CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators' Forum

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About the CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators' Forum

With generous support from the Mellon and Ford Foundations, the Center for Curatorial Leadership and the Studio Museum in Harlem partnered in 2021-2023 to establish the CCL/Studio Museum in Harlem Curators’ Forum, a pilot program founded in recognition of the profound contributions that curators of African descent have made to American art museums. To support the further professional growth of Black curators, the program provided a select cohort of twenty-six individuals with advice, networking opportunities, mentorship, instruction, and personal development at a critical moment in their careers. The participants—whose areas of expertise ranged from seventh-century Egypt to contemporary global art—joined from a wide range of museums across the country.

The program comprised four multi-day convenings held over the course of 2021-2023. Convenings in 2021 took place online due to pandemic travel restrictions. The convenings consisted of meetings with leaders in the field, business school courses, and break-out group sessions. Break-out sessions were mostly open-ended, providing time for the curators to discuss top-of-mind issues, opportunities, and challenges.

In addition, the cohort participated in two-hour sessions on the last Friday of each month. Invited speakers included trustees and philanthropists, senior curators, mental health professionals, museum directors, business school professors, and budget and finance professionals.


Each participant was matched with a mentor for the duration of the program.




The Center for Curatorial Leadership and the Studio Museum in Harlem are deeply grateful to Ford Foundation and Mellon Foundation, whose generous support made the CCL/Studio Museum Curators' Forum possible.


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