MuseWeb and its sponsors offer competitive scholarships covering full conference registration and a full day of workshops. In select cases, support is also offered for travel and lodging costs. To be eligible, candidates must have made a significant contribution to the development of an innovative cultural or heritage project and must demonstrate that they would not be able to attend the meeting without support. MW scholarship program helps fund small institutions professionals who might otherwise not be able to attend to participate and travel to the Annual Conference. The program is solely funded by corporations and foundations. We have a few scholarship programs every year – Small Institution Scholarship Fund and Diversity Scholarship Fund. The application process will be announced soon.
About MW Diversity Scholarship Fund
MuseWeb is committed to advocating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the museum space as well as in the workforce. We actively select and encourage the topics to be presented and discussed at the conference. We believe without the space to dialogue the challenges, we will not make the necessary change to shift the culture. We also realize that many of our small – medium-size institutions cannot allocate the fund to attend training, workshops, and conference. We dedicate the special scholarship program that is made possible by our dedicated sponsors.
“Because early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families, institutions and nations, they represented the biases of the time and the collectors’ selection and interpretation of rare or curious natural objects, artifacts, and art they deemed important. Public access to a privately-funded museum was often only possible for the “respectable,” and at the discretion of owners and staff. With this exclusivity, the elite gained a higher social status as collectors and interpreters of these important, preserved objects and reinforced the beliefs and construct of racial hierarchies to support political beliefs and validate eugenic ideas. Publicly-funded museums reinforced nationalist endeavors by informing museum priorities and interpretations.
In the last several years, museum staff has become activists to increase pressure, especially in the public eye with the use of social media, to highlight barriers to change within their organizations and provide unrelenting pressure either to address past wrongs or suffer the consequences of public displeasure. Staff no longer accept heavy-handed responses by tone-deaf directors and out-of-touch boards, as well as the failed non-response to wait for it to go away, then continue business as usual.
In the midst of this shift, as some organizations were just beginning to scramble to address these issues, museums witnessed the impact of systemic racism, amplified by global movements of anti-racism to address long-standing issues of social injustice, including public protests against police and mass violence, advocating for increased diversity and inclusion, and educating all generations to understand and diminish bias. Museums also were called upon to record and respond to the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on the same communities that museums need to include, uplift, and serve.” —–Shanita Brackett, Co-chair MW22 and MW23