Guest Curator Opportunities at WCM!

The Washington County Museum is now accepting proposals for two Guest Curator opportunities:

The 2020 Summer Exhibit Guest Curatorship

focused on fine art, 

2020-21 School-year Exhibit Guest Curatorship

focused on cultural and historical content.


Do you want to share your unique cultural perspectives and help shape the defining stories of our region?

The Guest Curator program at the museum de-centers the authoritative voice of major exhibits, creating a platform for culturally embedded storytelling. Guest Curators have creative control over the design, content, and texts of a major exhibit filling the museum’s 1,200 square foot exhibit hall. Staff will support the Guest Curators in utilizing the museum’s cultural resources, developing curriculum, logistics and project management as needed.

Info Session

Tuesday, January 14th from 1-3pm

Application Period Closes

Monday, February 3rd at 5pm


Full Details for applicants:

Two exhibits, two opportunities:

The museum has two major exhibits each year, and are accepting proposals for both.

Summer exhibit:

For summer the museum’s main exhibit hall is dedicated entirely to an exhibit that prioritizes display of fine art. Proposals for this exhibit can feature single or multiple artists and are encouraged, but not required, to be multi-disciplinary. Relative to the School-year exhibit, the Summer exhibit is smaller in duration, budget, and compensation but not in space; proposals should be mindful of those parameters. This exhibit coincides with the Portland Community College Rock Creek summer term but there is no standard curriculum component for Summer Exhibits. 

Proposals for Summer exhibits are required to feature fine art; they are welcome, but not required, to include cultural and historical elements.

School-year exhibit:

The museum’s School-year exhibit follows the academic calendar in order to offer a thoughtful and exciting cultural resource that can also support curriculum offerings for area schools from elementary through college. The School-year exhibit sees the heaviest traffic of all the museum’s exhibits and the School-year Guest Curatorship is a deeper engagement than summer, including a research period in the museum’s collections and archives and a public talk. 

Proposals for School-year exhibits are required to have historical and cultural elements; they are welcome, but not required, to include art.

Strong proposals will:

  • Connect the museum’s locale to important issues of our times; engage viewers in local and global considerations.
  • Illuminate nuanced, under-explored or under-represented perspectives; have inroads for multiple interpretations.
  • Be strongly rooted in the communities whose stories are being told; be accessible for a wide range of folks.
  • Be inter-disciplinary and multi-media.
  • Demonstrate strong potential for supporting related curriculum at the elementary, high school and college level.
  • Demonstrate the applicant’s readiness to manage the communications and logistics required to execute the proposal successfully


Curator Responsibilities: 

The following are the areas where Guest Curators have primary responsibility. Staff can serve as supporters or collaborators in any of these areas as long as Guest Curator clearly indicates that need/ desire.

Summer Curator

  • Exhibit concept
  • Identify artist(s) and manage communications with them throughout
  • Explanation of budget use details 
  • Exhibit layout/ design
  • Oversee installation
  • Written Curator statement
  • Comments at opening event

School-year Curator

  • Exhibit concept
  • Identify contributors and manage communications with them throughout 
  • Research with written summary
  • List of museum artifacts/ resources to be included
  • Explanation of budget use details ()
  • Exhibit layout/ design
  • Oversee installation
  • Written Curator statement
  • Comments at opening event
  • Public talk


Financial Arrangements:


Guest Curators receive a fixed stipend as compensation for the entire project. Stipends are paid 50% at the beginning of the work period and 50% at completion. Recipients must submit a W9.

Summer Exhibit: $1,000 / School-year Exhibit: $3,000


Guest Curators have discretion over an exhibit budget.

Summer Exhibit: $1,000 / School-year Exhibit: $3,000

Curators’ budgets are designated ¼ for consultant/artist fees, ¾ for display materials and supplies, shipping, and printing/collateral. Other expenses including marketing, event management, photography, staff time, insurance for objects, and more are covered by the museum. Guest Curators submit an explanation of planned expenses early in the project and will work with the staff to ensure clear division of cost coverage and overall feasibility. All financial transactions are handled by the museum.


2020-21 Guest Curator Selection Panel:

One representative from staff

One representative from the museum’s volunteer Cultural Resources Committee

Outgoing Guest Curator – Steph Littlebird Fogel

Roya Amirsolamani, PICA

Sankar Raman, The Immigrant Story

Jennifer Fang, Portland Children’s Museum



December 2019

  • Application period opens

January 2020

  • Application period closes


  • Selection Committee convenes
  • Guest Curators announced


  • Both Guest Curatorship periods begin
  • Research period begins for School-year Curator
  • Exhibit planning begins for Summer Curator


  • School-year Curator completes research


  • School-year Curator begins exhibit planning
  • Summer Curator confirms artists and completes layout


  • Complete installation of Summer Exhibit – Wed July 1 
  • Opening event for Summer Exhibit – Thurs July 9 (Summer Guest Curator must be able to attend)
  • School-year Curator confirms contributors and completes layout


  • Summer Exhibit and Summer Guest Curatorship conclude


  • Complete installation of School-year Exhibit – Fri Sept 11
  • Opening event for School-year Exhibit – Thurs Sept 17 (School-year Curator must be available to attend)


  • Fall Guest Curatorship concludes


Contact for more information:

This is the inaugural year of this program, so we understand that we will be learning alongside you in some cases. If you need clarification, additional information, or other support reach out to Molly Alloy, Co-Director and Guest Curator Program manager, at