Museum Guild

The Museum Guild is a group of undergraduate students from local colleges and universities who work to highlight student interests in the museum. Supported by the museum’s Academic Programs staff, they develop self-directed projects and programs that highlight diverse perspectives and facilitate community engagement within and beyond the greater Providence area. Through this work, the Guild hopes to create space for critical dialogue around the collection, purpose, and future of the RISD Museum.

What do you mean by “projects and programs”?
Guild members develop ways of interpreting the museum’s collections and exhibitions for public audiences through talks, artist-led experiments, interactive activities, performances, digital or physical publications, or any other format they dream up. Members also serve as a bridge between the museum and the student body at their respective institution.

What kind of commitment is this?
Guild members are provided with a stipend of up to $500 per year based on attendance and participation. They are encouraged to serve in the group until graduation, and are responsible for managing self-directed work that other group members will rely on. This might be a match for you if you are able to direct your extracurricular time and energy toward this group.

What might I gain from this experience?
Guild members gain insight into museum interpretation, particularly programming, and develop individualized skills, like public speaking, facilitation, and writing. They also gain short- and long-term project management skills that are transferable to a variety of career goals. We’re looking for students with a wide range of skills, interests, and future plans; the Guild is not intended as a precursor to a career as a museum professional. (If you’re looking for that type of pre-professional experience, check out our summer internships, THAD fellowships, and other student opportunities.)

When does Guild meet?
The Guild meets weekly as a group on Monday evenings. Small working groups of 3-4 members meet independently in addition to this meeting time. 

Applications are open until September 12, 2021, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Contact with questions.

Apply now


Last year's group

Meet the 2020-21 Museum Guild! Follow along at @risdmuseumguild on Instagram.


Last Year's Project

The Guild typically plans and facilitates public programs that allow artists from local colleges to share their processes. During the pandemic, we had to adjust our modes of working collaboratively. Like you, we squished our faces into a shifting mosaic of Zoom rectangles, with members calling in from Providence, New Orleans, New Delhi, London, and more. Unravel: An Anti-Exhibition has grown out of this shared virtual space
This digital publication revolves around the belief that making artist processes public allows for sharing skills and ideas, supporting artists as whole people, and de-emphasizing the commodification of the art object. While museums often foreground finished work, we are interested in learning about the complexities of students’ artistic practice at various stages of completion, or non-completion. This publication includes the truly incredible contributions of student artists scattered across the globe and representing diverse mediums and identities. We hope that it might become a miniscule snapshot of artist processes in a pandemic. We invite you to be bad museum visitors. Skip around chaotically, flip between pathways, take screenshots and text them to your friends, talk loudly, and touch your screens—connect.