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A graphic from a 2015 report conducted by AAMD, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the American Alliance of Museums, which shows that 84 percent of leadership roles at the AAMD member museums who participated in the survey are white.

Association of Art Museum Directors Aims to Diversify Museum Field with New Internship Program

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has announced the launch of a pilot internship program that will engage undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds in order to nurture their career opportunities in the museum industry.

The program will invite up to ten students for the pilot year and will provide them with twelve-week-long paid internships at different AAMD member museums located near the students’ homes or universities. Interns will be paired with a mentor, who will direct their activities and provide overall counsel on their professional development. Applications to be a host institution for the program will open this summer, with internships beginning in spring 2019.

“This is an important step in addressing the demographic disparity of those leading American art museums,” said Christine Anagnos, the AAMD’s executive director. “Research has consistently shown that fewer than 20 percent of art museum leadership positions are held by people of Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, or multiracial backgrounds. 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 is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as by participating AAMD member museums. Students will receive a stipend of $6,300 for each twelve-week internship.

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