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Three Spelman Students Awarded Inaugural Art History Scholarships Share a Spelman College Press Release


The AUC Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective recently announced the first winners of its Art History Scholarship.

Juniors Destinee B. Filmore, Tempe M. Stewart and Ming J. Washington are the first recipients of Spelman’s scholarship.

Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University scholarship recipients are awarded separately.

Funded by a grant from the Alice L. Walton Foundation, the award is given to declared art majors in the AUC Collective art history degree program.

The renewable award is offered to declared art history majors in good standing with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Spelman’s scholarship is awarded separately from the art history scholarships offered at Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

Washington celebrated the moment she saw the email confirming the scholarship.

“The AUC Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies is the reason I am at Spelman College. This program is chiefly important in building Black museum (and art) professionals of the future,” she said. “Long term, my goals include independent curation and creative direction. This program has provided me access to thinkers and experiences that have changed and challenged my point of view. The mentorship I am receiving is invaluable."

According to Cheryl Finley, Ph.D., director of the Collective, the initiative engages students of all disciplines who are making the choice to change the art world.

“The scholarship is a key component of the initiative. It recognizes the hard work, commitment and excellence of our students and supports their intellectual work,” said Dr. Finley. “All three scholars represent the mission of the collective in their dedication to and curiosity for the field of art history."

The scholarship also acknowledges the desire of the scholars to pursue careers in art history and curatorial studies, said Dr. Finley.

A 2015 demographic survey of U.S. art museums by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation found that only 16 percent of museum leadership positions are held by minorities, even though 38 percent of Americans identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic or multiracial. Among art museum curators, conservators, educators and leaders, only four percent are African American and three percent are Hispanic, the study reported.

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