Peabody Essex receives $1.3M grant for Native American program

Karen Kramer, PEM’s curator of Native American and Oceanic art and culture, and Rachel Allen (Nez Perce), Native American Fellow alumni and current assistant curator, study artwork by T.C. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo, 1946-1978). Photography by Bob Packert/PEM

SALEM, Mass. – The Peabody Essex Museum has been awarded a $1.3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support its landmark Native American Fellowship program. Heading into its 10th year, the museum’s fellowship program ensures that talented Native Americans acquire the experience, knowledge and skills they need to become impactful cultural leaders.

The Peabody Essex Museum’s Native American Fellowship program was founded in 2010 in response to the notable underrepresentation of Native Americans working in the museum field. The program is the first of its kind in the nation and is designed to foster the next generation of Native American museum, cultural, and academic leaders who will play an important role in the development and preservation of Native American art and culture. Through on-the-job museum training and leadership intensives, PEM’s Native American Fellows are given meaningful professional opportunities to build their resumés while learning critically important skills related to organizational development, management, strategic planning, negotiation, creative problem-solving, fundraising, marketing and communications. Alumni of PEM’s Native American Fellowship program have gone on to obtain important positions in cultural heritage institutions across the country.

“We deeply appreciate the AWM Foundation’s support for PEM’s landmark Native American Fellowship Program,” said Dan Monroe, the museum’s director and CEO. “PEM has the oldest Native American art collection in the hemisphere. We are dedicated to presenting and interpreting the art and culture of more than 500 Native American tribes in innovative new ways in order to help erode old misconceptions and to generate new understanding and appreciation for the truly extraordinary artistic and cultural genius of America’s first peoples. We also believe we have a responsibility to help support continuing creativity and advancement of Native Americans. The Mellon Foundation’s support for our Native American Fellowship Program enables us to provide leadership training to talented young Native Americans who will be future cultural leaders of Native American communities nationwide.”

Applications for PEM’s 2019 Summer Fellowships are being accepted now through Jan. 18. These positions are paid, housing is provided, and travel expenses covered. More information is available at: https://www.pem.org/employment/native-american-fellowship-program .

Over the course of 10 weeks, PEM’s Summer Fellows gain organizational and leadership skills, as well as significant work experience to position them for personal growth and professional success. Selected for their academic credentials, leadership and career aspirations, and mission alignment, Summer Fellows are assigned high-level projects that connect to strategic institutional initiatives and are given opportunities to observe the complexity, logistics and decision-making of running a museum. Summer Fellows also spend more than 40 hours in interactive leadership workshops and seminars that include current trends in the field, strategic planning, navigating organizational politics, communication, fundraising, and Indigenous curation.

In addition to its Summer Fellowship program, PEM also periodically offers long-term fellow positions that range from 12-24 months. Long-term fellows are provided with substantive professional experiences and networking opportunities. More information is available at:https://www.pem.org/employment/native-american-fellowship-program/long-term-fellowship .