Western Gallery and Museum Management program curates careers
If you’ve ever felt yourself drawn into a museum exhibit or appreciated how pieces of art work together in a gallery, there’s someone to thank for that.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to be the person who takes an empty room and turns it into something emotive, there is a place for that, no matter where you happen to be.
Now in its seventh year, the Master of Arts in Gallery and Museum Management (MGMM) program at Western Colorado University is helping people in the field of curation take their skills, and careers, to the next level.
MGMM Program: Taught by Leading Experts in the Field
Throughout the curriculum students learn curation, collections care and research, collections management, exhibition development and design along with the principles of museum education. They also learn first-hand how non-profit organizations operate and are administered, including gaining valuable fundraising and marketing skills, because some of the most important skills in the discipline are those that help keep the lights on.
“Our MGMM program has many of the same classroom and professional experiences that larger universities offer,” Program Director Dr. Erica Kinias, says. “Each of our classes is taught by a leading expert in their field.”
One such expert is Dr. Carl Fuldner, who is the Curatorial Fellow in Photography and Media at the Art Institute of Chicago, which – while surrounded by world class museums – is consistently ranked as one of the top museums in the city. Another is Dr. Mathilde Leduc, a Curator at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, who, because of her expertise in collections repatriation, restitution, as well as art law, offers students a global perspective and training in managing art and cultural heritage in museums, Kinias says.
Kinias herself is an art historian, former museum director, curator, and non-profit grants manager who got her PH.D. at Brown University and offers specific training on how to manage museum infrastructure, business principles, grant-writing, public programming, and museum education. And Western’s own Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, Dr. David Hyde, offers training for MGMM students in navigating the ethical and legal aspects of the business and how to work with archaeological and anthropological collections.
Western’s Commitment to Accessibility and Internships
To make the program more accessible to those who can’t relocate, courses are held online, combined with a two-week summer practicum and an internship with an institution of the student’s choosing. Currently students in the program are completing internships at the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos, in Puerto Rico and at the Colorado Bureau of Reclamation’s Reclamation in the West Art Collection in Denver, Colo.
“The Practicum consists of a series of hands-on workshops on collections management and exhibition design, followed by behind-the-scenes tours of museums led by curators and directors,” Kinias, says. “In 2022, the Practicum was held first at Western and then we visited Santa Fe, where we toured several museums with curators and downtown galleries.”
Program Timeline and Flexibility
Students can enroll in the program full time and finish the degree requirements in 15 months, or they can customize the rate and intensity with which they move through the program. Graduates from the program are currently working all over the United States, including as the Director of Martine Chaisson Gallery in New Orleans and as the Program Coordinator at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.
“Speaking from my own graduate experience, I would have appreciated the range of experience and expertise of a global faculty like Western’s,” Kinias says.
For more information about Western’s MGMM program, visit western.edu.