The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) announced the selection of the 10 member art museums that will host interns as part of the Association’s regular paid internship program. Those 10 museums are:
Focused on college students from underrepresented backgrounds, each institution will host an intern for 12 weeks with a program that provides a focal point for those interns’ work and career development in different museum departments. In addition to providing valuable work experience, the interns are supported by mentorship opportunities. This year’s participating museums includes the second Canadian institution in the program, along with three museums—the Mississippi Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, and Speed Art Museum—that have hosted an intern previously. An 11th museum, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, will also host an intern this year after deferring from 2022.
“We are excited to welcome the class of 2023 internship hosts and grateful to these member museums for embracing opportunities to support students,” said Christine Anagnos, AAMD’s Executive Director. “Persistent financial limitations remain a barrier to accessing career-building summer work experiences, especially for students from Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, or multiracial backgrounds. Our paid internship program, which covers much of the costs the museums would otherwise need to bear on their own, is a benefit we can offer to our members while also investing in the future of the museum field.”
“We are excited to participate in AAMD’s program, which is an important opportunity for BIPOC college students in our community,” said Linda C. Harrison, Director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “I know from my colleagues how successful this program can be and the positive impact it can have on both the student and the host museum, and we are looking forward to receiving applications.”
About AAMD’s Paid Internship Program
Each year, 10 member art museums are paired with interns in their home or university town. Each intern will be assigned to work on at least one defined project, in order to ensure that they will be able to see the culmination of their work at the end of the summer. The program is designed to engage college students from underrepresented backgrounds, to encourage and nurture their career opportunities in the art museum field—while providing the financial support necessary to make participation in an internship possible.
Launched in 2018, AAMD’s paid internships are only available to undergraduate students in their sophomore, junior, or senior years, to provide opportunity for students who have begun to solidify their academic interests and potential career path. Interns receive a stipend of $6,720 over 12 weeks, equivalent to an hourly wage of $16 for a 35 hour work week. Each intern is also paired with a mentor—a member of the host museum’s senior leadership team—who is responsible for directing their activities and providing overall counsel on their professional development. Because mentors can be so crucial to the development of a person’s career, this approach encourages the kind of long-term relationship-building that is often essential to an individual’s success in the field. During the term of their internship, mentors ensure that there are opportunities for conversation, feedback, direction, and questions.
Financial and logistical support for this program is provided by AAMD and by the participating member museums. This is only one of a number of steps AAMD has taken to increase equity and diversity in the field, where research has consistently shown that fewer than 20% of leadership positions are held by people of color. In 2019, the Association issued a resolution calling on museums to offer a stipend with all internships, recognizing that the limited financial resources often available to students from diverse backgrounds also becomes a limitation on access to career development opportunities. Recognizing that it is also difficult to address problems that are not properly evaluated, AAMD has also been an active partner with the Mellon Foundation, Ithaka S+R, and other organizations on a series of research projects exploring elements of museum staff, leadership, and trustee diversity and participation. This includes, most recently, the Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey 2022.
The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at www.aamd.org.