Center for Curuatorial Leadership


Who is eligible to apply to the Center for Curatorial Leadership?
Candidates for the Center for Curatorial Leadership must be full-time art museum curators who are in charge of the care, display, and interpretation of objects as well as the organization of permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. 

The CCL welcomes candidates with significant curatorial experience from all ranks of the profession.

What kind of experience should a candidate have had in order to apply for the CCL fellowship?
The ideal candidate demonstrates a track record of success and commitment to the full range of curatorial endeavor – management, care, and scholarly study of collections as well as the development and execution of exhibitions, publications, and community programs.

Experience with the supervision of both personnel and finances as well as exposure to fundraising initiatives and strategic planning are essential for engagement with the management topics addressed in the CCL curriculum.

Do I need to be nominated by my institution?
No. The CCL encourages both institutional and self-nominations for this program.

Who should I ask to write my recommendations?
The CCL requires two recommendations. One recommendation should come from the applicant’s museum director or someone in a senior role who is a current supervisor. The other should come from a professional colleague from outside the applicant’s museum. This can be a trustee, a peer in the field, a former supervisor etc.

What materials must I submit to apply?
A PDF preview of the application for 2015 is now available on this website. A written application and two recommendations are required. Please pay careful attention to the instructions. The CCL will launch a new website mid-June 2014 that will digitize the application process. All applicants will submit their application materials via the new website.  

When is the application due?
Applications must be received by July 11, 2014.

How will the participants be selected?
Applications are reviewed by the director of the CCL and a small committee comprised of museum directors and a CCL graduate.

When will I know if I have been selected for the program?
Applicants will be notified by e-mail by October 1, 2014.

How many participants will be included in each class?
Each CCL class includes approximately ten fellows.

How much will the program cost me and/or my institution?
The 2015 tuition is $2,500 per fellow to cover a portion of the program expenses. The CCL will absorb the rest of the cost of travel, hotel, and other expenses related to the program. Tuition assistance will be available to all accepted candidates on an as-need basis; it is strongly encouraged, however, that museums support the professional development of their curators and underwrite the tuition fee.

How long is the program?
Beginning January 4 - 16, 2015, the program will consist of the following:  

What will be taught in the program? And who will teach the courses?
Professors from Columbia Business School teach a curriculum of subjects covering the best practices in non-profit management. Topics include: In addition to the "classroom" curriculum, CCL Fellows engage with influential museum directors, administrators, trustees, civic officials, and other cultural leaders. events provide CCL fellows with unparalleled opportunities to discuss not only the current state of museums and cultural leadership but also receive hands-on instruction regarding strategy, fundraising, and board development.

Are you affiliated with a university or museum? What kind of qualification will I receive?
The CCL is a certificate program that provides the opportunity to study the essentials of museum management. The program includes a combined curriculum that utilizes both academic and cultural leaders as instructors. During the first two-weeks of the program, faculty from the Columbia Business School lead the academic modules for the program. In June, various museums and universities participate in the program instruction. Columbia Business School confers a certificate at the end of the January program.

How will I be paired with a mentor/residency host?
Through a series of in-depth conversations beginning in the fall, the CCL team assesses the interests and goals of each fellow. In concert with the fellow, the CCL coordinates the mentor/residency pairing before the program begins in January. Each fellow will be matched with a director or senior museum administrator whose experience, institution, interests and talents complement his or her own.

When will I do my residency and where?
Residencies take place at a museum different from the curator's own institution, at a time that is mutually agreed upon by the CCL fellow and his or her host. Depending on the schedules of both parties, residencies ideally occur mid-fellowship in March or April.

When will the dates of the final week of instruction be announced?
January 2015.

Is this program open to other museum professionals (e.g., educators, development officers, etc.)?
Since its founding, the CCL focuses on and is designed specifically for museum curators.

Will my interest and participation in the CCL be understood as a negative signal to my home institution that I wish to leave?
The CCL aims to train curators to assume greater responsibilities within their home institutions. The program has received enthusiastic support from directors who universally recognize that the CCL training model offers curators significant insight and tools to address the strategic management questions that they tackle every day. Museum directors and administrators understand that participation in CCL signals a willingness by curators to embrace the administrative responsibilities of the museum at large.