Group standing in front of a community mural.

Fellowship Opportunity for New England’s Creative Changemakers

National Arts Strategies seeks applications through April 22nd from creative leaders driving positive change in their communities.

Across the country, there are creative people working to make their communities better for everyone. Our goal through the Creative Community Fellows program at National Arts Strategies (NAS) is to give them the skills they need, and a community of peers to create even greater impacts. Allentza Michel of Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood was one of our fellows last year. Allentza saw two challenges in her community – a lack of studio space for local artists, and a need to rebrand and revitalize its public space. By connecting artists and designers with residents, Allentza came up with a creative solution: turning the entire neighborhood into a canvas. Her team is working to transform intersections that need crosswalks, parking spots that might be parklets, and old payphones that sit untouched and dusty. The project is bringing a renewed vibrancy and sense of community to the neighborhood.

Allentza headshot

Allentza Michel (2016-2017 Fellow)

When Allentza participated in NAS’s Creative Community Fellows program, she sharpened her problem-solving skills and her ability to move people toward a shared goal. The Fellows program brings cultural trailblazers together for five months, to be part of something bigger, to learn life-changing skills and to see dreams become reality. The Fellows include artists, community organizers, urban planners, arts administrators and cultural entrepreneurs, all united by their integration of arts and culture into positive community change strategies. Fellows are driven by their desire to connect and exchange with one another and a love for the places they call home.

And now, NAS is seeking a class of 25 Fellows who call New England home. A recent grant from the Barr Foundation expanded the Fellows program to New England in order to support creative leaders in the region and allow them to participate tuition-free. Applications for the Fellowship are open now through April 22nd.

To get a sense of the Fellowship experience, watch the video below.

Fellows jumpstart the program by living and learning together for one week in Vermont in an incubator-like environment building their skills in strategy, leadership and design thinking. Over the course of five months, they take monthly online courses in topic areas such as community development, finding capital and support, budgeting and more. Together, they share updates on their projects and meet with leaders in the field who serve as mentors. Fellows test, adapt, and build on their work, walking away with clarity and a strategy to move forward.

New England is a diverse region, including rural, urban and suburban communities with different kinds of community dynamics. Fellows will benefit from hearing the range of perspectives represented within the cohort – unlocking potential solutions to the community issues they are addressing. Together, they will form a network of support as each one makes a shift towards positive community change.

Creative change makers like Allentza and other alumni are driving transformation across the region alongside local partners. If you are creating positive change through arts and culture in your New England community; If you are looking for a community of practice and ready to contribute your skills; If you are curious, open and collaborative; Learn more about Creative Community Fellows and apply by April 22, 2018.

Learn more about Creative Community Fellows and apply

The Creative Community Fellowship is one example of how Barr invests in individual artists. Learn more about this and other partnerships below:

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