DuSable Museum and NMMA Receive Joint Award

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The DuSable Museum of African American History and the National Museum of Mexican Art have been awarded a joint grant by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation through their Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, to fund the “Home Grown” project for the next three years. “Home Grown” is a project which will offer a creative solution to diversify curatorial and management staff throughout both museums. According to a national study by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, only 16 percent of art museum leadership positions were held by people of color, despite the fact that 38 percent of Americans identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian or multi-racial. Over the next three years, the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) and the DuSable Museum of African American History (DuSable) two iconic museums that have successfully trained and provided sustained employment for arts administrators, will realize a curatorial fellowship program for graduate students of color. “Home Grown” will provide fellowships to qualified candidates, and an opportunity to learn, engage, and be mentored by museum professionals who are leaders in first voice organizations.

“The DuSable Museum of African American History, the nation’s oldest independent black history museum, is proud to have collaborated with our colleagues at the National Museum of Mexican Art to earn this esteemed grant award from the Walton and Ford Foundations,” said Perri Irmer, President and CEO of the DuSable. As a result of the grant, for each year of the three, NMMA and DuSable will each host one fellow per year at their respective institutions. Each fellow will be assigned to one of the two museums, and each museum will build in opportunities for interaction and interchange. Fellows will form a cohort that comes together each year to share experiences and support each other’s advancement. Through this fellowship, NMMA and DuSable will build a foundation of students of color to gain access to key first voice museums. “The National Museum of Mexican Art and DuSable have provided opportunities and training for people of color in our institutions for years, preparing them to move on to other organizations, spread their wings and fly higher,” said Carlos Tortolero, President and Founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art. “We are excited about this opportunity to formalize and expand the reach of our work as part of the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative.”

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