AAMC Foundation

Curatorial Digital Leadership (CDL) Program

The Curatorial Digital Leadership (CDL) program will support 32 curators from 16 organizations, working as pairs, from nonprofit art organizations located in the cities directly supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Selected teams of curators will embark on a ten-month cohort engaged series of online learnings and peer-to-peer support to advance digital literacies, storytelling, and audience engagement. The program also includes an in-person component of multiple day network building and deeper learning activities in Philadelphia.
AAMC Foundation is proud to be partnering with Culture24, UK-based, on the learning initiative. Together Culture24 and AAMC Foundation look ahead to sharing data, resources, and experiences to further connect the program to the wider museum sector audience and advance the impact of the pilot CDL program.

Application Eligibility and Process

  • Pairings should be visual art curators from nonprofit art organizations located in cities directly supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which are Akron, OH; Charlotte, NC (greater Mecklenburg county is included, but preference will be given to within Charlotte city limits); Detroit, MI; Macon, GA; Miami, FL (includes Miami-Dade and Broward Counties); Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; and St. Paul, MN.
  • Applications are only accepted via the online portal.
  • Applications are worked on by the pairing collaboratively within the online portal. Once the application is started, the submission owner can invite their partner to be a collaborator. For additional instruction and details, please visit the Submittable help page HERE.
  • Applications are encouraged and desired from those representative of diversity by self-identifiers, including race, ethnicity and gender.
  • At this time we cannot accept applications from nationals of any country that is subject to a comprehensive sanctions regime under United States law (currently Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine), as well as China and Russia. This list is subject to change with U.S. regulations.
  • Applications for the program are accepted from April 20– May 26, 2022 at 5:00PM ET. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Program Components

  • Onboarding of program materials.
  • Introductory Meeting
    • Monday, July 18th, 2022
  • Four Introductory Workshops
    • Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Friday, July 22, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Thursday, July 28, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
  • In-person workshop October 19–21, 2022 in Philadelphia, PA
  • Monthly virtual workshops held September 2022 – April 2023
    • Wednesday,  September 14, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 11:30AM - 1:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 12:30AM - 2:30PM ET
    • Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 11:30AM - 2:30PM ET
  • Ongoing direct guidance and troubleshooting sessions.

Program Requirements

  • Commit to all program requirements at the time of application, including all deadlines (non-negotiable), timelines, and travel.
  • Adhere to our Code of Conduct
  • Be responsive, communicative and respectful of all participants, speakers, hosts, and program leaders and organizers.
  • The program includes in-person and virtual components. Virtual sessions are hosted in digital spaces and require access to a computer with a camera and microphone, and internet. In-person events are held in Philadelphia and include COVID-19 policies which are in accordance with Philadelphia/Pennsylvania regulations. Should you require special accommodations to participate and/or have any accessibility questions or concerns, please contact Glorimar Garcia, Program Manager at g.garcia@artcurators.org.

What will the partners and their organization gain by participating?

  • A deeper understanding of what digital leadership means for your organization, and the pairings strategically, and practically in relation to digital literacies and skills.
  • Tactics for effecting and embedding positive organizational change – participants will be supported to reflect on their current practice, design small-scale experiments to develop their learning and explore practical opportunities to embed insights and new ways of working back into the organization.
  • A continuing professional development opportunity to build the personal confidence, understanding and digital literacy of the two participating individuals. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from a supportive, engaged community of peers with a shared sense of purpose and to develop the confidence, language and digital literacies necessary to become agents for change within their own organizations.
  • The opportunity to develop strategic influence within the wider arts and heritage sector. Your and your organization’s experience on the project will inform collaborative research findings that will be used to inform best practice across the sector.

This program is generously funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

 About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.

About AAMC Foundation
Founded in 2001, the Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation advances the curatorial field through forward-looking leadership in development and educational opportunities for  learning and connecting at every stage of a curator’s career on an international scale. Serving as a resource for the profession’s best practices, codes of conduct and ethical standards, we provide a platform for the exchange of a broad range of information on critical issues driving the field, including diversity and inclusion, digital innovation, artistic voices and histories, and marketing and audience engagement. Through our work we serve members, professional colleagues, and the public, and our outreach reflects diverse perspectives within the field, often examining strategic directions of curatorial practice and art organization management. With a network spanning the globe, we are an ambassador and advocate for all art curators and the leading champion of their significant contributions.

Culture24 is a UK-based non-profit that works internationally to support arts and heritage organizations digital skills, literacy and leadership, helping them to reach and engage audiences in meaningful, socially purposeful ways. Along with their own long-established training and action research methodology, they bring the latest thinking around digital in museums through the One by One project, in which they are a founding partner. To learn more, visit: https://culture24.org.uk/


AAMC Foundation’s Mentorship Program gives curators with a minimum of seven years and a maximum of ten years of experience opportunities to advance their professional development, investigate important issues in the field, cultivate strong bonds with peers, and develop an independent working relationship with a senior curatorial leader, their Mentor. Through a competitive, open application process, up to 10 Mentees are selected for the program.

To achieve the Mentee’s goals and secure progress in their careers, the AAMC Foundation’s Mentorship Program incorporates an immersive Virtual Learning Residency; an interactive In-Person Workshop; attendance at our Art Curators Conference, and engagement with a Mentor. In addition, the Mentees self-conduct introductory video recordings, which are shared with Mentors and residency leaders, as well as played during an introductory Mentor/Mentee virtual meet-up. There is also a concluding virtual meeting in June 2023. The program is structured to provide guidance and learning, but also to empower the Mentee to work independently of the program to meet their goals. All Mentees are provided funding to support their participation in the program.* Additional details are outlined below in greater detail.

Established in 2014, the AAMC Foundation’s Mentorship Program has welcomed Mentees across 28 U.S. States and 9 countries, with 77% securing new and/or elevated positions since participating.


1. Intro Video & Learning

At the start of the Program, Mentees will record a short introductory video to share their goals and ambitions.

2. Virtual Meetup

Mentees and Mentors attend a virtual meetup in October 2022 to watch all of the Mentee’s intro videos, as well as receive the program schedule and curriculum.

3. Two Day In-person Learning Intensive

The Mentee cohort will convene in-person in NYC for a two day learning experience including guest speaker and featuring hands-on activities and space for self-reflection.

4. Virtual Learning Residency

A virtual residency featuring a combination of live and recorded content will serve as an additional learning opportunity for the Mentee cohort experience.  There will be reading materials and videos to watch as part of this program.

5. Art Curators Conference, Interactive Workshop, and Program Alumni Reception

The Art Curators Conference is an important part of continuing to layer opportunities for discussions, collaborations, and support. The program stipend is provided to cover travel and registration for Mentees to attend this event and a half day workshop in New York, NY, USA. The annual Program Alumni Reception is scheduled for during the conference and includes past Mentors and Mentees amongst AAMC Foundation leadership and other program participants. 

6. Partnership with a Mentor

AAMC Foundation pairs Mentors and Mentees based on the Mentee’s needs, field, location, and goals. After an October initial meeting, the pairings are expected to have a minimum of three video meetings between October 2022 and April 2023 and an in-person, multiple day visit between December 2022 and April 2023. Ownership of this relationship development is with the Mentee, and Mentees should take the lead and initiative in seeking out meeting their goals. In addition to checking in on Mentees, AAMC Foundation does check-in with Mentors throughout the program.

7. AAMC Network Access

AAMC will arrange a 1-year membership for each Mentee, giving full network access to all our professional development activities and website, which includes professional resources, webinar archive, field forums, and a member directory of 1,300 curators.  AAMC Foundation anticipates that  the Mentees will use this opportunity to further expand their network, and build new relationships beyond the program itself.

8. Dedicated Mighty Networks Site

This online community is a focused, interactive space for cohort communications and a homebase for important program information, including the schedule with Zoom links for residency sessions and a list of recommended reading, webinars and other resources.

9. Reporting and Follow-up
All Mentees will give a final presentation via a virtual convening in June 2023 and complete a Program evaluation survey. Follow-up and commitments beyond the Program would continue through opportunities for alumni communications, such as invitations to future Annual Program Alumni Receptions.


  • Be an art curator at a nonprofit organization, with direct responsibility for works of art. In addition, independent curators and others that work a minimum of 50% of the time for/with nonprofit organizations will be considered.
  • Have a required minimum of at least 7 and no more than 10 years of direct working curatorial experience in the field, including fellowships but excluding internships. (Fellowships can be included, if full-time.  Internships are not applicable.)
  • International applications are encouraged and desired, within the bounds of all applicable U.S. laws. At this time we cannot accept applications from nationals of any country that is subject to a comprehensive sanctions regime under United States law (currently Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine), as well as China and Russia. This list is subject to change with U.S. regulations.
  • Commit to all program requirements at the time of application, including all deadlines (non-negotiable), timelines, and travel.
  • Applications are only accepted via the online portal.
  • Applications are encouraged and desired from those representative of diversity by self-identifiers, including race, ethnicity and gender.


Applications for the AAMC Foundation Mentorship Program opens on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 and the final deadline for submitting an application is 5:00PM ET on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. 

Please ensure you fill out all of the required questions below, which are indicated with a red asterisk. An incomplete or late submission will result in the application not being reviewed by the jurors. There are no exceptions.

This program is made possible through the generosity of Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Barbara Futter, Catherine Futter, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the AAMC Foundation President’s Circle.






*Grants/stipends made to individuals count as gifted income that should be declared for tax purposes and we provide grantees with a 1099 form for tax purposes.  Nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes are required to complete a W-8BEN form and are exempt from backup withholding and Form 1099 reporting.

The Association of Art Museum Curators