AAM-Getty International Program

The AAM-Getty International Program is a professional growth opportunity that in 2021 will be offered to alumni of the program. It will include:

  • Complimentary virtual AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo registration
  • Facilitated conversation on a shared understanding of museum operations, practices and programs during the virtual annual meeting
  • Four specially designed virtual sessions with featured speakers, scheduled in the summer of 2021. Topics for these sessions will explore issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion as it relates to museums as civic spaces, public assets, prisms of individual and collective identity, and stewards of cultural heritage.

In addition, Participants will also receive:


AAM-Getty International program alumni from 2010 -2020 may apply for the program. Alumni applicants should currently work with art collections in museums or in art museums in countries with developing and emerging economies.

Requirements of Program Participants

  • Participants can attend session of their choice at the virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo on May 24 and June 7-9 https://annualmeeting.aam-us.org/
  • Complete an Annual Meeting evaluation
  • Participate in a Speed Networking event and facilitated conversations during the virtual Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo on June 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m. eastern standard time.
  • Attend or view the recordings for the four specially designed virtual sessions with featured speakers, scheduled in the summer of 2021.

How to Apply

Applicants complete an application online. Applicants are encouraged to compile their applications materials before starting the online process. Applicants will not be able to save and return to complete their application over time. The Review Committee will not consider incomplete or late applications.

Application deadline is April 26, 2021.

Step One

Prepare and submit a single PDF document in English and name the pdf file labelled with your first and last name. Including the following:

  1. Essay (not to exceed 500 words in length) addressing the following questions:
    • How does your current work/job informed by any/or all of the topics that will be discussed in the four virtual session conversations described below?
    • Would you be interested in writing about your work on any of the topics below for the AAM website or magazine? If yes, which topic or topics?
    • How will your participation at the AAM annual meeting contribute to your professional growth and museum work?
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae (2-3 page limit)

Virtual Conversation Sessions

Your application essay should address how your work has been informed by one or more of the following issues which will be discussed in the virtual conversation series and hosted by AAM on selected dates between June through August 2021. Virtual conversation session dates and speakers will be announced at a later date.

  • Rethinking Museums as Inclusive Public Spaces
    • As museum professionals, we like to think of our museums as sacred spaces—places where cherished ideas and objects are housed. But what do those outside of our field think about museums? Are our institutions truly places where individuals, groups and communities gather to deliberate, exchange ideas, and solve problems to advance the general wellbeing of their communities? Can museums contribute to the common good when they are hardly accessible to the public community? Museums are not serving this public need to the best of their ability. What more could be done to challenge our institutions to reconsider all spaces to engage our communities on their own terms, and not just those of museum professionals.
  • Built on the Backs of “Others”
    • Throughout history Western mainstream museums have been built on the backs of “others.” Looting, pillaging, and stealing from cultures outside of one’s own was seen as a way to educate and affirm the social standing of the elite – those with means. The Eurocentric notion of collecting, and its American variant, continue to be the point of departure for museological theory about the future of museums’ responsibilities to objects, to living collections, even to knowledge—i.e., intangible heritage. How could our institutions seek knowledge from their constituents to broaden and make more inclusive their stewardship of heritage? With calls to decolonize and return objects taken without permission to their culture of origin, it is time to reconsider the role museums should take in stewarding cultural assets- tangible and intangible.
  • Museums for All?
    • Who we are and what we believe establishes part of our individual identities. Museums say they are designed to reaffirm individual and collective identity and, ideally, embrace a spirit of belonging and community cohesion in their practices and actions. But how do they ensure inclusivity in their understanding and interpretation of individual and collective identity?  Do the values embedded in their origins alienate people and some communities they claim to serve? Museums often face accessibility issues for people with alternate means of learning, the mobility-challenged, or with auditory or visual impairment. How do we make our museums accessible to everyone? Can museums actually create a sense of belonging for all? 
  • Museum Mission to Advance Equity in Innovation and Change
    • Museums praise themselves as places of innovation, while their broader public perception as civic places that are outmoded, elitists and racist persists. How can museums live up to the shared ownership of their missions? How can they ensure their reputations as trusted sources of knowledge when they speak the language of just a few? And often share one-sided stories of their collections? How can museums foster radical change when they can’t even achieve the involvement of their communities? True inspiration for all is what we need to aspire to! What museum examples have accomplished these goals that can serve as inspiration?

Step Two

  • Complete the AAM-Getty International Program Application Form
  • Upload your required PDF document to include: essay and resume or curriculum vitae
  • Review your application to be sure all the information is accurate and complete. Applicants will not be able to save and return to complete their application at a later date. Don’t forget to click the submit button.


AAM will notify applicants via email on decisions by April 30, 2021.


This program is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation.

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