Rollins Museum of Art Chosen for Prestigious Internship Program

March 22, 2023

By Gigi Marino

Students working in the Rollins Museum of Art and having class at the Alfond Inn, which houses the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art.
Photo by Scott Cook.

The Rollins Museum of Art is one of 10 distinguished American art museums to receive funding to support a paid internship program from the Association of Art Museum Directors.

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has announced that the Rollins Museum of Art (RMA) is among the AAMD’s 2023 paid college internship program recipients. The internship program, which was launched in 2018, is the association’s response to a 2015 study by the Mellon Foundation that showed while 38 percent of Americans were people of color or multiracial, only 16 percent of museum staffs reflected the diversity of the U.S. population. The internships, which are intended to attract students from underrepresented groups, are an important step toward addressing this inequity. As Rollins has also made diversity and inclusion an institutional priority, applying for the program was a natural fit.

Rollins Museum of Art’s Bruce A. Beal Director Ena Heller is honored that the museum was chosen its first time out of the gate.

“This internship is particularly exciting at this moment as it is part of a much-needed effort to diversify the museum field,” says Heller. “Introducing students to careers within museums is an important first step, and we are proud that Rollins will play a part in that effort.”

The intern will work directly with Heller and David Matteson ’15 ’18MBA, RMA’s associate curator of education, on one major project during the 12-week program, primarily contributing to developing RMA’s online teaching portfolios. The portfolios are part of an ongoing effort to feature the growing collection of themed works from the museum’s permanent collection, focusing on topics like the environment, immigration, black and indigenous representation, and global politics.

“We’re excited to have the Rollins Museum of Art participate in AAMD’s paid internship program this year and were particularly impressed with the museum’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice,” says Stephanie Yao, program manager at AAMD. “The project of developing teaching portfolios for educators will help a student learn how a museum operates and hone professional skill sets as they explore future careers in art museums.”

Featuring rotating exhibitions, ongoing programs, and an extensive permanent collection of approximately 6,000 objects, RMA was one of only three academic art museums chosen for the program. Other recipients include the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Royal Ontario Museum. AAMD’s internship is the only paid resource of its kind in the U.S.

Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who’ve already begun to consider an art-museum career are eligible for the internship, which will run from May 15 to August 4 and pay a total of $6,720 on a biweekly basis. Students can apply online now, and applications will be accepted through April 7.

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