The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation Engagement Programme for International Curators (EPIC) fosters exchange and partnership between UK-based curators (Awardees) and US-based curators (Liaisons). The programme offers curators a rare and valuable platform for cross-cultural networking and exchange. By engaging with their counterparts, participants build and/or strengthen international relationships, lead multi-national conversations, and advance their professional skills. Partnerships are not project-based, but instead specifically focus on the reciprocity of information, experiences, and insights to help curators gain new perspectives, approach challenges with fresh ideas, and encourage global thinking. You can find out more about the programme here.
In 2022 Art Fund and AAMC are inviting two UK-based and two US-based curators to take part in the 2022 programme, which has been developed with an aim to enable UK curators to engage meaningfully and with authority on the international stage, developing their own experience and learning while also raising the profile of their institutions and collections abroad. Through this programme we hope new relationships will be brokered between institutions in the UK and internationally, stimulating collaboration on all areas of activity from research, to loans and public programmes.
Taking place throughout 2022, this fully funded programme includes funding to travel and attend the AAMC Art Curators Conference in New York in April/May 2022; support for two in-person visits – one in-person visit by the U.K. Awardee at the U.S. Liaison’s institution, and another in-person visit by the U.S. Liaison to the U.K. Awardee’s institution; receive an invitation to the AAMC Foundation’s Program Alumni Reception; to enjoy a 2-year AAMC membership allowing access to AAMC’s suite of curatorial development opportunities; and to receive complimentary Art Fund membership for two years.
International Awardees and US Liaisons will work together to programme a webinar that would be presented to the full AAMC membership, developing the themes and content collaboratively.
This year’s conference will take place 30 April – 3 May 2022 in New York. Following two years of entirely virtual Art Curators conferences this will be the first hybrid in-person and virtual conference. Through a hybrid format, AAMC hopes to ensure access to the Conference content to much of our audiences and allow for a range of engagement with our sessions. The programme will include live and virtual speakers on panels and keynotes alongside in-person and virtual networking and socialising opportunities.
In selecting the 2022 theme, Sustainability & Revitalization, AAMC anticipates dialogues at the conference reflecting the topic from the standpoint of environmental, societal, racial, equity, and heritage. Panels will consider numerous angles, such as creating organisational and department financial sustainability; concepts pertaining to preserving art, culture and shared heritage; changing organizational structures; evaluating our collection policies; ensuring a smaller carbon footprint in our work; and many others. Conversations will consider the full spectrum of interpretations, investigating issues holistically and not solely through the curatorial lens.
Eligibility and criteria
- Applicants must be art curators at non-profit organisations, with direct responsibility for works of art. In addition, curators and others who work a minimum of 50% of the time for/with non-profit organisations will be considered
- Please note that curators working in four-wall collecting and non-collecting, community-based, and non-four wall organisations are eligible. Multiple curators from one museum are eligible
- Applicants must live and work in the United Kingdom
- All applicants are required to commit to participating in all program components at the time of application, including all the deadlines (non-negotiable).
Applications that fulfil the following criteria are particularly encouraged:
- Curators without existing strong ties to US partners and the overall international curatorial network are the ideal candidate(s) for this programme
- Applications from curators without access travel funding and/or without professional development support are particularly encouraged to apply
- Applications that offer connections/reflections towards diversity, equity, and inclusion within museums and arts organisations, recognising the value of challenging and changing traditional understandings of art and history, and contributing to art organizations as places for meaningful and timely public discourse and experience
- Applications that speak to AAMC Foundation’s diversity policy that “all of our programming and overall efforts shall strive to be representative of diversity: across self-identifications (by nation, gender, creed, race, ethnicity), types of institutional mission, and regional position of participants. The more diverse our voices, the more dynamic our offerings.”
- Applications from those representative of diversity by self-identifiers, including race, ethnicity, and gender.
Programme components and other benefits include:
- All participants receive complimentary registration, travel and accommodation to attend the 2022 Art Curators Conference and Alumni Reception held in NYC April 30 - May 3, 2022. Please note, that this funding is for travel and accommodation, and attending the Conference requires full vaccination against Covid-19, per New York guidelines to gather indoors. If you are unable to attend, virtual access will be available, but the travel funding to attend will not be given in this instance.
- Pairings will have two in-person visits during the program. One in-person visit by the U.K Awardee at the U.S Liaison’s institution, and another in-person visit by the U.S. Liaison to the U.K Awardee’s institution before December 1, 2022. These trips are not expected to last more than 5 business days, funding is provided for these trips and accommodation, along with a per-diem.
- U.K Awardees and U.S Liaisons receive two-years of full AAMC Foundation Community Access, including professional development activities and website access, which includes professional resources, a webinar archive, and a member directory of 1,500 curators.
- U.K Awardees receive two years Art Fund membership
- Pairings meet at least three times virtually before December 1, 2022.
- Pairings will work together with the additional EPIC U.K & U.S pairing to develop a webinar for the full AAMC Foundation audience.
- The pairing will discuss and develop the goals submitted within the program application throughout the program. These goals can centre on many areas of focus, such as professional development, leadership advancement, project management and development, scholarly and research pursuits and methodologies, and more.
- Participants are required to provide a mid-program check-in, a final report and program evaluation survey.
Image above: AAMC 2019 Art Curators Conference audience at the New York Historical Society.