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24 February 2009 – Inspire, a collaboration with the Arts Council England, is a new initiative for the Royal College of Art that will offer black and minority ethnic curators the chance to study for a two year full-time MA in Curating Contemporary Art while working in museums and galleries around the country. Successful applicants will be designated Inspire Fellows and will receive a bursary throughout their studies.

Students in Discussion
Students in Discussion

Subject to validation, the Curating Contemporary Art Department of the RCA will deliver Inspire through the nine regions in which Arts Council England operates: London, South East, South West, East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire, North West and North East. Two cohorts of Inspire Fellows will be recruited – the first cohort to start in October 2009 and the second cohort to start in October 2010. New staff will be appointed at the RCA to manage the programme, working closely with the staff of the host institutions involved in supervision and providing blocks of curatorial education at the College.

“Inspire is a positive action programme designed to increase the number of black and minority ethnic curators in British museums and galleries,” said CCA professor Mark Nash. “It has a particular focus on the contemporary, which is why the Arts Council is working with us.”

His department has a strong record in broad participation with between 40 and 50 percent of the cohort from black or minority ethnic backgrounds over the last two years.

“We’ve been working hard to find ways of increasing participation, quite apart from the Inspire project,” the professor said, adding that his department used advertisements in minority papers and proactive interview and recruitment strategies.

The Inspire Fellowship Programme receives core funding from Arts Council England, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and is also supported by the host institutions involved in the programme. To learn more about the programme please see