Walton Foundation gives Spelman College $5.4 million for arts education

Giles Hall is seen in the background on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta. (Chris Shinn / Spelman College)
Giles Hall is seen in the background on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta. (Chris Shinn / Spelman College)

Credit: Chris Shinn

Credit: Chris Shinn

The Walton Family Foundation has given Spelman College $5.4 million to create an educational pipeline into art museum leadership to increase diversity in that field, the college announced Thursday.

The money will be used to establish the Atlanta University Center Collective for the Study of Art History and Curatorial Studies. A 2015 study found no more than 4 percent of museum curators, conservators, educators and leaders are African-American. Spelman is a historically black college near downtown Atlanta.

“This grant to Spelman College and the Atlanta University Center will encourage and support greater diversity within the Arts, expand inclusion efforts in the museum community and inspire the next generation of art and museum leadership,” Walton Family Foundation board member Alice Walton said in a statement.

The grant will support scholarships for Atlanta University Center students to study art history and to minor in fields such as business and technology. It also includes a summer program for high school students interested in pursuing museum careers.

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