Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program at the Art Institute of Chicago

Submitted by fmings on Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:18am

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Summer Academy and Curatorial Fellowship Program is an initiative that aims to make a critical impact on arts leadership across the nation. The Summer Academy is a one-week (June 17-24, 2018) intensive program exposing undergraduate students to museum professions through workshops, behind-the-scenes art museum tours, field trips and networking events with art collectors, curators and museum staff. After completing the Summer Academy, participants will submit supplemental materials to be considered for a fellowship.

The Curatorial Fellowship is for undergraduate students that can commit two-years in the program prior to graduating. Fellows gain hands-on experience working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs.  In addition, fellows are provided a stipend, assigned museum mentors during the their academic year and receive museum internships for two consecutive summers.

Please note our new extended application deadline: Midnight, February 25, 2018

Skills & Qualifications: 


  • Undergraduates currently enrolled at a university, college or community college
  • Undergraduates who, if selected as a fellow, can commit to two years in the program with graduation planned for May 2020 or a later date (typically a current freshman or sophomore and/ or a nontraditional student with two years of undergraduate study remaining)
  • Individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field or those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. For more information please view the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 2015 “Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey.”
  • Individuals who are eligible to work in the United States


  • Demonstrated interest in art, art history or the museum field
  • Enrollment at a university, college or community college located near the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Openness to the idea of pursuing a masters or doctorate degree in the arts or a museum field
To Apply: 

Application Instructions

Apply on the Art Institute's employment page ( Scroll until you see the posting "Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program." Applications should include the following:


Applicants must have one confidential letter of recommendation. A letter of recommendation can be submitted by faculty at your college or university or by current or past employers who are familiar with your skills and abilities.

The letter of recommendation must be submitted via email to by the application deadline. The recommendation must come directly from the recommender’s institutional e-mail, it should be a word document or pdf file, and the email subject line should state “APPLICANT NAME. MELLON PROGRAM.


Please upload a single word document or pdf file that contains all three of the components listed below. 


Please limit the personal statement to no more than 700 words (two typed pages, double-spaced). The personal statement should address the following questions/ topics: 

  • What interests you about the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program? 
  • Explain, drawing on your extracurricular activities, areas of study, culture, background or other experiences, how you can contribute to the Mellon Foundation’s initiative to expand diversity of curatorial leadership in American art museums.
  • Provide an example of an experience where you were able to offer a diverse perspective to a project, discussion or dialogue and explain the impact you had.



 Please include:

  • Contact Information (Phone number, email, current mailing address and permanent address)
  • Current Major
  • Cumulative GPA. If your school does not follow a GPA system please indicate “GPA not available, pass/ fail system.”
  • Expected graduation date
  • Relevant employment and volunteer experiences
  • Computer and language skills
  • Name and contact information (phone and email) of the person that is submitting your letter of recommendation.



Please provide unofficial transcripts for your entire undergraduate career, including the college or university you currently attend and any you may have previously attended.

Contact Information
Contact Name: 
Felicia Mings
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone Number: