The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) offers a networking and training opportunities for senior arts museum curators beginning in January of each year. Founded in 2007, CCL has organized eight fellowship classes to date, training 84 curators who serve museums across the world. CCL is located in New York City and runs programs locally and in other cities, drawing upon the diverse resources of museums and academic institutions across the United States.
CCL accepts applications from full-time curators working in art museums in the United States and abroad. Each year CCL selects 10 to 12 fellows representing a wide range of geographic, institutional, and art-historical backgrounds. The CCL model encompasses mentorships with innovators and museum directors, rigorous coursework in strategic management provided by Columbia Business School, and professional networks for support and growth. The program extends from January to May and includes a two-week intensive program in January in New York, a five-day residency with a museum director, and a final training week in May.
Mentoring is a key element of the program and extends the learning outside of the classroom. In addition to providing fellows with mentors of their own, CCL charges its fellows to mentor young people from communities that are underrepresented within the current ranks of the curatorial profession.
CCL looks for inspired individuals with an established record of:
Curatorial achievement: Successful candidates are distinguished within their fields of expertise but are interested in developing new skill sets that would enable them to become valuable partners in institutional decision-making.
Leadership experience: CCL accepts applicants who look beyond their curatorial responsibilities. Having managed teams, mentored emerging professionals, and partnered with colleagues both within their museums and across the profession, candidates seek to better understand and contribute to the larger goals of their organizations and the field at large.
Creative and entrepreneurial thinking: CCL curators are innovative problem solvers and forward-looking agents of change. In the program, they learn skills to help them implement creative approaches to institutional change, problem solving, and strategic thinking.
CCL applications and recommendations are submitted online. For more information about the program and full application guidelines, visit CCL’s website. The application requires three short essays, a biography, resume, and two professional recommendations. One recommendation should come from the applicant’s museum director or, if that is not possible, the most senior person you report to at your institution. The second recommendation should come from a professional colleague from outside your museum. This can be a trustee, a peer in the field, a former supervisor, etc.
Tuition and costs
The tuition is 2,500 USD per fellow to cover a portion of the program expenses. Tuition assistance will be available to all accepted candidates on an as-need basis; it is strongly encouraged, however, that museums support the professional development of their curators and underwrite the tuition fee. Please visit CCL’s website for more information.