with the goal of entering a graduate program after earning an undergraduate degree.
The Fellowship provides students with hands-on experience in a museum setting working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Each Fellow is matched with a curatorial mentor who will work to enrich the academic experience and increase exposure to the museum context while broadening the Fellow’s understanding of art and art history. The Fellowship includes involvement during the academic year followed by a full-time summer internship in a curatorial department.
The High Museum is one of the six MUCF partner institutions: The Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Fellows from all programs participate in a three-day annual convening of the nationwide cohort, hosted each summer at one of the participating sites.
The Fellowship provides a generous annual stipend in addition to funds to support travel and graduate school preparation.
Each participating institution accepts two Fellows annually. Eligible candidates will have successfully completed the Mellon Summer Academy and can commit to two consecutive years in the Fellowship program while enrolled in an undergraduate program at a regional university, college, or community college. The program is intended specifically for undergraduate students representing ethnically diverse cultures and backgrounds. Applications for the Fellowship are distributed to interested and eligible Summer Academy participants at the conclusion of the Summer Academy.
Quick Facts about the Programs:
- Established in 2013, the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staffs.
- The program, which provides specialized training in the curatorial field across the United States, is currently implemented at six partner institutions: The Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- The program is organized around two components: The Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.
Who is eligible for the Summer Academy?
The Summer Academy program is open to students from ethnically diverse cultures and backgrounds and also to those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums.
Who is eligible for the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship?
The Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program is open to candidates who:
- Represent ethnically diverse cultures and backgrounds and have successfully completed the Summer Academy
- Are able to commit to completing the full two-year program
- Have strong academic standing and intend to pursue a graduate degree
Preference is given to candidates attending a school in or near the Atlanta metro region.
What else should I know about eligibility?
Candidates for both programs must be:
- Enrolled in an undergraduate program at an university, college, or community college during the course of the program
- Eligible to work in the United States
Do I have to be an art history major or have museum experience to apply?
No. These opportunities are open to any interested student who meets the above eligibility standards.
What is the Summer Academy?
The Summer Academy is an intensive one-week paid program consisting of workshops, tours, field trips, and hands-on activities with museum professionals. Summer Academies are designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose participants to career options related to art and art history.
How long is the Summer Academy?
Summer Academy participants spend one week at the host museum.
Is financial support provided?
Yes. Summer Academy participants will receive a daily per diem, and group housing is provided.
How many students can participate in the Summer Academy?
Fifteen students are selected for the Summer Academy at each partner museum.
Do I need to attend a college close to one of the partner museums to participate?
Yes, this is preferred. Fellows selected from the Summer Academies for the Fellowship program will be paired with mentors at the host museum with whom they will work on projects and meet regularly during the academic year and summer.
What do I need in order to apply?
Candidates must submit a personal statement, a current unofficial transcript, a résumé, and one letter of recommendation, preferably from a recommender who can speak to your academic strengths. Applications for the Summer Academy will be available soon.
How do I submit my letter of recommendation?
Letters of recommendation must be emailed by the recommender to email@example.com. Recommendations must be submitted directly from the recommenders and will not be accepted otherwise.
When will I find out if I have been accepted into the Summer Academy?
Applicants will be informed within six weeks following the application deadline.
MELLON UNDERGRADUATE CURATORIAL FELLOWSHIP (MUCF)
What is the Mellon Curatorial Fellowship Program?
The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship is a two-year paid program providing hands-on experience in a museum setting for students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the curatorial field. The program seeks to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences. In July 2015, the Mellon Foundation published the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey report to address the need for this program in more detail.
How long is the Fellowship Program?
Fellows spend two years at the host museum working with a curatorial mentor and museum staff. During the academic year, fellows meet with their mentors and with a local program coordinator on a regular basis. In the summer, fellows participate in more intensive 10-week, full-time appointments.
What else can I expect from the Fellowship?
The Fellowship involves some travel, such as to the yearly national convening hosted each year by one of the six partner museums. Fellows will have the opportunity to develop a national cohort of peers who are also exploring potential careers in curatorial work and are encouraged to build professional networks with museum staff across the partner museums. Fellows also participate in local programs and make regional contacts, connect with leaders at institutions across the region, and participate in a range of activities designed for the Fellowship cohort. Funds are also provided for graduate school preparation in addition to a modest travel stipend.
Is financial support provided?
Yes. Fellows receive a stipend of $4,000 during the academic school year to alleviate financial pressures that might otherwise require a student to pursue part-time work or work/study arrangements. In addition, each fellow receives $6,000 plus a housing stipend during the summer internship.
How are fellows selected?
Students must first participate in a Summer Academy. After completing the Summer Academy, participants will submit supplemental materials and have in-person interviews to be considered for the Fellowship program.
How many students will be selected to be fellows?
Two students will be selected as Curatorial Fellows.
Should I apply to the Summer Academy and to the Fellowship program separately?
Yes. Students must participate in the Summer Academy in order to be considered for the Curatorial Fellowship program. Following the Summer Academy, eligible students will have access to a separate application for the Curatorial Fellowship.
If I applied to a Summer Academy and was not selected to participate, may I re-apply the following year?
Yes, you may reapply to the program if you still meet all eligibility requirements.
Must I be an undergraduate student to participate in the program?
Yes. The program is intended for students seeking career direction before graduating from a college or university.
Why must I consider attending graduate school to be eligible for this program?
Graduate-level work is required to advance in the curatorial field.