Sheldon Hackney Fellowships

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has had a summer internship program, in place since 1993. In 2013, the internship program was dedicated to Sheldon Hackney, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University, Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Clinton, and former MVM Board Chairman. Sheldon staunchly advocated for educational opportunities, community development, and the importance of history his entire life. Shortly before his death in 2013, Sheldon was awarded the Martha’s Vineyard Medal where he shared, “My commitment to the Vineyard grows out of its character of being very diverse. Yet there’s a strong commitment to the health and happiness of each community. As I am a historian, you won’t be surprised by my belief that the understanding of one’s community increase one’s commitment to it. It is up to each of us to use our understanding of who we are and what our community is to build a society of which we can all be proud. That is why this Museum is so important to this community. We don’t need to behave like our predecessors, but we need to understand who we are, so we can become who we want to be. History is about the future.”

In 2022, the MVM will offer five fellowship opportunities for the summer program. Fellowships are available in the curatorial, education, facilities, marketing/community outreach, and events departments. Fellows enjoy a variety of museum experiences, including working with the collection, performing research, preparing exhibits, organizing programs, assisting with special events, running kids activities, interacting with visitors, and working with a professional staff. Schedules are to be arranged with individual fellows and departments, and each department has their own requirements. These fellowships offer a stipend for the summer, which is based on the number of hours the fellow is expected to work. With the experience gained at the MVM, many of the previous fellows have gone on to careers in the fields of library science, historic preservation, public history, non-profit management, and museum studies. Energetic, self-motivated, flexible individuals who are independent, creative, and willing to be team players will best fit these positions.


Along with the tasks assigned by their supervisor, fellows will be asked to participate in several organizational events and perform a number of organizational duties.

  • Attend all fellow meetings and training sessions.
  • Assist Museum staff in the Evening of Discovery summer gala on June 25, 2022.

Fellowships will commence on May 31, 2022. All fellows are asked to work as late into August as possible (with possible preference given to those who are able to work until Labor Day).


Housing is not provided for fellows, and preference will be given to applicants who have secured housing. Please note, summer rentals are extremely limited on Martha’s Vineyard. We recommend making a plan for housing before applying due to the scarcity of the summer rental market.


A strong interest in museums, non-profits, education, or archives is necessary. A high degree of responsibility and the ability to work professionally with the public are essential. Excellent organizational skills are necessary. Experience with Microsoft Office is required. Each of the four fellowships requires the fellow to have the capacity to work independently.


Energetic, self-motivated, flexible individuals who are independent, creative, and willing to be team players will best fit these positions.

Curatorial Fellow

This fellow will work closely with the curatorial team. The fellowship will provide hands-on experience with collection management including:  

  • Object handling
  • Processing objects into the collection
  • Inventory and inventory reconciliation
  • Cataloging
  • Rehousing
  • Collections housekeeping
  • Database work
  • Processing incoming and outgoing loans
  • Photographing collections
  • Other tasks relating to collections management
  • Candidates must be both collaborative and willing to work independently. Graduate student with some museum experience preferred.

The curatorial fellowship is part-time requiring at least 20 hours per week. This fellowship will be awarded a $2,500 stipend.

Community Outreach Fellow

This fellow will work closely with the Associate Director of Audience Engagement to implement the Museum’s business development strategy, engage the community, and build lasting community partnerships. Fellow tasks will include:

  • Assisting with outreach and communications to attract audiences to the Museum.
  • Collaborating on the implementation of the Community Pass Program and coordination of other partnerships and discounts.
  • Creating marketing and promotional materials related to membership, admission, and community partnerships. 
  • Assisting with the coordination of group tours, bus tours, etc.  

Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail essential. Must possess excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.

The community outreach fellowship is part-time requiring at least 20 hours per week. This fellowship will be awarded a $2,500 stipend.

Education Fellow

Education fellows will be focused on developing and delivering the redesigned Discovery Days summer program for children ages 6-12:

  • Research, content design, and sourcing materials
  • Collaborate interdepartmentally in the creation of promotional materials, organizing registration, and other operational aspects of delivering Discovery Days
  • Deliver the daily programming
  • Evaluate the program according to mission and financial metrics

Required Skills/Qualifications:

  • Enjoy working with children (a variety of ages and abilities), both one-on-one and in small groups.
  • Some experience designing and delivering age-appropriate, content-oriented learning opportunities.
  • Classroom management skills and flexibility to adapt instructional format to suit the diverse learning styles presented in the group.
  • Comfortable and familiar with youth-oriented art, craft, and performing arts activities.
  • Study in education, museum studies, or public history preferred.

Flexible hours with the ability to work occasional evenings and weekends required. The education fellowship is part-time requiring at least 20 hours per week. This fellowship will be awarded a $2,500 stipend. Two individuals will be selected for this fellowship.

Facilities Fellow

This fellow will work closely with the Facilities Manager and Operations team to maintain the multiple properties operated by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

The training will provide direct experience with facilities management including:

  • Vendor communication
  • Landscape maintenance
  • HVAC maintenance
  • Building maintenance
  • Maintenance scheduling
  • Light carpentry and painting
  • Event setup and breakdown
  • Parking

The position will require a flexible schedule, heavy lifting, extended periods of physical exertion, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently if required. Previous landscaping experience and familiarity with power tools a plus. The facilities fellowship is part-time requiring at least 20 hours per week. This fellowship will be awarded a $2,500 stipend.

Programming and Events Fellow

This fellow will assist in the development of marketing materials and support promotion for the Museum’s summer events, exhibits, and programs. The candidate will participate in the planning, execution, and follow up of the various events held throughout the summer including our summer gala, fundraising/donor events, musical performances, exhibit openings, lectures, author talks, etc. Organization and the ability to juggle multiple projects at once is a must. The candidate must possess excellent verbal communications skills and be comfortable in social situations. Good writing skills are necessary and familiarity with Adobe Photoshop or graphic design a plus. Flexible hours with the ability to work some evenings and weekends required.

The marketing and events fellowship is a full-time fellowship requiring 40 hours per week. Due to the flexibility needed in scheduling, they will be awarded a $5,000 stipend.


The deadline to apply for a Sheldon Hackney Fellowship was February 18th. We encourage you to apply next year!

If you have questions about an existing application, please email Savannah Berryman-Moore at