The Broad launches new diversity apprenticeship

This summer, The Broad launched the Diversity Apprenticeship Program. The program provides full-time, nine-month paid apprenticeships in art handling to people from groups underrepresented on museum staffs.

After a month of intensive training, the first group of apprentices is now working at partner sites across the city, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the California African American Museum and Building Bridges Art Exchange, to gain hands-on work experience.

“Sixty-six percent of our visitors identify as non-white, and we believe that to best serve our audience – and to make contemporary art accessible to the widest possible audience – our staff needs to reflect their diversity,” said Joanne Heyler, founding director and chief curator at The Broad. “We created the Diversity Apprenticeship Program so that we could provide opportunities for people to gain the training and experience they need to pursue rewarding careers in the art world, and to increase respect for the field of art handling as a profession.”

“In recruiting for this program, we reached out to those in communities of color, those in Native and Indigenous communities, women, immigrants, people who’ve been formerly incarcerated, those who identify as part of gender-alt communities, said George Luna-Peña, the program’s manager. “And we hope to achieve an equally diverse set of applicants in our second round of apprenticeships.”

Because no college degree is required to take part in the program, it is accessible to a wider range of people, providing new recruits or current entry-level staff a pathway toward higher paying, mid-level positions. The program is meant to show people from underrepresented backgrounds that a career in the arts is a very real possibility.

“One reason it felt daunting for me to find a job in the art field is that I just haven’t seen people that look like me working as art handlers,” said Nya Abudu, one of the first eight apprentices. “So, this program definitely makes me excited about seeing more people like me in the field.”

Applications for the second group of apprentices will open in February 2019 on The Broad’s DAP page. Individuals from all underrepresented communities or groups are encouraged to apply, including women, African American, Latinx, Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+ and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Ave. For information about DAP, contact George Luna-Peña (213)232-6260 or glunapena@thebroad.org.

Andrea Perez-Martinez, one of the apprentices in The Broad’s new Diversity Apprenticeship Program, practices her art handling. (photo courtesy of The Broad)

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