M.LiT Fall 2015: Museum Leaders in Training

Teen giving tourProfessional Development, An Introduction to Exhibition Design & Curatorial Work

Learn. Explore. Advise. Discover.

Final Deadline: Sep 13, 2015
Final Deadline applicants will be notified of decision by Sep 18, 2015


Participating students (grades 8–12) will gain a strong appreciation of the visual arts, in relation to history and culture, in this competitive 12-week, Saturday program. They will also interact with visiting artists and museum professionals, discover how to recognize the merits of others’ works, build healthy and lasting relationships with peers and instructors, and develop an understanding of the function of art and museums in society. This leadership program is taught through hands-on workshops, insightful lectures, and engaging discussions.

This professional development course will familiarize students with the theories behind and responsibilities of a curator, exhibition designer, educator and the exhibition team. The student will gain hands-on experience with the process of creating an exhibition from concept to design to installation. The theories and skills developed in this seminar will create a foundation for further exploration into the many varied roles within museum studies and spatial design. Upon the completion of the course, each student will have personally contributed to the planning, implementation and fabrication of a joint exhibition that will be on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Students will work as a unit to decide on an exhibition thesis and in groups of 4–5 students to curate and design a thematic exhibition based on the resources available at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. While students will not have direct access to objects in the museum collection for their own exhibition, they will be able to create an exhibition narrative inspired by the museum’s history, the museum’s grounds, the museum’s staff, and/or the collection. Students will determine collectively how to approach the curatorial aspects of the theme and then work in their designated groups to design sub-thematic narratives.

Up to 24 students will be selected based on artistic merit and other qualifications (outlined below). All applications will be reviewed by a panel of professionals.

Instructor Bio:
Jayna Champeau, Jayna Champeau is a graduate of the The George Washington University’s Corcoran College of Art + Design’s MA Exhibition Design program and has a BFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was led to continued studies through her years spent as part of the Exhibition Graphics team at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Jayna has completed internships with the National Museum of American History and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and has worked on independent exhibition projects in the area.

M.LiT Program Leadership Activities:

  • Participate in and actively support and promote VMFA teen initiatives and programs within the community.
  • Advise VMFA’s teen program coordinator on the development of teen programs, exhibitions, and incentives.
  • Attend and participate in lectures, discussion groups, and leadership training.
  • Serve as volunteers through teacher assistantships and community programs.
  • Explore the professional roles and functions of museum- and art-related careers.
  • Design and curate a thematic exhibition based on the resources available at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition will be on display at the VMFA Art Education Center in the winter of 2015-16.

M.LiT Program Incentives:

  • Free, fun program with exclusive benefits.
  • Earn 80+ hours of art-related community service.
  • Receive a free student-level membership to VMFA.
  • Opportunity to work with exhibition design staff to create an interactive exhibition.
  • Experience with professionals in the field of art and museum studies
  • Get behind-the-scenes tours.
  • Receive a VMFA Museum Leaders in Training Certificate

Qualifications and Requirements

Applicants must be in grades 8–12 and are accepted based on artistic merit, writing abilities, qualifying experience, completeness of application, superior teacher recommendations, and/or regional demographics. This is a demanding and competitive program. Please ensure that you are submitting the supplemental material that best represents you and that you are able to commit to the program schedule and expectations fully.

To successfully complete this 12-week program, M.LiT students must fulfill the following:

» 47 hours of training
» 14 hours of homework and readings
» 20 hours of summer teacher assistantships during the 2016 Summer ArtVentures Camp series

For more detailed information about the requirements of the M.LiT program please see M.LiT Policies and Guidelines.

For submission details and to apply, visit  M.LiT Application Information and Submission.

M.LiT Calendar

Training sessions occur weekly on Saturdays. Specifics date and times are outlined below. VMFA Go to Work Day is a unique opportunity for M.LiTers to spend a full eight-hour day at VMFA shadowing a VMFA staff person.

2015 Events
Sep 26, Orientation (attendance is mandatory, no exceptions) | Sat, 11—2:30 pm
Dec 20, M.LiT Exhibition Opens to Public

2016 Events
Apr 17, Go to Work with VMFA Day | Thu, 9 am—5 pm
Apr 22, M.LiT Exhibition Closing Reception | Fri, 6—8 pm
Jun, Summer Orientation |TBD
Jul 11–Aug 26, Summer Teacher Assistantships (as scheduled)
*Scheduling conflicts can be discussed with the program coordinator

2015 Standard Training Sessions | Sat, 11 am—2:30 pm
Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 | Nov 7, 14, and 21 | Dec 12

2015 Exhibition Fabrication and Installation Sessions | Sat, 10 am—4 pm
Dec 5 and 19

Additional Opportunities for M.LiTs

“Teen Ternships”

A summer “Teen Ternship” is a paid internship position with the VMFA Education Department. During this experience, the “Teen Tern” will gain experience working in the museum and assisting program coordinators with special activities relating to teen programming at VMFA.

“Teen Ternship” time commitment: “Teen Ternships” require a weekly time commitment of 20 – 25 hours, Jun 20 – Aug 19 (excluding the week of Jul 4).

To apply: Mail a cover letter and résumé, to Jessica Bauserman, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220. In your cover letter, please explain why you would like to be considered for the “teen ternship” and the qualities you would bring to the VMFA Education Department in addition to any potential scheduling conflicts along with proposed solutions to meet the designated hour requirements.

Deadline: Fri, May 20, 2016.  Teen Terns for summer 2016 will be notified on their acceptance by June 3, 2016. Please note: Your participation in M.Lit does not guarantee you a TeenTernship.