In the spring of 2023 CODART launched a mentoring program that pairs curators at the start of their careers with those who have years of experience in the profession. Supporting curators of Dutch and Flemish art in their work, bringing members from different countries together in a range of activities, and facilitating knowledge exchange are integral parts of CODART’s mission and vision.
With the mentoring program, we set out to give the next generation of curators a flying start in the field – and in the CODART network. In fact, the initiative has added value in both directions. Experienced curators also benefit from developing new contacts outside their own institution. This emerged from a pilot study conducted by CODART between November 2022 and March 2023 with three pairs. Both mentors and mentees reported they had greatly appreciated the experience.
The CODART Mentoring Program: How does it work?
The first round of the CODART Mentoring Program ran between May and October of 2023. CODART connected participants to a mentor or mentee and proposed that they meet up – whether digitally or in real life – three or more times during the course of the program. The first run of the program concluded with several online meetings between participants. The CODART Mentoring Program will definitely continue, but it has not yet been determined when the next round of applications will open.
The first round of the program revealed that participants discussed a wide range of issues: from the importance of maintaining a good work-life balance and career planning to practical problems such as the presence of mice in historic buildings. The program offers both mentors and mentees an opportunity to discuss their work with people from outside their own institution. The exchanges may lead both to develop new insights or ideas, while at the same time expanding their network. In November 2023 a CODARTfeature was published in which three couples share their experiences within the Mentoring Program.
- After the registration period, CODART will form the pairs, taking into account the type of institution, specializations and interests;
- The program runs for a period of approximately six months. During that period, mentor and mentee must schedule at least three meetings, whether in real life or online;
- The content of their discussions is determined entirely by the participants. CODART will not play any role in this regard;
- CODART will remain in regular contact with the participants during the program and will always be available to answer any questions;
- The program will conclude with a meeting online attended by CODART representatives and those who have taken part in the program. This will produce an additional opportunity to exchange experiences and to expand the networks of all concerned.
Registering as a mentor
If you are thinking of becoming a mentor, we would expect you to meet the following criteria: you have a permanent appointment as a curator within a museum institution. You have been working at the same museum for at least five years or have held the position of curator at several museums. In addition, you have curated several exhibitions.
Registering as a mentee
As a mentee you have not been working as a curator in the museum sector for very long. Junior curators or curatorial fellows are also welcome to register as mentees. Please note that you have to be a member of CODART to participate in the Mentoring Program, associate members of CODART are not eligible.
If you have any questions or want to receive more information about the Mentoring Program, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.