Funding is Part of an Initiative Led by The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has received funding from The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation in support of NOMA’s HBCU Professional Pathways Internship Program to recruit paid university-level interns from under-represented and under-served backgrounds. The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation announced they are each committing $3 million over three years toward the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, which supports creative solutions to diversify curatorial and management staff at art museums across the United States. NOMA’s Creative Careers Summer Internship program is aligned with this effort. Out of the eighty museums that applied for the grant, NOMA is one of twenty pioneering institutions selected to receive funding.
With current funding from the Walton Family Foundation, the New Orleans Museum of Art has been able to pilot the Creative Careers Summer Internship program for high school students in New Orleans from under-represented and under-served backgrounds. NOMA’s HBCU Professional Pathways Internship program proposes to build on that initiative by expanding to paid university-level internships — giving under-represented students an additional phase to engage with the museum and gain awareness of the field as a potential career path. With support from the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, NOMA will develop three paid college intern positions for students attending HBCUs. Funding will provide stipends for 12 weeks each semester for three years, with interns expected to work a minimum of 15 hours each week. We will work closely with the students and their advisors to create an internship experience that compliments their area of study and corresponds with their coursework.
NOMA’s HBCU Professional Pathways interns will have the opportunity to work with field professionals in both the Interpretation and Audience Engagement department as well as with the Curatorial department. Through interactions with both NOMA’s curatorial and education staff, interns will increase knowledge about art genres, media, etc. while also gaining skills needed to develop arts-themed programming, including research and evaluation. Museum staff will serve as mentors to these interns, to offer an additional level of direct, personal engagement beyond their experiences in different departments.
“We are honored to have been selected as a recipient of funding for the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative from The Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation,” said Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA. “Within this program, we hope our interns will achieve an increased knowledge of the museum field as a career path and appreciation of museums as places to visit and work, in addition to internship projects.”
Through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, the Ford Foundation and Walton Family Foundation will support innovative strategies and programs to advance diversity across the sector, including hiring professionals from under-represented populations and offering fellowships, mentorships, and other career development options for diverse professionals. The funded initiatives will affect curatorial and programmatic decision-making in the museums, as well as managerial choices, and lead to long-term benefits for the participating museums and the field as a whole. The outcomes of the funded initiatives will be shared with the larger field, enabling other art institutions to learn from successful approaches.
About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org. Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
For additional information, contact Margaux Krane: 504.658.4106 | email@example.com