NC Museum of History Cultural Festival Fellowship

Amount: $5,000

Term: AY 2021-22

Eligibility: Doctoral students in humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled in a degree program in one of sixteen departments in the College of Arts & Sciences*

Application Due: *Friday, September 17, 2021  (due to the extended deadline faculty recommendations may be turned in late)

Supervisor: Alyson Vuley, Community Programs and Festivals

Internship Coordinator: Stacey Smith, Adult Programs

The Site

The North Carolina Museum of History (NCMH) collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present. The NCMH interprets the state’s history through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications on-site or online.

A significant way that the museum educates the public about North Carolina’s history and heritage is by highlighting two key cultural groups that play important roles in making the state what it is today—the American Indian and African American communities.

The two cultural festivals are the American Indian Heritage Celebration (AIHC), held each November, and the African American Cultural Celebration (AACC), held on the last Saturday in January each year.

Program goals for the cultural festivals are:

  • to honor and highlight the abundance of American Indian and African American cultural, artistic, academic, scientific, and economic contributions to North Carolina, past and present,
  • to create a platform for community members to plan and implement the Celebrations using a collaborative leadership model with museum staff and dedicated advisory boards of American Indian and African American community leaders, knowledge keepers, and experts in their fields,
  • to connect with, and educate, all North Carolinians about American Indian and African American histories, culture, arts, and contributions,
  • to retain current audiences and attract new audiences to the museum,
  • to serve as the state’s focal event for American Indian History Month (AIHC) and as the statewide kick-off to Black History month (AACC).

The Fellowship Project

The 2021-2022 Cultural Festivals Fellow will work closely with the Community Programs and Festivals Coordinator on the 26th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, scheduled for Saturday, November 20, 2021, and on the AIHC Education Day, to be held virtually on Friday, November 19. The fellow will develop and implement one to three virtual panel discussions connected to current issues relevant to contemporary American Indian communities in North Carolina. The fellow will work collaboratively with museum staff and the AIHC Advisory Board.

There are possibilities to expand the scope of the fellowship to include year-round programming with American Indian speakers, topics, and themes. Alternatively, the fellow could focus on serving both cultural festivals. The 21st annual African American Cultural Celebration will be held on Saturday, January 29 and the AACC Education Day will be held virtually on Friday, January 28, 2022.

*Due to COVID, in-person experience may be limited and safety measures will be taken into account when designing fellowship activities and goals.

More Information

Applicants must submit a cover letter explaining their academic background and professional qualifications, as well as their goals for professional development through this fellowship; a C.V.; and a letter of support from an advisor in their department or their Director of Graduate Studies. The completed application  should be submitted to the HPG website no later than the end of the day on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Queries which are not answered in the FAQ may be directed to Ashley Melzer, HPG Initiative Director.  Open interest meetings (at this link) will be held on Tuesday, August 24 at 4pm, Friday, August 27 at 12pm, and Wednesday,  September 1 at 5pm. Email the director to setup a different time or ask a question.

*Eligible graduate programs will be affiliated with American Studies; Anthropology; Art & Art History; Classics; Communication; Dramatic Art; English & Comparative Literature; Geography; Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures; History; Linguistics; Music; Philosophy; Religious Studies; Romance Studies; and Women & Gender Studies. Graduate students within the College of Arts & Sciences who are not affiliated with one of these programs, but are pursuing a course of study which makes significant use of humanities methods or content, may write to Ashley Melzer to petition for eligibility. Graduate students in programs outside of the College of Arts & Sciences are not eligible.

The Application