Art for All by CJ

CJ's entry into Varsity Tutor's June 2020 scholarship contest

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Art for All by CJ - June 2020 Scholarship Essay

I was bullied incessantly as an openly queer teenager. Society is safer for LGBTQ+ youth now than it was in the past, but my life goal is to further improve conditions for the future. As someone who has always been passionate about art, I am looking to do so within the realm of arts and cultural institutions. By increasing queer representation in the arts, anti-LGBTQ+ bullying can be ameliorated. In order to achieve my life goal, I am pursuing an educational career that will equip me with the skills I need to succeed in the future. A master’s degree will enable me, in a way that a bachelor’s degree alone cannot, to facilitate a world that embraces diversity, both inside and outside of the arts. With hopes of becoming a public programs coordinator, I am resolved to make museum spaces an embracing environment for everyone, and my career objectives deal largely with inclusivity in museums.

My dream of working in a museum initially led me to a BA in Art History, but I quickly found that the field has a considerable need for more diversity. I am now pursuing an MA in Museum Studies at New York University, a degree I have chosen to prepare myself for a career in the museum field. During graduate studies, my academic goals include establishing the proper technique to approach difficult topics, such as social justice and advocacy, in arts institutions. Museums are the perfect avenue through which meaningful conversations can be facilitated, and practical training in graduate school will equip me to initiate this necessary dialogue in my career.

I dream of a future where all arts institutions are not only accessible to, but representative of the public. Growing up, I had no role models who looked like me, and today I still see a dearth in transgender museum professionals of color. I am deeply resolved to prove that transgender people of color belong in museum spaces, whether they are professionals, adult visitors, or youth struggling with their identities. Both during and after my graduate studies, I will work tirelessly to ensure that I achieve my goals of creating welcoming and diverse museum spaces. In particular, as a public programs coordinator, I will seek diverse speakers and presenters in order to provide representation for marginalized groups.

Museums as institutions are destined to serve underprivileged and underrepresented populations, and I am devoted to doing the same. I hope to bring change to the museum world by mitigating challenges for those who follow after me, so that other marginalized individuals will–someday–not face the trials that I have. Art is for everybody, and museums should be too.