Posted on November 1, 2018

US Museums Are Too White, and This Paid Internship Programme Hopes to Change That

Gabriella Angeleti, Art Newspaper, October 31, 2018

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has announced the ten US museums that will participate in its paid internship programme, which was announced earlier this summer and aims to give minority undergraduate students an opportunity to work in the arts. The project hopes to “proactively address the demographic disparity in our industry by recognising that access to funds is sometimes the biggest hurdle for many people”, says Madeleine Grynsztejn, the president of the association.


The project was conceived in response to a study published in 2015 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums that revealed minorities made up 28% of staff in US museums. Yet it also found that non-Hispanic white staff members held 84% of the more prestigious positions like curators, conservators and educators. {snip}

In its pilot year, the students will each be offered a 12-week placement with a stipend of $6,300 and will be partnered with mentors who will guide them through specific projects ranging from helping to prepare educational programmes to assisting curators with proposals for exhibitions that draw on works from the museum’s permanent collection.


The project is being funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, with support from the AAMD and its member museums.

[Editor’s Note: The ten participating museums are named in the original article.]