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Applications for the 2023/24 cohort closed on February 18, 2023.

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The Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) supports emerging curators from diverse backgrounds through a fellowship program consisting of in-depth research, professional development, and presentation program. 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.

Based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, the program will offer funded fellowships to four emerging curators. Over the course of the year-long program (March 2023 – December 2023), each fellow will participate in monthly educational meetings with their cohort, meet monthly with a mentor, and develop and produce an exhibition or curatorial project to be presented in 2024. ECI will provide support in the form of funding, designing an educational program that is responsive to fellows needs and interests, connecting fellows with a mentor, guest curators, and Minnesota arts organizations, who will guide their learning through a collaborative educational model.

As fellows develop their exhibitions or curatorial projects, ECI will facilitate access to research resources in the Twin Cities including art libraries, collections, and exhibitions. Fellows will fine-tune their ideas through writing and critical exchange. The program will culminate with each fellow producing and mounting an exhibition or curatorial project and public program.

In addition to the fellowship program, ECI also will host a series of public programs in 2023, which will provide opportunities for fellows and local audiences to engage in topics related to contemporary curatorial practice. All programs will be free and open to the public. Please check ECI’s events page and social media channels for updates on future public programs.

Please check ECI’s events page and social media channels for updates on future public programs.


The program consists of a direct learning intensive for four Minnesota-based emerging curators and a suite of public programs on curatorial practice that are free and open to the public.

Participating curatorial fellows will receive:

  • A stipend of $3,000 for their participation in the learning program
  • A $2,000 exhibition budget, inclusive of artist fees, shipping and production costs
  • Regular critical exchange and guidance from a curatorial mentor
  • Support and feedback on the conceptual development of a curatorial project from their fellowship cohort, visiting curators, and program staff
  • Exhibition-related marketing and publicity support
  • Participation in a curatorial learning intensive (monthly cohort meetings)
  • Access to research resources and Minnesota arts libraries
  • Contextual readings on contemporary curatorial practice
  • Connections with artists, peers, field professionals, and organizations
  • Conversations and guest appearances with previous ECI fellows
  • Access to a series of lectures by local and national curators
  • Support from a Minnesota exhibition venue to install, promote, and hold open venue hours

Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Propose and organize an exhibition or curatorial project
  • Develop their project throughout 2023 and continuing up through the presentation of their exhibition/project in 2024
  • Set and meet deadlines for learning and exhibition materials
  • Complete various writing, reading, research, and interpersonal projects
  • Communicate with fellowship staff, mentors, and venue partners and uphold standards
  • Attend their exhibition/project opening and give a public talk (dates negotiable in conversation with venue partner)
  • Attend approximately two meetings per month in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and/or online starting in March 2023 and ending in December 2023*
  • Meet with a mentor twice monthly** 
  • Complete and realize an exhibition/project in 2024

*Cohort meetings—meetings involving all the fellows—are mandatory. Regular date TBD based upon full cohort’s availability.

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


Save these dates on your calendar!

January 5: Fellowship applications open
February 18: Fellowship applications due
March 10: Fellows notified
March 2023: Program starts — Introduction cohort meeting for selected fellows
March 2023 – December 2023: Twice-monthly meetings with cohort and guest lectures
Dates TBD 2024: Exhibitions open—dates to be determined with venue partners


The Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) is for Minnesota-based curators with limited experience who exhibit promise and would benefit from the guidance the program offers. The program strongly encourages applicants who would not otherwise have access to the funding, resources, and education offered through the program. ECI is open to self-identified curators including but not limited to artists with curatorial interests; previous graduates of studio art, art history programs, contemporary/visual culture studies programs, or other related programs; self-taught practitioners; and arts and community organizers. The program welcomes individuals focusing on both exhibition and non-exhibition-based curatorial practices—such as public programming, education, or performance—values lived experiences, and encourages artistic exploration of all disciplines. Applicants of all backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, physical abilities, and Minnesota locations are encouraged to apply.

The program is open to applicants who will be living in Minnesota for the majority of the program. All program meetings, public programs, and exhibitions will take place in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. For this coming year, ECI will be working in a hybrid mode meeting both digitally and in-person as is appropriate and safe. Participants of ECI must be vaccinated to be in the program. We strongly encourage participants to be boosted as well. ​​​​​​ In-person meetings will only be conducted based on covid-related safety precautions. 

Fellowship stipends may be used for travel; however, no additional funds for ground transportation, relocation, or housing are available through the program at this time. The program wishes to accommodate a wide range of applicants and needs.

While providing a lot of support and resources, ECI is also a rigorous program that nourishes fellows’ curatorial growth through measurable professional learning experiences. Our program includes learning through open-ended exploration and deadline-driven projects to build a skill-set and portfolio of experiences needed for both personal and professional development. The estimated time commitment for fellows is approximately 15-20 hours per month. With this commitment in mind, we do not accept applicants who are currently enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program.