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* Kathleen Forde
Kathleen Forde, curator. Photo courtesy of EMPAC
Kathleen Forde Selected for Curatorial Leadership for 2010 Fellows Program

Twelve outstanding curators from art institutions across the United States — including Kathleen Forde, curator of time-based visual arts at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) — have been selected to participate in the 2010 fellowship program of the Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL), a nonprofit organization that trains curators for leadership positions. Selected by a panel of leading American museum directors, the Class of 2010 will begin the program on Jan. 4, 2010, with instruction from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University as well as top museum directors, administrators, and trustees from around the country. All costs are fully funded by CCL.

“EMPAC sets new standards in the creation and presentation of contemporary art using technology. The selection of a member of our curatorial team acknowledges that the bold step Rensselaer has taken with EMPAC and its programming direction is gaining national attention and acceptance.”
— Johannes Goebel, EMPAC director

“We are very proud that Kathleen has been selected,” said Johannes Goebel, EMPAC director. “EMPAC sets new standards in the creation and presentation of contemporary art using technology. The selection of a member of our curatorial team acknowledges that the bold step Rensselaer has taken with EMPAC and its programming direction is gaining national attention and acceptance.”

Co-founded by Agnes Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, and Elizabeth Easton, the former chair of the Department of European Painting at the Brooklyn Museum, the Center for Curatorial Leadership acknowledges the increasing need for curators to learn new skills that combine traditional curatorial connoisseurship and art historical scholarship with administrative, managerial, and fundraising expertise. The aim of the program is to develop a new kind of curator, one who is able to take responsibility for the art in his or her care, and who is also capable of handling the internal and external managerial responsibilities integral to the larger, more broad-based concerns of the museum and the profession.

After a rigorous application process, the fellows were selected by four museum directors from around the country. The intention is to encourage curators to strengthen their skills and to nurture talented curators who may not realize their own potential for leadership. The program begins in January with a two-week intensive session in New York, where the fellows will receive instruction from Columbia Business School every morning in major areas of management. Each fellow will also benefit from a 360-degree evaluation prior to the beginning of the program. In the afternoons, the fellows engage directly with the most important museum directors, trustees, administrators, and leaders of other cultural institutions from around the country. The program also includes a week long residency in a museum different from the curator’s own institution and a mentorship with the director or trustee of a museum or cultural institution, with whom they consult over the course of six months. The fellowship concludes in June with a final week of instruction emphasizing core values.

The CCL welcomed its first class of fellows in 2008 and in just two years, the program has seen the professional advancement of many participants. Among the 20 fellows to date, two have been named directors, four have been promoted to deputy-director or associate director rank, two have been promoted to chief curator, and three others have attained more senior positions.

Additional information, and a list of the 12 CCL fellows, can be found at www.curatorialleadership.org.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 13, November 20, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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