Oakland Museum of CA

Mellon Curatorial Fellow

Req No.
Project Full-Time


The Oakland Museum of California hosts a Curatorial Fellowship for an emerging museum professional funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This two-year paid fellowship will focus on the discipline areas of Art, Craft, and Design. The role will provide curatorial training and support community engagement related to OMCA’s mission and social impact framework. The Fellow will be integrated into an interdisciplinary curatorial team with duties that range from participation in aspects of special exhibition projects to general curatorial work including research on the collection, museum visitors, and potential community partners. The Fellow will plan and complete a project in consultation with the Supervising Curator.

Skills and Approach of this “Emerging Professional”

  • Knowledge of contemporary trends and issues in art and community engagement.
  • Familiarity with the field of museums. 
  • An ability and commitment to develop authentic narratives for a broad audience.
  • Commitment to collaboration, coupled with a strong sense of agency.
  • Ability to hold a vision firmly but flexibly - ready to respond to community input.
  • Enthusiasm for participating in a wide range of organizational functions.


This two-year paid fellowship begins January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2023. The Fellow is expected to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. The position provides full benefits, plus additional funds for professional networking locally and nationally, research support, travel, and relocation. The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant.



The following reflects OMCA’s definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 


  • Support the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future.
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement.
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives.
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement.
  • All positions will have core functional responsibilities, cross functional team activation and learning and development as a core function of each role.



  • Participate in the research, development and execution of permanent collection gallery upkeep, object rotations and new installations guided by OMCA’s exhibition development and social impact frameworks, including preparing and pitching 1-2 proposals for new installations.
  • Assist with the development and evaluation of major temporary exhibitions including participating in prototyping and front end evaluation, assisting and participating in convenings of community experts, researching and writing texts, conducting artifact and object research.
  • Participate in collection work including conducting collection surveys, cataloguing, researching and preparing justifications for new acquisitions and deaccessions; participating in the evaluation of loan requests.
  • Research and develop presentations and talks for donor groups, staff, professional conferences and symposia, the public and docents as needed.
  • Research and write material for museum publications, digital and social media platforms as needed.



  • Ability to display and encourage visitor and internal customer service, take and share responsibility and treat others with respect.
  • An academic background or practical equivalent in art, art history, and related topics.
  • Expertise in California contemporary indigenous art is strongly desired. 
  • Experience or demonstrable interest in creating exhibitions and public projects for a general audience.
  • English language proficiency in both spoken and written form.
  • Superior research and writing skills.
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, stakeholders and community members.
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities in a fast-paced work environment. 



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The environment may include:

  • Museum environment involves both indoor and outdoor working conditions.
  • Ability to travel between OMCA locations, and other travel as required by position responsibilities. 
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.



The Oakland Museum of California is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability/disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We highly encourage our diverse community to apply for available employment, internship, fellowship and volunteer positions at the Museum, as we aim to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our visitors and the surrounding community. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, OMCA will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.



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