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Call for Applications: Aroha Fellowship for Museums & Creative Aging

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog
LIne drawing of hands releasing butterflies with text "Creative Aging"

Last week the Alliance launched the search for our first senior fellow. With the generous support of Aroha Philanthropies, this individual will spend two years advancing the work of museums with respect to creative aging.

One of the goals of the Center for the Future of Museums is to cultivate connections between museums and all sectors, increasing the capacity of museums to draw on various areas of expertise and creativity as they re-imagine their future, experiment with change and recruit influential advocates for museums in other fields. To that end, the Alliance has enlisted a series of fellows to take a “deep dive” into topics of importance to our field. With the support of the American Council of Learned Societies, our first fellow, Dr. Nicole Ivy, led an extended exploration of labor, diversity and inclusive practice. Our second fellow, Sage Morgan-Hubbard, extended the Alliance’s work on museums and the future of education. Designed in collaboration with Aroha, our third fellowship will focus on how museums can combat ageism and foster creative aging.

Over the course of two years, the Aroha Fellow for Museums and Creative Aging will work with museums and with organizations and individuals in the creative aging sector to:
• Raise awareness about the pervasive and negative effects of ageism
• Instigate change by using the Alliance’s extensive network and diverse platforms to disseminate information and tools museums need to implement age-inclusive practices in all areas of operations, including programming, marketing, and hiring
• Promote evaluation and research that contributes to the growing body of knowledge on creative aging, and encouraging application of the latest research findings on the benefits of arts participation
• Foster partnerships between museums and organizations devoted to creative aging

It is our intent that, as a result of the fellow’s work, more museums will integrate creative aging practices into their work as a matter of course, and we will increase the number of national and community-based organizations dedicated to creative aging that see museums as vital partners for their work. The major components of the fellow’s work will be generating content (writing and speaking); networking; and organizing a multi-day symposium to be held in the fall of 2019.

This is the Alliance’s first senior fellowship, and as such it is structured to accommodate applicants at various stages in their careers. It does not require the fellow to be resident in DC (a nonresident fellow would come to the AAM offices several times a year to integrate their work with our staff). It is structured around a specific set of deliverables (outlined in the call for applications) rather than on a fixed work schedule. The annual stipend of $55,000 was set via benchmarking with similar fellowships at various nonprofit think tanks, in order to provide fair compensation for what we estimate will be about 700 hours of work per year. In addition to the stipend, funds are available to support attendance at conferences, travel to DC (if needed) and design and printing of publications.

In the spirit of “Nothing About Us Without Us,” the Alliance is encouraging applications from individuals representing the age demographic that is the focus of the initiative. We are also very interested in the potential for an applicant with experience from outside the museum sector to bring new perspectives to bear on this work. That said, we look forward to receiving a diverse set of applications from people inside and outside the museum field, at various stages in their career.

Here is the call for applications, with a deadline of December 14. We look forward to seeing your application, if you are interested in this fellowship. In any case, please share this link with individuals you’d like to see in this position, working on behalf of the museum field. If you have connections to organizations, programs, coalitions, etc. that work on topics related to ageism and creative aging, please ask them to spread the word as well.

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