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Past Romare Bearden Fellows, Saint Louis Art Museum

The Fellowship

The Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship is nationally renowned as one of the oldest and most robust museum programs in the country dedicated to increasing diversity among professional staff in the museum field. This one-year full-time paid Fellowship is a critical component in preparing early career museum professionals from historically underrepresented backgrounds (particularly people of color) seeking careers in art museums and art-related fields of education, community engagement, and administration.

Fellows receive hands-on work experience in various museum functions, including curatorial, public programming, interpretive materials, registration, audience development, marketing, and development. Specific assignments are tailored to the needs of the Saint Louis Art Museum as well as the Bearden Fellow’s skills and interests. All fellows receive individualized mentoring from senior museum staff to enhance skill development that fosters confidence building critical to entry-level museum professionals.

Named to honor African American artist Romare Bearden (1911—1988), the Fellowship was established with a gift from St. Louis philanthropists Adelaide and Daniel Schlafly, and is supported in part by their endowment and with significant additional funding from the Art Museum. Founded in 1991 as an undergraduate program, the Fellowship was redefined as a graduate program in 1992. Many of the goals today are similar to those originally laid out for the program at its inception – to build a pool of outstanding and talented museum professionals. As of 2020, there were 27 Bearden Fellows, 90% of whom are still actively working in prominent positions across the arts and cultural field. Alumni of the program hold a range of leadership positions in the art world as curators, educators, and development directors at prestigious museums and universities, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Current and Past Fellows

  • Victoria McCraven

    2020-2021 Fellow

  • Asmaa Walton

    2019-2020 Fellow

  • Alexis Assam

    2018-2019 Fellow

  • Jade Powers

    2017-2018 Fellow

  • Yvonne Osei

    2016-2017 Fellow

  • Courtney Baxter

    2015-2016 Fellow

  • Jordia Benjamin

    2014-2015 Fellow

  • Kimberly Jacobs

    2013-2014 Fellow

  • Vanity Gee

    2012-2013 Fellow

  • Rochelle Caruthers

    2011-2012 Fellow

  • Michelle Moseley

    2010-2011 Fellow

  • Sherri Williams

    2009-2010 Fellow

  • Danielle Burns Wilson

    2008-2009 Fellow

  • Alisa Swindell

    2007-2008 Fellow

  • Katrina Hallowell

    2006-2007 Fellow

  • Jennifer Doyle

    2005-2006 Fellow

  • Ellene Stampley-Whiley

    2004-2005 Fellow

  • Timothy Paul Brown

    2002-2003 Fellow

  • Rehema Barber

    2001-2002 Fellow

  • Nenette Luarca-Shoaf

    2000-2001 Fellow

  • Anne Collins Smith

    1999-2000 Fellow

  • Jennifer McGill-Thompson

    1998-1999 Fellow

  • Channon Dillard

    1997-1998 Fellow

  • Kara Lyn Anderson

    1996-1997 Fellow

  • Alona Wilson

    1994-1995 Fellow

  • Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw

    1993-1994 Fellow

  • Cherise Smith

    1992-1993 Fellow

How to Apply

Each year the Saint Louis Art Museum invites applicants from around the world to apply for acceptance into the Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship program. The Museum accepts applications each year between November and January for the annual program beginning in July of the same year.

This cross-departmental position gives early-career professionals opportunities to work with various departments, including possible assignments in research, public programming, interpretive materials development, marketing, curatorial, and audience development. Specific assignments are tailored to the Museum’s needs and the Fellow’s skills and interests.

Eligible candidates must have completed at least one year of graduate school by the start of the Fellowship in Art Education, Art History, Museum Studies, or related fields such as Anthropology, African Studies, American Studies, Business, and History. Successful applicants must have good written and verbal communication skills, be able to work independently and manage multiple assignments.

The Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow receives a competitive annual salary, a full-time benefits package, and relocation and educational travel allowances.

Contact Renee Franklin for additional information.


Past Bearden Fellows Kimberly Jacobs, Courtney Baxter, and Yvonne Osei have fun in the galleries.

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