ICA Museum Fellowship
Curatorial and Education, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (Boston)
May 21, 2021
Starting Date: 
July 6, 2021
Post date: May 3, 2021

Overview:  The Institute of Contemporary Art’s (ICA’s) museum fellowship supports the careers of aspiring museum professionals in the field of contemporary art museums. This fellowship will provide opportunities to increase the demographic and cultural diversity in the museum field. It is designed to proactively address issues of diversity and disparity in the museum profession, and represents the ICA’s continued commitment to encourage greater access and inclusion. Qualified candidates from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial and museum professions are strongly encouraged to apply.

The fellowship is set up as a hands-on working and learning opportunity supporting the curatorial and education departments in exhibition research and implementation and community and educational engagement.

The person in this role will collaborate with a network of individuals across the organization, including a variety of staff, interns, and contractors to ensure high-quality work is being achieved in a timely manner.

The fellow is designated a fixed term employee with a specific start and end date. Limited benefits will be provided.

The fellow reports to the Barbara Lee Chief Curator and the Charlotte Wagner Director of Education and will work collaboratively with both departments.

Duration: The fellowship begins July 2021 and ends in June 2023. Exact dates to be determined. The time commitment is expected to be 37.5 hours over 5 days per week for the length of the fellowship.

Application Deadline: Application review begins mid to early May. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 21, 2021.

The ICA invites applicants for a multi-year museum fellowship to work in a hands-on capacity in support of two interrelated Simone Leigh projects. The ICA has been chosen to represent the United States at the 2022 Venice Biennale with a presentation of Leigh’s work at the U.S. Pavilion. In an historic selection, Leigh is the first Black woman to represent the U.S. in Venice, and this project includes an artistic presentation of new work; an educational partnership with Spelman College, teacher training in Venice; and a gathering of leading Black female academics, writers, and artists. Leigh’s ICA survey exhibition, immediately following Venice, will be the first comprehensive survey of Leigh’s art and will be accompanied by the first scholarly monograph on the artist, public and educational programming in Boston, and a national tour of the exhibition.

This role offers an unprecedented opportunity to work alongside the ICA’s curators and educators to gain knowledge about contemporary art museums from an inside view as well as a unique international perspective. The fellow will have multiple mentors across department areas.


  • Support Curator of Venice Biennale and ICA Leigh survey exhibition in all phases of exhibition development, including conducting research, assembling checklists and presentations, and drafting labels and didactic materials.
  • Support all phases of the development of the Leigh publication, including conducting research, liaising with contributors, editors and book designers, securing images, and managing rights and reproduction.
  • Support the Director of Education with the ICA’s partnership with Spelman College. The fellow will provide administrative support for the collaboration, including the development of related deliverables.
  • Support the co-ordination of the Leigh Symposium in Venice, including research, liaising and corresponding with organizers and speakers, and support on event and travel planning.
  • Support the Education department’s ongoing community outreach efforts, including meeting, collaborating, and corresponding with individuals and groups.
  • Provide administrative support to the Chief Curator and Director of Education as needed including supporting other Leigh related projects, including correspondence, travel arrangements, and mailings.
  • Participate in the life of the curatorial and education departments, and the ICA, by attending regular meetings, ICA special events, and public programs.
  • Based on the skills and interests of the fellow, other opportunities and duties may be provided and/or assigned.


  • Advanced degree in art history, museum studies, or a related field such as African American or Africana studies, or Women and Gender studies; current Master’s and doctoral candidates accepted.
  • Sound research skills and an ability to conduct independent research.
  • Strong writing and verbal communication, and a demonstrated ability to write for multiple audiences. Experience working with academic and non-academic audiences a plus.
  • Must be detail-oriented, self-motivated, and able to work on multiple projects at once.
  • Strong inter-personal and organizational skills required. Must be able to work collaboratively in a team environment. Appreciation for working with individuals having different perspectives and backgrounds required.
  • Available to work 37.5 hours per week over five days for duration of fellowship.
  • Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally (when unrestricted)
  • Onsite availability expected as of January 2022.
Application Instructions 


Interested candidates should send a resume, letter of interest, and short professional writing sample (e.g. published for general audience, project related blog post, wall text, gallery guide, object entry, etc.) to  jobs@icaboston.org. When applying, please include “2021 Museum Fellowship” in the subject line.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive in Boston, and is accessible by public transportation (Red and Silver Line).

The ICA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to being and inclusive workplace as well as increasing diversity in our workforce. We are an EOE/AA employer dedicated to fair and inclusive employment practices for all individuals.

Review Begins: 
May 3, 2021

Job, fellowship, and CFP listings are services that are offered by the American Studies Association to support its members in exploring professional opportunities in American studies. Any questions should be directed to the program, department, or center that has posted the opportunity.