Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

15 January 2018

Barjeel Global Fellowship Accepting Applications

Full-time temporary 

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is an artist-activated, audience-engaged contemporary art museum. We generate art, ideas, and conversation around the creative process. We are a cultural leader of local necessity and international distinction. In addition, we aspire to make the MCA community—staff, audiences, and artists—reflective of the diversity of the city of Chicago. We strive to capture a spirit of access, inclusion, and equity in all we do.

We are now accepting applications for the new Barjeel Global Fellowship, offered in collaboration with the Barjeel Art Foundation. This exciting opportunity serves as an opportunity for budding international curators to learn and work in a pioneering, globally-focused American institution and invites a young, new perspective from the Middle East and/or North Africa regions to the MCA. The fellow will engage in exhibition- and/or collection-related research, write reports on possible acquisitions, and help curators plan and organize exhibitions and programming.

Beginning on July 1, 2018, this full-time, twelve-month fellowship carries a stipend of $35,000, plus a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance; paid vacation and personal days; free life, AD&D, short-term and long-term disability insurance; retirement plans; discounted parking; pre-tax transportation programs; free access to the MCA’s galleries; curator-led staff tours of MCA exhibitions; discounts at the MCA Store and MCA Café; discounts for MCA Stage and other programs; and a variety of discounts at many cultural institutions in the Chicagoland area.


The MCA will consider exceptional candidates living and working in the Middle East and/or North Africa with backgrounds in art history, museum studies, and related fields whose work demonstrates a strong emphasis on art historical research and methodology. Qualified applicants must possess a Master of Arts degree or be in their final year of graduate work. Candidates must also possess two years of museum experience and/or research position at the college or university level. Demonstrated commitment to the field of contemporary art through writing, curating or other activities is also required. Evidence of self-directed curatorial work or critical writing is a plus, and candidates should exhibit strong communication skills and a readiness to express their intellect and point of view.

The application deadline is February 28, 2018 


Applications will not be considered complete until we receive all application materials listed below. Please note these materials, including writing samples and other supplementary materials, will not be returned to candidates.

1. A cover letter that includes the name, current and permanent addresses, and telephone numbers of the applicant

2. A full resume of education and employment history

3. An essay describing the applicant’s interest in this fellowship and museum work

4. Two writing samples—each individual writing sample should not exceed 2,000 words

Application materials should be sent to:

Please note:

• The MCA will cover costs associated with housing and obtaining the necessary J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. As part of this visa approval process, the selected candidate will be required to participate in interviews at the US Embassy in their home country.

• Letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional settings will be requested from and required for all candidates who are identified as finalists.

The Barjeel Global Fellowship was established in collaboration with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi and the Barjeel Art Foundation. Final selection of the Barjeel Global Fellow is determined by the MCA in consultation with the Barjeel Art Foundation.

If you have any questions about applying for this fellowship, please email

The MCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.