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2018 Ford / Walton Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative: Home Grown Curatorial Fellowsh

Through a generous three year grant awarded by the Ford and Walton Family Foundations the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) and the DuSable Museum for African AmericanHistory (DuSable), two museums that have successfully trained and provided sustained employment for curators and arts administrators, will implement its inaugural Home Grown
Curatorial Fellowship program for graduate students of color or whom identify as ALAANA (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, Native American). Fellowships will provide candidates with an opportunity to learn, engage, and be mentored by curatorial and museum professionals who are
leaders in first voice organizations.

Annually, over the next three years, NMMA and the DuSable will each host one fellow assigned to one of the two Museums. Fellows will form a cohort which will meet annually to share experiences and support each others professional advancement, growth and development.

In parallel with this work, NMMA and the DuSable staff and fellows will work to build a pipeline of high school students to arts administration through workshops designed to expose juniors and seniors to related professions. Museum staff will develop a series of workshops for Chicago Public High School students interested in museum studies, targeting schools with a high percentage of students of color. Workshops will consist of sessions that provide students with exposure to the studies of art and archival collections, conservation and preservation, curation, museum administration and programming, and insight into the realities of the field.

The Home Grown Fellows will serve as ambassadors and mentors to the high school students participating in program workshops. Students will engage with the fellows and learn from NMMA and the DuSable staff, as well as local artists, teaching artists, career counselors, art collectors,
and conservators. The workshops will expose students to a career track that statistics show is one typically not pursued by people of color.
The purpose of the 2018 Home Grown: Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative Fellowship Program is to:

1. Provide a meaningful, practical, valuable and real-world graduate or post-graduate training experience that incorporates an intensive training program at world-class museums, including professional development, presentation and workshop opportunities, and interaction with other African American, Latino and other first-voice / people of color museums and collections around the country.

2. Encourage the inclusion of museum professionals of color, recent MLIS graduates, and prospective graduates in the field of museum administration, curatorial studies and archives management.

3. Encourage professional workplace and creative organizational skills practice.

4. Encourage the fellows to engage in outreach activities in the community.

5. Build and support a network of people committed to the same goal of increasing diversity in the profession.

6. Increase skills to preserve and provide access to African American and Mexican American artifacts, archival collections, works of art and material culture.

7. Demonstrate increased knowledge of the nations African American and Mexican American artifacts, archival collections, works of art and material culture.

8. Demonstrate increased knowledge of Mexican American and African American history
and culture broadly and as it relates to special collections of African American and
Mexican American artifacts, archival collections, works of art and material culture.

9. Reported increase in marketability and employability as museum professionals.

Program Information
The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) in collaboration with the DuSable Museum of African American History (DuSable) will offer fellowship opportunities for graduate or post-graduate students of color through the Home Grown: Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative Fellowship Program

The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) and the DuSable Museum of African American History (DuSable) seeks two enthusiastic and capable graduate or post-graduate students to gain intensive training and mentorship in the field of curatorial and archiving studies by working
alongside Visual Arts and Permanent Collections curators at NMMA and Archivist / Special Collections Librarians at DuSable. Each institution will host one fellow per year, over a 12 month period. Qualified applicants will be invited to indicate their preference for fellowship assignment.

The Home Grown Fellows will participate in their respective institutions special projects, including external workshops and artistic programs that advance the missions of the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) and DuSable Museum of African American History (DuSable), promote and support creative leadership and support the joint mission to build a foundation for students of color to gain access to leadership positions in all museums. Fellows may have the opportunity to study, research and examine collections, organize thematic exhibitions related to
African American and Mexican history, culture or particular genres and assist in the preparation, documentation and organization of past, present and future exhibitions.

Each Home Grown Fellow will have the opportunity to select a mentor, who may be different from their supervisor. Fellows will also undertake an independent capstone project in consultation with their supervising curator, archivist librarian and institution mentor.

Each fellow will have the opportunity to interact with one another, NMMA and DuSable through exhibition openings, staff/departmental meetings, networking events, workshops and internal discussions that build relationships and foster a community of intellectual scholarly engagement.

Each fellow will receive an annual salary of $38,000, plus fringe benefits and an allocated fellowship research allowance to be used solely for travel related to fellowship assignments,conferences and museum visits arranged after acceptance into fellowship program.

Fellows should be prepared to relocate to the Chicago area at the time of Fellowship, without additional financial compensation, and are required to live in the Chicago area for the tenure of the Fellowship. Fellowship Period
Fellowships are 12 months in length, May 2018 through May 2019. All fellowships must take place and capstone project completed within this 12 month period.

Fellowship Eligibility
All applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for a Home Grown Fellowship, in addition to NMMA and DuSable institutional requirements.

1. Be currently enrolled in the last year of graduate school and/or hold a recent (earned in the last 2-3 years) graduate degree in library science (MLS, MLIS, MIS, MS), art history or museum studies from an ALA accredited school

2. Successful candidates must be able to provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

3. Have a demonstrated interest in museum and exhibition administration and/or archives administration and management, museum studies, art history, anthropology, Latin American and/or African American studies, or archaeology.

4. Located within a 400 mile radius of Chicago, IL

The deadline for all application materials, including letters of recommendation, is February 19, 2018, by 11:59 pm CST. Fellowship decisions will be announced by April 2, 2018.

All applicants applying for the Home Grown Fellowship at National Museum of Mexican Art must submit the following:

1. Cover letter stating their interest in the fellowship. Applicants must indicate their choice of host institution.

2. Full curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, honors, awards and publications.

3. Official copy of graduate transcript, with graduation date or anticipated date of graduation and copy of classes currently enrolled in if applicable.

4. A statement, not to exceed 1,500 characters, specifying your areas of research/interests. If candidates are applying to National Museum of Mexican Art as host institution, please include the following in your statement:

a. Your relationship to NMMA, Mexican Art or culture
b. Relevant experience related to your curatorial and/or archival proposed project
c. The importance of this fellowship to their future career and what they hope to learn from the experience.

If candidates are applying to DuSable as host institution, please include the
following in your statement:
a. their interest in African American history and archival collections
b. what they can contribute to the host repositories
c. their experience with electronic media and social networking tools
d. their view on the importance of increasing diversity in the archival profession
e. what they hope to learn from the experience
f. the importance of this fellowship to their future career

5. Contact information for three people who will provide recommendation letters (at least one academic and one professional), none of whom are current NMMA or DuSable employees. Once you have submitted your recommenders names, titles and email addresses, they will receive emailed instructions for uploading their recommendation letters online.

To be considered for the Home Grown Fellowship, all candidates must complete the application and follow all application procedures. The 2018/2019 Home Grown Application can be found

If you are interested and unable to apply for the 2018/2019 Home Grown Fellowship or for more information about the application process and general requirements , please contact us at

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