Summer Curatorial Program

**Please note: the Mellon Indigenous Arts program ended in 2021. This web site is now for reference only.**

The Summer Curatorial Research Project is an eight-week intensive program for undergarduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in humanities and/or social sciences who have an interest in museum studies including art education, conservation, collections management. The program is hosted by the University of Virginia museums: the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and The Fralin Museum of Art.

Organized in partnership with the University Office of Diversity Programs and Leadership Alliance with support from the Mellon Foundation, the Summer Curatorial Research Project aims to enhance opportunities for underrepresented students who are considering pursuing graduate studies and/or museum careers.

Program Overview

  • Research and development of an exhibition at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
  • Seminars in curatorial theory and practice led by museum professionals from The Fralin Museum of Art
  • Hands-on workshops in art handling and collections management, museum education, conservation, and exhibition development
  • Field trips to area museums, including an overnignt trip to Washington, D.C.
  • GRE course and graduate school preparation
  • Final presentation of student work at Leadership Alliance National Symposium at the end of July


What is Covered and Additional Benefits

  • Travel to and from Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Accommodation & a stipend of $3600 to cover living expenses during the program
  • Travel to the Leadership Alliance National Symposium in Connecticut

Program Eligibility

Participants in the program must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or better and be US citizens or have permanent resident status at the time of application. Additionally, applicants must be:

  1. rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Spring 2019 graduates are ineligible.
  2. students who identify as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

How to Apply

This program is part of the nationwide Leadership Alliance partnership, and applicants must use their online application to apply. 


Administrative: Catherine Walden,, OR Laura Mellusi,

Program Curriculum: Henry Skerritt,, OR Adriana Greci Green,

Program Brochure