A new paid internship program aims to make US museums more diverse.
The Association of Art Museum Directors is launching a paid summer internship program geared at offering undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds opportunities to work in the museum field. Starting in 2019, the program will select 10 students who will each be given a 12-week-long internship at an AAMD member museum in their hometown or the city where they are attending university. Each internship will come with a $6,300 stipend, and every student will be paired with a mentor in their host museum’s senior leadership. The initiative seeks to foster a more diverse workforce in U.S. art museums, where—as studies have found—staff remain disproportionately white.
“Research has consistently shown that fewer than 20% of art museum leadership positions are held by people of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, or multiracial backgrounds,” Christine Anagnos, the AAMD’s executive director, said in a statement. “One reason for this disparity is the limitations on access, and another is a limitation on resources. By providing paid summer internships to students who want to explore a career in art museums, we can begin to address these challenges and cultivate the next generation of art museum professionals.”
The initiative, which was made possible in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will be open to undergraduate students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years. In the meantime, AAMD is taking applications from member institutions interested in participating; the deadline to apply is September 13.