The Smithsonian Latino Center announced plans to expand its internship and fellowship programs, launch a postdoctoral fellowship and consolidate them under its Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) brand. A new $2.1 million grant, provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will support the paid undergraduate internships and related components. The Latino Center will fund the graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.
“We need to expand our programs if we’re going to develop the next generation of Latino museum professionals,” said Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center. “We’re grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support; they see the need to diversify museum workforces and understand how our approach addresses that.”
LMSP is a pathway program designed to increase hands-on training opportunities for emerging museum professionals with an academic focus and interest in Latino Studies and the U.S. Latino experience. The Latino Center will partner with the National Gallery of Art and five colleges and universities that serve large or significant Latino student populations, most of them Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Through those partnerships, LMSP intends to diversify opportunities into non-curatorial museum studies and practice to include conservation, exhibition design, digital culture and museum education.
The Mellon Foundation has committed itself to studying and improving workplace diversity in U.S. art museums, helping them become more welcoming and accessible spaces. For more than 30 years, the Mellon Foundation has funded a wide range of Smithsonian initiatives.