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2024 Fellowship Information

2024 Fellowship Information

Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) supports emerging curators from diverse backgrounds through a fellowship program consisting of in-depth research, professional development, and presentation. The first of its kind in the region, ECI aims to foster critical dialogue around curatorial practice and provide opportunities for Minnesota-based emerging curators. Since 2018, ECI has awarded a total of 16 fellowships. 

In 2024, up to 4 Fellowships will be awarded.

What follows offers further information about the fellowship, and is also available in the submission form.

Alternative formats (such as an audio or pdf version of this document) can be available by emailing [email protected]

Please note that the submission form is the only platform for submitting your application. 


2024 Fellowship Timeline

February 9: Fellowship applications open

February 22 at 6pm: Information Session will be offered. Registration to be noted soon.  

March 8: Applications due by 11:59 pm, Central Time.

Mid March – Beginning of April: A jury of 3 members from the local and national arts field will independently review and score the applications. A select number of applicants will be discussed at a jury convening and recommendations will be made to ECI.  Interviews will then be conducted with up to 7 applicants and final fellowship candidates will be identified.  

Mid April: All applicants are notified of status. 

Late April 2024: Learning Cycle begins with Introductory cohort meeting for selected Fellows

May 2024 – December 2024: Twice-monthly meetings with cohort 

January 2025: Wrap up of Learning Cycle.  Confirmation of Fellows to join the manifesting cycle for presentation of curatorial projects towards the latter part of 2025

Further information

The Emerging Curators Institute fellowship program is open to applicants who will be living in Minnesota for the majority of 2024 and 2025. All meetings will take place in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, with exhibitions and public programming potentially occurring across the state.

Respectful of the ongoing impact of Covid-19,  ECI will be working in a hybrid mode meeting both digitally and in-person as is appropriate and safe. Fellows must be vaccinated to be in the program. We strongly encourage Fellows to be boosted as well. ​​​​​​ In-person meetings will be conducted based on covid-related safety precautions.

ECI wishes to accommodate a wide range of applicants. The funding offered is meant to supplement not be the sole resource of income for an awarded Fellow. Fellowship stipends may be used to cover expenses as the Fellow deems necessary. Depending on certain circumstances, additional funds may be available to support travel and access needs; however no additional funds are available for relocation, or housing at this time. 

While providing support and resources, ECI is also a rigorous program that nourishes Fellows’ curatorial growth through individual, collective learning and reflection. Our fellowship cultivates learning through open-ended exploration, thought-provoking discussion and timely-driven projects in order to shape skills and experiences needed for both personal and professional development. The estimated time commitment for Fellows is approximately 10-15 hours per month. With this commitment in mind, we do not accept applications from those who are currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program.


Who is eligible to apply?

The Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) fellowship is for:

– Minnesota-based residents with limited experience in curation who would benefit from the guidance the program offers; with an emphasis on those who  identify as women, non binary, gender nonconforming, LGBTQIA2S+, Black, Native, Indigenous, a Person of Color, racialized, disabled and/or neurodiverse. 

– Those who may not otherwise have access to the funding, resources, and education offered through the program. 

– Those seeking a learning experience outside of academic institutions or have graduated from a degree program (those who are currently enrolled in a degree seeking program are not eligible).

– Those who self-identify as curators including but not limited to: artists with curatorial interests; graduates of studio art, art history programs, and/or cultural studies programs; self-taught practitioners; and arts and community organizers. 

– Those with visions of curatorial projects that may or may not become exhibitions. We embrace visions that may manifest outside the box of the exhibition space, that may focus particularly/solely on public programming, education, community engagement or outdoor performance. 

– Those who value risk taking, experimentation and are excited to explore their practice across artistic disciplines.

In 2024, Awarded Fellows will receive:

– A stipend of $3,000 for participation in the learning cycle, with further funding offered to realize an exhibition or curatorial project in 2025.

– A 10 month long curatorial learning intensive with peers in the 2024 cohort (monthly gatherings)

– An opportunity to develop a small scale funded pop-up cohort exhibition at close of the learning cycle.

– Individualized Curatorial mentorship 

– Thoughtful feedback and ongoing support in  developing a curatorial project from the fellowship cohort, mentors, guest curators and ECI Director.

– A warm welcome into the expansive network of ECI Fellows, partners and mentors; connecting and building relationships with artists, peers, arts workers, curators, spaces and communities regionally, nationally and globally.

If selected, Fellows will be expected to:

  • Propose and organize an exhibition or curatorial project.
  • Be open to/ address how accessibility+ and community engagement will inform their vision and manifestation of the curatorial project.
  • Develop their project throughout 2024 and be prepared to realize a presentation of the project in 2025.
  • Meet deadlines set for the learning cycle (reading assignments, writings/sharings…) and be timely in response to communications from ECI staff, cohort, select facilitators/guest curators and venue partners.
  • Engage with ECI staff, mentors, guest curators, cohort members, ECI network and venue partners in respect of care, accessibility and intersectionality++.
  • Join in visits and gatherings of exhibitions of ECI Fellows, and those collectively chosen by cohort and ECI staff.
  • Attend approximately two meetings per month in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and/or online starting in April 2024 and ending by January 2025*
  • Meet with a mentor (once chosen) on a regular basis**

+Accessibility an evolving practice of making spaces (physical, environmental, virtual, communicative) usable by as many people as possible. In particular when we speak of access at ECI, we are centering how to support D/deaf, disabled, neurodiverse, chronically ill communities in meaningfully engaging with us, our programs and events.

++IntersectionalityThe intersectional approach is informed by pioneering thinker Dr. Kimberlé W. Crenshaw’s framework, which speaks to the complex set of social and political identities we each inhabit, and which lead to multiple distinct yet overlapping modes of privilege, discrimination and disadvantage. By taking an intersectional approach, we become aware of where power resides, and of the apparent absences in the sector. At ECI, we  put intersectionality at the center of our activities and operations, respecting complexity, resisting simplification, and refusing to tokenize based on any single issue, practice, or identity marker. 

*Cohort meetingsgatherings involving all the Fellows—are mandatory. Regular date TBD based upon full cohort’s availability. In person gatherings are subject to required Covid-protocols determined by ECI staff.

**Mentor meetings are scheduled in alignment with Fellows’ mentors and can occur by Zoom, phone, or in-person at the discretion of the fellow and mentor.


Application Materials Overview

There are 3 parts to the fellowship application:

1. Personal Information

2. Application narrative

3. Resume  & Work Samples

In the form you will be asked to share personal information (contact information, how you identify, availability for the fellowship), to submit a statement of interest, a project proposal, a resumé, and upload work samples (see details below for what to submit for each).

In support of accessibility, those with access requests, wishing to submit the application in another format (such as a video or audio version), please feel free to email [email protected], text or call 651.237.5936

Application Narrative

1) Statement of Interest 

2) Project Proposal

To note: You will complete your answers in a separate document, with title at top of each document (Statement of Interest or Project Proposal) and upload each accordingly within the form.  Uploading as a PDF is best. 

please adhere to the word limit of each area. Jurors will only read the first 500 words of a Statement of Interest and the first 1000 words of a Proposal.

To support access, for all written documents, the font size should be at least 16 point and please use a san serif font. 


1)Statement of Interest*(500 words max)

Please offer a statement as to your interest in being a 2024 ECI Fellow.

Guiding questions to answer:

• Why are you interested in participating in a curatorial intensive program?

• How would you benefit from this program? What do you hope to learn?

• What does it mean to be curator? To curate? How does this connect to your identity and practice as a creative, artist or curator? 

• What are some of the principles, values, beliefs, or ideas that inspire you to do curatorial work?

• Is there anything else we should know about you, your needs, and hopes for participating in this fellowship?


2) Project Proposal(1000 words max)

Questions informing your proposal:

• What is the curatorial project you would like to develop? 

• Why is this project important to you, at this time?

• Which artists or what kind of artists might be involved, or would you like to work with? Do you have an existing relationship with them?

• If you don’t plan to work with artists, which objects, materials, resources, plans of engagement or education would shape your project?

• How might accessibility be integrated into the vision of the presentation? 

• Where might you wish to present this project? Is it in a gallery, outdoors, community center or somewhere else?


A note on Proposals

Project Proposals:

– are intended to give an idea of the curatorial project you would like to develop.

– will evolve and develop throughout the fellowship program, so applicants will not be judged on the completeness of their proposals but instead on the quality of the ideas and potential for success within the framework of the fellowship. Successful curatorial proposals share insights into a potential Fellow’s background, previous work accomplished and how a Fellow arrived at their vision for a project.

– are not limited to a gallery exhibition, they may include events, public programs, publications, performances, screenings, or other experimental curatorial practices. 

–  may include art practices across any discipline (visual arts, film, media, community-based work, social practice, craft, sound, performance, etc.).

– can be ambitious, but need to noted as to how they could be achievable within the timeline and resources of the fellowship. 


3) Resumé (3 pages max)

A resumé can take the form of a professional CV (curriculum vitae), a biography, or a listing of your accomplishments in the arts or adjacent fields. Previous curatorial experience is not required, but you should make a connection to your experience in your proposal and statement of interest.

4) Work Samples (3–7 images, pdfs, or videos)

For work samples, we welcome images of previous curatorial projects, artistic, or other organizational projects that make evident your potential to execute your proposal and connect to your statement of interest.

At least 3 work samples are required. There are various types of samples you can offer which can include:

– a writing sample of a curatorial statement

– images of a curatorial project or creative project

– research and cultural writings on an arts topic

– video of a project (only 1 allowed, up to 10 minutes)

If you don’t have curatorial experience, we encourage you to submit work samples from previous projects that you believe are related to curatorial, creative or arts practice.

Have you organized an event, film series, public program, community gathering, or publication? Share images or materials that support evidence of these activities.

Are you an artist? Please submit images of your own work. Videos are welcome but only 1 sample in this format is allowed, up to 10 minutes in length.

Have you written an art-related research paper, essay, or article? Share a pdf with a writing sample (maximum 2 pages for each writing sample).

Lastly, Please provide a list of your work samples in a document, briefly describing each sample. Don’t forget to tell us your role in the project, and a brief summary or description.  There is a separate upload within the form for this document.  

If you are unsure of what to provide, please  email [email protected] and we can offer suggestions on what might help represent your experience.

Access support is available for those within the disability, neurodivergent and chronically ill communities wishing to apply. Please email [email protected], call or text 651.237.5936.