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Established in 2013, the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staff. The program, which will provide specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States, will be implemented at five partnering institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. Each museum holds a world-class, encyclopedic collection that represents the broad range of artistic production across history and around the globe. The program is organized around two components: the Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.

The program is intended specifically for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. Students must be currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college, and, if selected, be able to commit to at least two years in the program prior to graduating. Applicants should express an interest in art, art history, or the museum field. In addition to having a strong academic record, a candidate should be able to demonstrate, through areas of study, extracurricular activities, background or other experiences, how he or she will contribute to the program.

Students must first apply to a Summer Academy, to be held in 2014, 2015, and 2016 at each of the five partner museums. Summer Academies are one-week immersion programs designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose the 15 participants to career options related to art and art history. Each Summer Academy will include workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum professionals. Upon the completion of each Summer Academy, two participants will be selected as fellows.

Fellows will participate in the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program throughout their undergraduate career with the goal of entry into a graduate program. The multiyear fellowships will provide students with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Fellows will be matched with a museum mentor who will work to enrich the academic experience and to increase exposure to the museum context while broadening a fellow’s understanding of art and art history. Fellowships include engagement during the academic school year followed by summer internships at a partner museum.

High Museum of Art, Atlanta

Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH)

Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA)