The FAO Schwarz Fellow will lead educational programs for visitors for their direct service work and expand the Museum’s understanding and implementation of best accessibility practices as well as create inclusive lesson plans for their special project work.
With some flexibility at the supervisor’s discretion, the Fellow will be expected to be at the Whitney, like all other Museum staff, at least three days per week, with two of those days being Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Working remotely will be an option on other days, and some weekend attendance to participate in Saturday or Sunday education programs will be expected, discussed during the interview process, and confirmed before the selection of the Fellow.
The Whitney’s staff regular hours are 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, but given the nature of this position, some evening work on-site or remotely is to be expected. Accessible accommodations for work are always available by request.
Skills and Experience to Successfully Undertake this Project:
• BA required within the last 9 months at the start of Fellowship (summer 2023)
• Completion of at least two undergraduate courses on American art history or related subjects
• Experience conducting a complex research project in an academic or extracurricular setting
• Basic knowledge of social science research practices, including familiarity with research studies that combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies
• Demonstrated interest in learning best practices in teaching, arts education, Museum accessibility, and ADA compliance
• Demonstrated experience and interest working with youth identifying as disabled or having a disability (mobility disability, D/deaf, hard of hearing, low vision, blind, neurodivergent, on the autism spectrum, and/or has an intellectual or developmental disability)
• Experience with interviews as a research tool preferred
• Teaching experience not required, but a plus
• Experience working with disabled individuals of any age and/ or familiarity with disability studies and accessible education preferred
• Articulated passion for creating inclusive environments for communities who experience systemic exclusion in the Arts
• Work experience in a nonprofit or art-related organization preferred
• Personal artistic practice is encouraged but not required
• Knowledge of ASL and/or Spanish is preferred but not required
Working with educators in the department and with the Associate Manager of Access and Inclusion, the FAO Schwarz Fellow will learn to plan, co-lead, and then lead programs for disabled and non-disabled youth and their families, design lessons, and engage in scaffolded learning.
They will train to understand needs and pedagogic approaches to working with visitors identifying as Disabled, d/Deaf, hard of hearing, neurodivergent, autistic, deaf-blind, blind, low-vision, and/or experiencing a range of cognitive, intellectual, developmental, and physical disability, chronic illness and/or sensory sensitivities. Familiarized with teaching methodologies, the Fellow will share observations, give colleagues recommendations, and learn why having an inclusive classroom environment is so important.
The Fellow will:
The FAO Schwarz Fellow will conduct research to better understand and expand on the Museum’s accessibility offerings, co-create responsive lesson plans, and innovate lessons and learning modalities about the Whitney’s Collection and exhibitions. The Fellow may also conduct demographic research and analysis and other evaluation initiatives, working with colleagues in the Office of People and Culture and across the Museum as needed.
The Fellow will:
Applicants must be college seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities at the time of application and be eligible to work in the United States for the duration of the two-year Fellowship. Please do not apply if you do not meet these requirements.
In 2015, the Whitney moved from its Madison Avenue site to the Meatpacking District, where its building by Renzo Piano helps the Museum to connect art, audiences, and the world through transparency, openness, and fluidity. In the first seven years at 99 Gansevoort, the Whitney welcomed 6.7+ million visitors (about 1 million annually), and served 500,000+ people through in-person education programs related to the 10–12 exhibitions the Museum installs each year.
Despite the pandemic’s challenges, the Whitney has continued to expand its reach, living up to its core educational aspirations with robust online programming locally and globally, adding new programs and revising existing programs responsively. The Museum has focused increasingly on access, inclusion, and multilingualism, and plans to build on the virtual programming capacity added during the pandemic.
Social impact and how education and lifelong learning strengthen communities and individuals are the key focus of the education department. Programs for schools, teens and families are central to the Whitney’s offerings, along with access, community, and senior programs. Spanish translation goals across the Whitney aim to make it an increasingly multilingual institution, and with seniors, students, and individuals of varying abilities in mind, the education department is actively working on how to continue to improve the whole visitor journey—physically and virtually. There is already proof virtual programs have facilitated broader engagement among teens and others; now the education team is considering how to sustain this reach while acknowledging the importance of in-person interaction with art, artists, and other program participants.
The Whitney has been a multilingual institution and inclusive of English and ASL since 2008 and is now working to incorporate a third language via Spanish.
The Whitney evaluates its programs through attendance, critical reviews, and feedback from colleagues, artists, and audiences, resulting in a balance of quantitative and qualitative data. The Museum also discusses its program internally to assess in an ongoing manner how, in addition to each project’s goals, everything aligns with institutional priorities: telling diverse stories about American art and artists, equity and inclusion, and supporting artists. Audience and program participant data is collected and analyzed by the Whitney’s Strategy and Planning team through surveys collected online and in-person, as well as through the analytics and website traffic tracking tools the Museum uses for audience research and monitoring of reviews on sites like Tripadvisor.
In FY21, over 665,000 people accessed the Whitney’s online education offerings and content, including nearly 63,000 who joined specific programs. The pandemic brought a focus on more local audiences for in-person programs even as virtual programs extended the Museum’s reach and reduced barriers to participation. Among the online program attendees, 10% declared they had never visited the Whitney, and 25% made use of live captioning when available. As the Whitney continues to lower financial, linguistic, and accessibility barriers, the Museum expects its audience mix to diversify further and the education department continues to work to engage new audiences in experiences of American art and artists.
The health and safety of our Museum community is the highest priority. As such, the Whitney Museum is requiring all newly hired staff members to be fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized and/or approved COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations for medical, religious, or other reasons will be considered in accordance with applicable law.
The Whitney is committed to creating a work environment where staff, interns, and volunteers of different races, ethnicities, ages, gender identities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic backgrounds, immigration status, and disability status feel not just welcome, but fully included and able to bring their own experiences and aspirations to their work.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.
Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.
LOCATION New York City