Professional Development: AAM Fellowships

Seasons greetings from the EMP blog! Today, we’d like to talk briefly about the fellowships offer by the American Association of Museums that help EMPs attend the annual meeting. This year, the meeting’s being held in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, from April 29 – May 2. The theme is “Creative Community,” utilizing the museums in this region to highlight how to “cultivate and sustain” a creative community spirit.

I’ve been to the AAM annual meeting twice now, in Los Angeles and Houston, and I absolutely love it. I find that the idea of a creative community perfectly matches my perception of the meeting itself, where hundreds of museum professionals come together to share their experiences and ideas for the future. While the conference is (admittedly) physically exhausting – with 4-5 days straight of sessions, workshops, and museum visits, often from 7 or 8 in the morning and on well into the evening – it’s also an invigorating experience. I definitely recommend attending if you have the option.

As you probably know, though, attendance isn’t cheap if you don’t have financial assistance from your institution. And so, there are multiple fellowships available through AAM for a variety of professionals. One of these is a fellowship for EMPs, and you can find the application here. An individual is eligible for an AAM EMP Fellowship if she/he:

  • Is an employee of a museum, full-time student in a museum-related course of study, or working with museums (independent professional types)
  • Is in the first 10 years of your career.
  • Not previously a recipient of an AAM Fellowship to attend the Annual Meeting (International, Diversity, EMP or Mid-Career Professional Network)

This week I asked my fellows on the EMP advisory council, which reviews the applications, if they had any words of advice for this years applicants, and Jillian Allison of Denver had this to share:

I found that as a reviewer last year applicants who included specific details really stood out in my mind.  This might have included particular sessions they wanted to attend, projects that they were working on that might be enhanced by their attendance and details on their projected budget.

This year applications are due by January 31st, and the earlier you get started the better (especially in the case of developing that budget Jillian mentioned). Working on your application and giving attendance at the AAM annual meeting a chance seems like an excellent holiday present to yourself. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment for us here and we’ll try to give advice as we’re able.

Again, happy holidays and best wishes!


This post was contributed by Caitlin Lill, EMP Blog Administrator. 

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