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News + Updates: Fellowship Theme

Creative Community House

On July 20, the twenty-two Fellows in the residential track of Creative Community Fellows come together for a seven-day incubator at a breathtaking estate in Norfolk, CT. This is a core component of the Creative Community Fellows program for those in the residential track. After weeks of online introductions and connections, this is their first time meeting in-person. Fellows will take an in-depth look at the stage of their projects, the goals and the challenges that lie ahead. The house experience serves as a workshop atmosphere, where Fellows have the chance to test their model, improve their ideas and strengthen their projects with the help of diverse community experts.

The week will focus on transformative leadership, design thinking and community development. Fellows will dive into these topics during sessions led by Peter Frumkin, Professor of Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice; Sarah Lidgus, writer and strategist at IDEO; and Carlton Turner, Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS.

Fellows are paired with mentors throughout the duration of the program. Mentors will join us at the house over the weekend to give one-on-one and group feedback to Fellows. Mentors include leaders in the field such as Tim Cynova, Tracy Harris, David Koren, Donna Neuwirth, Ellen Ryan, George Scheer, Beck Tench, Javier Torres, Gary Vikan and Lisa Yancey.

Taylor Craig, Dallas Shelby and Sunny Widmann serve as the NAS experience tour guides. You can follow the journey on Twitter at #NASCCF and get the Fellow experience by checking out their reactions on the Creative Community Blog. We’re looking forward to ending the month on a high surrounded by these world changers!

Learn more about the Creative Community Fellows program »

Meet the Fellows »

Join the Creative Community. Sign up to receive updates »


The Creative Community House is presented by National Arts Strategies and University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and Center for Social Impact Strategy and is made possible through the generous support of The Kresge Foundation.


Welcome to the New Creative Community Fellows!

They hail from around the world. They build arts vocational skills for adults on the autism spectrum. They create card games that change pedestrian behavior and reduce vehicular accidents. They activate community spaces and host pertinent neighborhood discussions. They are the Creative Community Fellows!

This incredible community of 50 change makers will work with NAS and each other over the next nine months to build projects that will lead to stronger, healthier communities. We received nearly 200 applications from 34 states and 7 different countries. We were amazed by the drive and passion of the applicants and we know they are going to play a part in changing this world.

Each Fellow enters the program with a project that uses arts and culture to design solutions to community problems. NAS provides the tools, training and access to a community of support to help Fellows drive their projects forward. The program curriculum is led by experts and world-renowned thought leaders in social innovation, design thinking, strategy and community development.

Fellows also gain access to and help create a powerful network in which ideas and opportunities flow freely. This network is a powerful one and through it we hope to create ripples that will spur connection throughout the field and promote sustainability.

We want to build and support a community of cultural entrepreneurs and leaders throughout the field. We encourage you to visit the Creative Community Fellows site and share it with your colleagues. In addition to project updates from the Fellows, we will post the content and tools from the program for you to use and share. We hope you will use the tools, share your insights and join this incredible community.

Emily Arden Eakland, Mt. Rainer, Maryland
Bridget Bartolini, South Richmond Hill, New York
Chad Bradford, Little Rock, Arkansas
Erin Bregman, San Francisco, California
Nicolas Cabrera, Boulder, Colorado
Katie Campbell, Little Rock, Arkansas
Crystal Campbell, Belleville, Michigan
Kimberly Coburn, Decatur, Georgia
April Counceller, Kodiak, Alaska
Debasmita Dasgupta, Singapore
Nicolas de la Fuente, Phoenix, Arizona
Julia Devine, Plattsburgh, New York
Jordan Dyniewski, Astoria, New York
Hallie Ertman, Rockville, Maryland
Kristin Fleischmann Brewer, St. Louis, Missouri
Meghan Frank, Denver, Colorado
Jill Freeman, Fairport, New York
Jeremie Gluckman, Guiyang, China
Sarah Gonzales, Tucson, Arizona
Carly Griffith, Charlottesville, Virginia
Megan Hobza, Whittier, California
Mary Hoffman, Alamosa, Colorado
Lauren Latessa, Ellicott City, Maryland
Perryne Lee Poy Lokhandwala, Brooklyn, New York
Daniel Leng, Seattle, Washington
Dessa Lohrey, Atlanta, Georgia
Erik Martinez Resly, Washington, DC
Nikiko Masumoto, Del Ray, California
Charlie Michaels, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mario Mesquita, Los Angeles, California
Matice Moore, Tucson, Arizona
Mikelle Moore, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
Tico Moore, Wilmington, Delaware
Miriam Nash, London, United Kingdom
Elena Olascoaga, Nuevo León, Mexico
Aneliese Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska
Sara Potler LaHayne, New York, New York
Julie Potter, San Francisco, California
Laura Ritchie, Durham, North Carolina
Nathalie Sanchez, Los Angeles, California
Ginger Savage, Baker City, Oregon
Aletheia Hyun-Jin Shin, Baltimore, Maryland
Yvonne Shortt, Long Island City, New York
Jessica Solomon, Washington, DC
Sarah Sullivan, Phoenix, Arizona
Nell Taylor, Chicago, Illinois
Christopher Taylor, Flagstaff, Arizona
Joe Tolbert, Knoxville, Tennessee
David White, San Diego, California
Carol Zou, Dallas, Texas

Learn more about the Creative Community Fellows program »

Meet the Fellows »

Join the Creative Community. Sign up to receive updates »

This program is the result of the incredible collaboration and support of The Kresge FoundationUniversity of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice and The Center for Social Impact StrategyArtPlace America and RocketHub.


Creative Community Fellows Applications Now Open!

The CCF Journey

Have a great idea to use arts and culture to better a community? Know someone who does? Well, you are in luck because applications are now open for the Creative Community Fellows program! We are looking for artists, activists, community organizers, administrators and entrepreneurs from around the world who are using arts and culture to drive physical and social transformation in their communities.

With the support of The Kresge Foundation and now in its second year, this program grew out of our exploration of the role of art in civil society and the importance of community in the sustainability of the cultural sector. Presented in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice and The Center for Social Impact Strategy, the Creative Community Fellows program is a nine-month intensive incubator that gives Fellows the tools, training and access to a community of support as they design and drive their projects forward. We have seen that this program establishes a network, far surpassing the reach of the 50 Fellows and encourages connections and collaboration with communities near and far.

The program incorporates a residential track where 22 Fellows jump-start the program through one week of living and learning together and an online track that gives Fellows the flexibility to connect and work when and where it works for them. However, we are creating a single, unique community of 50 cultural entrepreneurs and leaders. Fellows will take monthly online courses together, share updates on their projects with each other and the field and have the rare chance to engage face-to-face with funders and people already engaging in this work. Tuition for the program, including lodging and meals is completely underwritten! Fellows are only responsible for their transportation to in-person events.

We will also share tools and conversations online for open access. We are opening this up to help as many people in as many locations as possible to create, strengthen and advance projects that improve communities. We have seen how the collective wisdom of Fellows, mentors, faculty and communities fuels each project and expands the network. It will only continue to grow.

Please visit our website to learn more about the program and get involved. Apply to become a Fellow or share this information with others!


Learn more about Creative Community Fellows »

Apply by April 26 »




Fellowship Recipients Selected for Strategy Seminar

The final Organization Fellowships of 2011 have been awarded to twelve teams to attend Strategy, December 8-10 in Chicago. All fellowship recipients were selected through a competitive application process and will attend the seminar at no cost. In addition to a fellowship covering the full-tuition for the seminar, participants from outside the Chicago area will also receive up to $600 per person to help offset the travel and lodging costs. Team fellowships are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fidelity Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.



New Pricing for Business of Arts and Culture Seminars

Starting in 2012, we will ask organizations to name their own tuition for all Business of Arts and Culture seminars. We’ve heard from leaders that our seminars help create real solutions to the challenges they face. We’ve also heard that many still need extra help to make educational expenditures possible. This new pricing approach allows organizations to take part in our seminars at a price they can afford to pay. We will continue to offer travel support for out-of-town participants.



Strategy Application Deadline Approaching

The application period for Organization Fellowships to attend Strategy, the last Business of Arts and Culture™ seminar for 2011, closes next Friday, September 23. Strategy is a three-day experience meant to give your leadership team a firm understanding of key frameworks and concepts that will help you in developing your organizational strategy. Strategy’s case-based format provides learning opportunities from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, with class discussions meant to enhance your understanding of the concepts presented. Read a description of the Strategy sessions »

Accepted teams will receive Organization Fellowships to cover tuition of $4,500 for up to six people and travel support is provided for those from outside the Chicago area. Don’t miss this opportunity to ensure your organization ends 2011 with a firm understanding of your environment and with the skills to work towards mission fulfillment and gaining a competitive advantage in 2012. Apply today »


Fellowship Recipients for Managing People Seminar Announced

Twelve teams will attend Managing People, September 8-9 in Seattle, through NAS 2011 Organization Fellowships. All fellowship recipients were selected through a competitive application process and will attend the seminar at no cost. In addition to a $4,500 fellowship covering the full-tuition for the seminar, participants from outside the Seattle area will also receive up to $600 per person to help offset the travel and lodging costs. (more…)


Applications Open for Strategy

How can integrating your mission and strategy help you gain a competitive advantage? How can your organization maximize resources to address your most difficult challenges?

Join us for Strategy, December 8-10 in Chicago, and work with your team under the guidance of leading management professors to identify and analyze your organization’s strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan of action to fulfill your mission through effective and sustainable operations.

Strategy’s case-based format facilitates learning from real life situations encountered by businesses in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.  Class and team discussions enhance your understanding of the concepts presented and help you gain insight from the experiences of those throughout the cultural arena. See a detailed description of the Strategy sessions »

All participating teams will receive Organization Fellowships covering the full $4,500 tuition for a team of up to six people. Participants from outside the Chicago area will also receive up to $600 per person in travel support to help with the cost of travel and lodging.

The deadline to apply is September 23. Apply now »


Learn to innovatively use your biggest resource in NAS’ Managing People seminar

While there’s a great deal of talk about innovation throughout the field, it tends to focus on programs, attracting audiences and finding new revenue streams. But what if you started with thinking innovatively about your biggest resource – your people? What are their strengths and how can you creatively use them to propel your success? Are there things about your organization – for instance the way jobs are designed or particular aspects of the culture – which prevent your staff from being able to work to their full potential?

The NAS Managing People seminar is your leadership team’s opportunity to explore these issues with two top management professors. For two days, your team will engage in case studies, class discussions and team exercises as you work through a process to align your organization’s culture and infrastructure with your mission and strategy. You’ll be pushed to think creatively about how both formal and informal components of your organization impact how your employees achieve your mission, including what attracts them to your organization and what keeps them motivated and engaged while they’re there.

Apply now to bring your leadership team to Seattle, September 8-9 for Managing People. All participating teams will receive an Organization Fellowship covering the full tuition for a team of 3-6 and must apply to attend. Additionally, teams from outside the Seattle metropolitan area will receive up to $600 per person to help with the costs of travel and lodging.

The deadline to submit your application is June 24. Apply now »


Work with two experts in organizational behavior during Managing People

Join Professors Diane Burton, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and Jesper B. Sørensen, Stanford Graduate School of Business, for the NAS Managing People seminar in Seattle, September 8-9. During this two-day working session, these dynamic teachers will engage your leadership team in case studies, class discussions and team exercises. Together you will examine how your organization’s culture and formal policies can align with your strategy and enable better mission achievement.

Diane BurtonDiane Burton is an expert in organizational theory, human resource management and entrepreneurship whose research focuses on the effect of organizational systems and practices on organizational performance and individual career outcomes. She has published articles in numerous academic journals including American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization Science. Prior to joining Cornell, Professor Burton taught at MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Professor Burton earned degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Harvard Universities before receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University.

Jesper B. Sørensen  is a sociologist who specializes in the dynamics of organizational and strategic change, and their implications for individuals and their careers. His research on firm outcomes has focused on the impact of organizational structure and culture on organizational learning, performance and innovation. His work on the dynamics of teams has led to new insights concerning how people respond to changes in the racial composition of their workgroups. He has won awards for both his published work and his teaching, and has served as both Associate and Consulting Editor for the American Journal of Sociology, is on the Editorial Board of Administrative Science Quarterly, and is a Senior Editor of Organization Science. Professor Sørensen earned an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University.

Managing People is being presented with Organization Fellowships covering the full cost of tuition for all participating teams. Teams from outside the Seattle metropolitan area will also receive up to $600 per person in travel support to help with the cost of travel and lodging. All teams must submit an application by June 24 to be eligible to participate.

For more information about the seminar and who should attend, visit