April 25, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

New Getty Foundation Program Funds Critical Early-Career Jobs to Diversify the Arts

Getty Marrow Emerging Professionals is the first program in the nation at this scale and will support positions at 10 Los Angeles arts institutions including the Academy Museum, MOCA, ONE Archives, and more

The Getty Foundation has launched Getty Marrow Emerging Professionals, a new pilot program designed to meet the critical need for full-time early-career jobs in arts museums and nonprofits for individuals from historically underrepresented groups.

These two-year positions at 10 Los Angeles arts institutions will provide meaningful entry-level employment and mentoring that is crucial to building lasting arts careers, and will be available to alumni of the long-running Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program. Each participating institution will have the option to extend the candidates’ roles for a third year. Getty Marrow Emerging Professionals will be the first program in the country devoted exclusively to coordinated, early-career positions at multiple institutions in the same region.

Collecting and presenting arts organizations that will host the early-career professionals include the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the Armory Center for the Arts, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, the Hammer Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, Self Help Graphics & Art, and the Skirball Cultural Center. Getty will also host two positions: one at the Getty Museum and another at the Getty Research Institute.

“We hope to accomplish two things with this program,” says Joan Weinstein, director of the Getty Foundation. “We’re investing in emerging professionals who want to make their careers in the arts and we’re supporting institutions with a strong commitment to diversifying their staff. Coordinated efforts like this one are necessary if we want to bring new voices and perspectives into our cultural institutions.”  

“Museums should be ecosystems in which talented, creative people from all backgrounds thrive, while contributing to the evolution of culture. Offering early-career individuals a chance to learn and work in a supportive environment is a crucial step to expanding our field and remaining relevant to our communities,” said Johanna Burton, The Maurice Marciano Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). “The Getty Marrow Emerging Professionals grant aligns meaningfully with MOCA’s commitment to developing the highest standards of museum practice at all levels of experience and to supporting arts professionals as they grow in their careers. We are grateful and honored to be part of this historic and timely program.”

Since 1993, Getty Marrow internships have provided paid, full-time summer work opportunities for college undergraduates from backgrounds that have traditionally been underrepresented in museums and visual arts organizations. In 2020, the Getty Foundation released a comprehensive report to assess the cumulative impact of more than 3,000 Getty Marrow internships since the program’s inception, and found that nearly one third of alumni had pursued a career in the visual arts, with several now in executive leadership positions in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

“My own Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship changed my life and shaped my career in many fruitful ways, so I understand the significant impact these opportunities hold,” says Sonja Wong Leaon, vice president, Registration and Collection Management at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, who will work closely with her museum’s Emerging Professional hire. “The Academy Museum is honored to be part of this community of arts organizations working together to help a wave of diverse professionals get the strong start they need to thrive in the arts.”

The Getty Marrow report also noted that although Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, professionals in permanent positions at museums across the County still do not reflect this diversity. Getty Marrow alumni highlighted the challenges they faced early in their careers in finding meaningful full-time employment needed to create a firm foundation for future career development—issues this new program directly addresses.

The new Emerging Professionals program will include a strong mentoring component, peer-to-peer networking for participants, and a professional development stipend for customized learning tailored to fit each individual’s needs.

“As a Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship alumnus, I am happy to be in the position to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned from my mentors along my journey,” says Heber Rodriguez, exhibition program production manager at Armory Center for the Arts. “Active mentorship and continuous professional development are important elements of the lifting-as-we-climb model of support for the next generation of arts professionals.”

The program will include 11 positions that span three core areas of museum work: Collections Care and Management; Education, Interpretation, Public Programming and Community Engagement; and Curatorial Practice.

The positions are open to emerging professionals seeking to pursue careers in arts museums and visual arts organizations who are alumni of the Getty Marrow internship program. Partner organizations will be responsible for recruitment beginning this summer, and all participants are expected to be in place by January 2023.

Following is a list of all participating institutions and position titles. All of the positions will be linked on Getty’s website as applications are posted.

  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Assistant Registrar, Permanent Collection
  • Armory Center for the Arts, Public Programs Associate
  • Autry Museum of the American West, Repatriation Assistant
  • Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, Curatorial Assistant
  • Getty Museum, position information to be announced in fall 2022
  • Getty Research Institute, position information to be announced in fall 2022
  • Hammer Museum, Assistant Educator
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Programming Assistant
  • Self Help Graphics & Art, Education and Public Programs Coordinator
  • Skirball Cultural Center, Exhibitions Coordinator
  • USC Libraries/ONE Archives, Curatorial Assistant
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