Curatorial Fellow

Above Images (L to R): Kristen Kurlich, Ashleigh Pastor


Name of program:

Curatorial Fellow

Program Overview:

The Evanston Art Center (EAC), an artistic hub on the North Shore for over ninety years, believes that some communities are all too rarely represented in the curatorial world. To address this situation, the EAC is building a recurrent, project-based position for a curator who will work with the EAC to develop an exhibition of their choosing. In this, the inaugural year of the program, the EAC is specifically seeking a curator of color with ties to communities of color in Evanston to create an exhibition, along with related materials. The curator will choose the subject, theme and content of the exhibition with the EAC acting as a facilitator.  It is the EAC’s intent that such an exhibit will both build new ties to historically underrepresented groups as well as introduce Evanston and the greater Chicago area to new curatorial and artistic perspectives.

Supporting Evanston Art Center’s Mission and Vision:

This program serves as an extension of the Evanston Art Center’s nonprofit mission to foster the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences. It also fulfills its vision to be widely recognized as a dynamic art education and exhibition center that encourages freedom of artistic expression and enriches cultural life. The EAC strives to be a hub of artistic endeavors, a passionate advocate for the arts, and a valuable partner for arts initiatives in the Evanston community.


Proposals should be sent to: Cara Feeney, Director of Exhibitions:

*Please include the subject line: "EAC CURATORIAL FELLOW SUBMISSION"



Jury Process:

The winning proposal will be selected by the Exhibition Committee of the EAC, a group of board members and external colleagues and allies in the cultural sector including artists, curators, art historians, collectors, and gallerists among others. A personal interview with the some of the EAC Exhibition Committee members, President & CEO, and staff will take place for selected finalists.

Evaluation Criteria:

Selection criteria follow, in order of priority. The number beside each criterion represents its weight in the Exhibition Committee’s evaluation process, with 5 being the most important.

  • The Curator Identifies as a Person of Color (5)
  • The Curator has a Strong Connection to Evanston and Network Within Communities of Color in Evanston (5)
  • The Project Plans to Connect the EAC to Underserved Communities in Evanston and Specifically Communities of Color (5)
  • The Project is Articulated Coherently and Clearly (5)
  • The Project Presents New Perspectives (5)
  • The Curator has, Interesting and Recent Experience Presenting Contemporary Art (5)
  • Personal Interview (5)
  • Chemistry (5)
  • Communication Skills (5)
  • Resume and references (2)

Application Process:

All interested curators must submit the following materials for approval by EAC staff and its Exhibition Committee:

  • Exhibition Narrative (limit of 500 words):
    • What is your artistic vision / proposed plan for a curated exhibition at the Evanston Art Center? The exhibition will be shown in the Main Gallery on the first floor of the Art Center at the end of the curator’s two year fellowship for a period of roughly 6-8 weeks.
  • Public Programs (limit of 300 words):
    • How do you anticipate or wish to plan public programs or engage the Evanston Art Center community in association with your curated exhibition? Please explain. The EAC is eager to support the creation of public programs and welcomes the curator’s ideas, introductions and networking assistance.
  • 5-10 visual samples of curatorial work
    • May include examples of proposal
  • Proposed needs for your exhibition
  • Resume / Curriculum Vitae
  • 3 References


  • EAC will notify selected finalists the week of March 16, 2020.
  • Finalists will be interviewed by the week of March 23, 2020.
  • Curatorial Fellow will be selected by April 15, 2020.

Expectations and Limitations for Use of the Space:

  • Exhibition programming, lectures and performances are all welcomed and encouraged along with other forms of public programming.
  • The curator is encouraged to propose workshops or/or educational offerings that can be enacted by the EAC staff.
  • The curator should plan to spend a reasonable amount of time at the EAC to ensure service to the whole community. A work schedule will be determined at the outset.
  • All sculptures exhibited must be able to be moved by two people. As the Evanston Art Center hosts many rentals in the gallery space, for the safety of the artwork, sculptures that require more than two people to move must be placed on wheels or a platform.
  • All material presented must be suitable for all age groups.

Key Personnel:

Logistics: Cara Feeney, Evanston Art Center, Director of Exhibitions

Oversight: Paula Danoff, Evanston Art Center, President & Chief Executive Officer

                Exhibition Committee Members

Exhibition Dates:

July – August 2021

Floorplans & Photos:



Curatorial Fee: $2,500 payable in full to the curator over 4 installments after quarterly updates to the Exhibition Committee:

  • 1st Installment: July 15, 2020
  • 2nd Installment: October 15, 2020
  • 3rd Installment: January 15, 2021
  • 4th Installment: April 15, 2021

Exhibition Expenses: not more than $2,500 payable as reimbursements to the curator for documented expenses.

Curatorial Fellow will perform the following duties related to the development and implementation of this program:

  • Write thematic copy to be used in external marketing
  • Assist with the planning of exhibition-related programming along with participating artists and Evanston Art Center Staff
  • Propose and assist in executing events or engagements with the community

The Evanston Art Center exhibitions and education staff will:

  • Handle and oversee onsite logistics related to installation and de-installation.
  • Provide onsite assistance as necessary to curator and artists with relation to facility requests and scheduling.
  • Support and participate in the curator’s plans for public programming / education.

Proposals should be sent by FEBRUARY 16, 2020 to:

Cara Feeney, Director of Exhibitions:

*Please include the subject line: "EAC CURATORIAL FELLOW SUBMISSION"