CCL Fellowship

Ccl 2024 Fellowship Group 004 (JPG)

Class of 2024 (from left): Michael Wellen, Akili Tommasino, Victoria Lyall, Oluremi Onabanjo, Megan Steinman, Susanna Temkin, Nora Lawrence, Charles Aubin, Caroline Shields, Makeda Best, Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Katherine Larson

Photo by Hollis Johnson

Ccl%20Jan%202022%20Group 2 (JPG)

Class of 2023 (from left): Janet Dees, Julies Crooks, Lisa Çakmak, Gabriela Urtiaga, Laura De Becker, Katherine Brinson, Maria Gaztambide, Emily Liebert, Casey Riley, Ainsley Cameron, Daisy Desrosiers, Legacy Russell

Photo by Hollis Johnson

Ccl May 2022 Program Finals 44 (JPG)

Class of 2022 (from left): Tamara Schenkenberg, Aimee Ng, Michelle Millar Fisher, Alexis Lowry, Ruba Katrib, Connie Choi, Mark Castro, E. Carmen Ramos, Ruth Erickson, Miranda Lash, Jamilee Lacy. (not pictured: Vanessa Thaxton-Ward)

Photo by Hollis Johnson

Ccl Nov 2021 53 (JPG)

Class of 2021 (from left): Adrienne Edwards, Tahnee Ahtoneharjo-Growingthunder, Humberto Moro, Shawnya Harris, Veronica Roberts, Catherine Taft,  Jamaal Sheats, Lanka Tattersall, Kathryn Gunsch, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Maggie Adler (not pictured: Anne Collins Smith)

Photo by Hollis Johnson

2020 Fellowship_Group Photo (JPG)

CCL Class of 2020 (from left): Anne Ellegood, Esther Bell, Connie Butler, Turry M. Flucker, Kristen Collins, Asma Naeem, Ian Alteveer, Silvia Forni, Aimée Froom, Madhuvanti Ghose, Anna Marley, Maurita N. Poole.

Photo by Hollis Johnson

2016 Fellowship_Teams Group Exercise (JPG)

CCL 2016 Fellows collaborate on a group project during a session on teamwork, taught by Columbia University professor Valerie Purdie-Vaughns.

Photo by Isaac James

2014 Fellowship_Michael Govan (JPG)

LACMA director and CEO Michael Govan meets with the 2014 fellows to discuss his leadership experiences.

Photo by Zach Lipp

Katherine Phillips teaching "Leading Teams"

Columbia Business School professor Katherine Phillips teaches "Leading High-Impact Teams" to CCL fellows.

Photo by Amy Elliott

About the Fellowship

CCL offers leadership training for art museum curators from all art historical specialties. Established in 2007, CCL’s core Fellowship program provides experienced curators with instruction from Columbia Business School faculty and exposure to real- world challenges faced by cultural institutions today.

Mentoring is a key element of the program and extends the learning outside of the classroom. Every year, directors and trustees from major museums across the world host Fellows for a weeklong residency (Click here for a complete list of placements). In addition to providing Fellows with mentors of their own, CCL charges its Fellows to mentor young people from communities that are underrepresented within the current ranks of the curatorial profession. Click here for more information on the Diversity Mentoring Initiative.


CCL accepts applications from full-time curators working in art museums in North America and abroad; ten to twelve applicants are accepted each year. CCL looks for inspired individuals with an established record of:

Curatorial achievement: Successful candidates are distinguished within their fields of expertise but are interested in developing new skills that would enable them to become valuable partners in institutional decision making.

Advancing Equity: CCL believes that diversity, representation, and inclusion are synonymous with excellence. Successful candidates have demonstrated commitment to fostering these values both within their institutions and in the field at large.

Leadership experience: CCL is interested in applicants who look beyond their curatorial responsibilities. Many candidates have managed teams, mentored emerging professionals, and partnered with colleagues both within their museums and across the profession. Successful candidates seek to contribute to the larger goals of their organizations and engage in questions facing the field at large.

Creative and entrepreneurial thinking: CCL curators are innovative problem solvers and forward-looking agents of change. In the program, they learn not only subject-specific skills like managerial accounting, but also habits of strategic thinking that will help them solve problems, foster institutional change and build relationships throughout the museum and beyond.

Program Components and Dates

The program extends from January to May or June and includes the following segments:

  • A two-week intensive program in New York City in January that includes teaching from faculty members at Columbia Business School and practical exposure and assignments provided by museums, cultural institutions, foundations, and other civic organizations across the city.
  • A five-day individual residency in March or April with a museum director from an institution other than the Fellow’s home institution.
  • A diversity mentoring project, designed, planned and implemented by the Fellow, assigned in January and covering the span of the Fellowship, intended to introduce young people from communities that are underrepresented within the current ranks of the curatorial profession to museum careers.
  • A concluding week in May or June, crafted to the particular needs and experiences of the class. It includes instruction, coaching, and the presentation of a team assignment.

CCL 2024 Dates:

  • The two-week intensive will take place in New York City from January 7-19, 2024. There will not be programming on Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • The dates of each residency are selected by the Fellow and the residency host based on the activities in the host museum.
  • The concluding week of instruction will be determined following the selection of the 2024 class.


CCL carefully crafts a program that integrates theoretical presentations with practical application. In January, professors from Columbia Business School teach concentrated courses in nonprofit management, finance, negotiation, and long- range and short-term strategic initiatives. Engagements with museum directors, administrators, trustees, civic officials, and other cultural leaders provide insight into different models of leadership and the issues facing today’s institutions. 

The following areas are important topics addressed by the program:

  • Change management
  • Decision making
  • Managing up
  • Financial management
  • Strategy
  • Negotiation
  • Organizational alignment
  • Leading teams
  • Governance
  • Leadership and Personality 

In addition to this instruction, CCL Fellows engage with influential museum directors, administrators, trustees, civic officials, and other cultural leaders. These sessions provide CCL Fellows with unparalleled opportunities to not only discuss the current state of museums and cultural leadership but also receive hands-on instruction regarding strategy, fundraising, and board development.

Time Commitment 

Fellows must commit to full participation in all aspects of the CCL program, ensuring complete availability for all sessions and a wholly immersive Fellowship experience.  There will be four weeks of intensive in-person sessions that will not allow for concurrent obligations, during these times fellows are required to prioritize CCL as their primary commitment. In addition, Fellows are also expected to engage in ongoing projects that will demand their time and attention throughout the full five-month program.


The tuition is $2,500 per Fellow to cover a portion of the program expenses. 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. Kindly note that the tuition is subject to change. CCL covers the majority of travel, hotel, and food costs related to the program. For the two weeks in January in New York City and the final week of the program, the majority of meals and transportation from Monday through Friday will be organized by CCL; Fellows will be responsible for covering a small number of taxis and other incidentals. For the five-day residency, CCL will arrange the booking and payment of hotel and travel reservations and Fellows will receive a daily stipend to cover meals and incidentals.




CCL is grateful to its generous funders who make the CCL Fellowship possible, including the Board of Trustees and CCL Alumni. Lead support for the CCL Fellowship is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Agnes Gund, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Susan and Charles Sawyers, and Thomas and Alice Tisch. Major support is provided by Charina Endowment Fund, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Hearst Foundations, Leon Levy Foundation, Marnie Pillsbury, Emily Pulitzer, Teiger Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, and Alice L. Walton Foundation.

The CCL Fellowship is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the National Endowment for the Arts.