Sports and Race Initiative Curatorial Internship Fall 2023
The Office of Curatorial Affairs (OCA), including the Centers, facilitates the intellectual work of the Museum by collecting artifacts, ensuring collection preservation and stewardship, conducting research and scholarship, and sharing the rich history and culture of African Americans and all people of African descent with a diverse public in accessible, multifaceted ways including exhibition, digitization, and publication.
The Culture division of OCA documents, collects and preserves information and materials related to the cultural heritage of African Americans and other select groups, whose actions have influenced and/or contributed to the African American experience, including those associated with the African Diaspora. Specific areas of focus include: sports, music, the performing arts, oral history, literary arts, dress and textiles, decorative arts, foodways and folklife in their many diverse forms.
The Sports and Race Initiative (SRI) was created because the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recognizes that sports provide a unique entry point into the African American experience. Given the centrality of sports to American life, the influence of athletes, and the ability of sports to bring together cross sections of individuals, regardless of race, gender, and socio-cultural backgrounds, sports bridge barriers that are frequently difficult to navigate. As the nation continues to struggle with how to deal with the legacies of race, gender and sexual inclusivity, and continuing inequality; sports, perhaps more than any other institution has been a public space that has facilitated national discussions about equality, opportunity, and access to the American Dream.
The Sports and Race Initiative Curatorial Intern for the Sports and Race Initiative will assist the Supervisory Curator of Sports and other members of the Sports and Race Initiative team with exhibition-related tasks including object acquisition, and program-related activities. They will conduct research and work on a variety of projects involving the permanent collection, and sports-related programming. This internship is principally designed to help interns engage one of the most important aspects of curatorial work: collecting objects. Some projects will overlap with other departments, enabling interns to gain broad exposure to other areas of museum operations. The intern will develop their professional communication skills and learn about how historical research is conducted, and how public history is differentiated.
Duties Include (but are not limited to):
· Supporting the acquisition, cataloguing, interpretation, and exhibition of objects and artifacts
· Developing, implementing, and evaluating sports-related programs and projects for the Sports and Race Initiative
· Performing a variety of duties related to the delivery of sports-related programming by NMAAHC including meeting deadlines, drafting documents with specified formats and reviewing materials
· Working in support of writing and media projects for scholarly and public audiences
· Providing historical and cultural research for objects, graphics, photographs, audio and visual media, and/or other contextual material to support the sports-related content for the Museum’s collection and exhibitions using current scholarship, archival resources, genealogical resources, and oral history
· Assist the Supervisory Curator of Sports with object acquisitions