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News + Updates: Creative Community Fellows

National Arts Strategies awarded $35,000 from the Knight Foundation Fund of Akron Community Foundation

We are thrilled to share that the National Arts Strategies’ (NAS) Creative Community Fellows program has received $35,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund of Akron Community Foundation, to advance community change and cultural entrepreneurship.

Funding will directly support the participation of cultural entrepreneurs from the Akron community in the Creative Community Fellows program.

A national organization, Knight Foundation was founded in Akron, Ohio, and continues to invest in the community through their support of local organizations. We are excited to deepen the support of cultural entrepreneurs from Akron as they define, design, pilot and scale their work.

Creative Community Fellows is designed to support creative individuals working as change-makers in their communities. These Fellows use arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations. Over eight-months, Fellows gain access to tools, training and a community of support that helps to fuel their visions for community change and action.

 

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 60 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Dec. 31, 2015, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $184 million with a growing family of more than 520 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $131 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

 

Announcing a New Creative Community Fellows Funding Partner

CCFWe would like to thank the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for their $30,000 grant, which will support a cohort of San Jose, California-based Creative Community Fellows.

Creative Community Fellows is developed to support creative individuals working as change-makers in their communities. These Fellows use arts and culture as vehicles to drive physical and social transformations. Over eight-months, Fellows gain access to tools, training and a community of support that helps to fuel their visions for community change and action.

 

About the Knight Foundation’s Work in San Jose, California

As San Jose faces tremendous population growth, Knight is working to support the urbanization of a traditionally sprawling city with a specific focus on Central San Jose. Their investments tap into the region’s creative energy and disruptive history to accelerate the city’s significance as a well-connected, transport-accessible hub for culture and innovation in the South Bay.

Working with partners in the public and private sectors, they support a range of projects from prototypes and pop-ups to in-depth research and sustained organizational support.

Learn more about Creative Community Fellows »

 

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 »

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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 Success on RocketHub

The Creative Community Fellows have raised over $30,000 for their projects on RocketHub. Pride is an understatement of how we feel making this announcement.

In the final hours of his campaign, Creative Community Fellow, Philip Graulty shared with the cohort of Fellows, “Throughout this entire crowdfunding process, when I felt guilty for asking for help and money, I would think back to what Scott Shigeoka said during our interview for Arts Entrepreneurs:

“…the universe wants to support people that have dreams, that are fulfilling their missions and are alive… especially when they are doing things that serve community.”

It’s been the voice that’s kept me sane, the little angel on my shoulder that’s kept me going. So if you forget everything else, remember to let people in on your dreams! And know that we’re all here to help!”

As Kate Jopson reflects on her campaign, she notes, “It was the surprising generosity of so many people that really made this happen! I’ve never raised money like this before. My heart feels very full right now.”

Several of the campaigns are still live on RocketHub. View all the Creative Community Fellows campaigns »

 

 

Want to be involved in the Creative Community Fellows program? Have an idea to use arts and culture to better a community? Applications are now being accepted through Sunday, April 26. Apply Now »

 

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 »

 

 

 

Creative Community Fellows Launch Campaigns on RocketHub

RocketHub Creative Community Fellow CampaignsThe Creative Community Fellows have made it to the final stage of the program. They’ve refined their ideas and presented their perfect pitch. They’ve received feedback from peers in the program, the NAS team and grantmakers and leaders in the area of creative placemaking. Today, we launch their crowd-funding campaigns on RocketHub.

You’ve followed their journey through the Creative Community Blog and you know that Fellows represent a diverse range of projects from using puppetry to engage residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias, taking old t-shirts and transforming them into hand woven works of art in order to increase literacy and community to an art and food production co-op in the heart of rural Missouri that crosses generational and cultural boundaries.

We are so proud of how far the Fellows have come throughout this journey and encourage you to check out how they are working to effect change in their communities, learn more about what’s next on their journey and consider helping them get there.

 

View all the Creative Community Fellows campaigns on RocketHub »

 

Want to be a part of the Creative Community Fellows program? Applications for 2015 open on March 16.
Sign up to receive program updates »

 

 

Creative Community Fellows Share Their Projects with Leaders in the Field

Fellow, Andrew Shea, pitches his project to Jamie Bennett, Maria Rosario Jackson and colleagues in the Creative Community Fellows program.

Fellow, Andrew Shea, pitches his project to Jamie Bennett, Maria Rosario Jackson and colleagues in the Creative Community Fellows program.

We introduced the participants in the Creative Community Fellows program in June. Over the past seven months Fellows have designed, tested and in some cases entirely reshaped their projects. They’ve worked with National Arts Strategies, their mentors and their communities to draft and refine their project pitches. As they near the final months of the program, now is the time to hear what grantmakers and leaders in the field have to say. Throughout the month of January, Fellows have been participating in review sessions, sharing their project ideas with leading national funders and creative placemaking practitioners. Last week, several of our Fellows gathered in Palo Alto, CA to share their ideas with participating panelists at the Creative Community Launchpad. Other Fellows are participating virtually, connecting one-on-one for feedback through video conference.

Fellow Josh Rice reflects on his pitch experience, “Pitching my project at the Creative Community Launchpad in Palo Alto was such an invaluable exercise in embracing fear, adaptation and improvisation. I got lucky. After a discussion about our Social Styles, I volunteered (amiably) to “mini-pitch” my program in 2-3 minutes to my social styles group, the Amiables, and was then thrust into immediately pitching it again to the Driver style group. The exercise not only allowed me to practice a more focused, concise pitch on-the-fly, but I was also able to incorporate feedback directly from this “practice pitch” into my real pitch in front of the panel later in the day. I’m so glad I dared greatly, put myself out there, and volunteered to do this exercise with such a generous and thoughtful community of Fellows, as it left me at the end of the day feeling welcomed, accomplished, and more successful in my pitch.”

Participating reviewers include Jamie Bennett, Executive Director of ArtPlace America, Ron Ragin, Program Officer at The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Tony Tolentino, Program Director at The Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and James Kass, Founder & Executive Director of Youth Speaks, among many others. With a focus on feedback and discussion, these sessions are a rare opportunity for Fellows to engage in one-on-one conversations with funders, cultivate relationships and build support.

This is an exciting time for Creative Community Fellows and we want you to be involved! Check out the Creative Community Blog for Fellow updates and reactions to their review sessions or follow the Fellows’ journey on Twitter using #NASCCF or #Launchpad.

 

Welcome to the Creative Community Fellows!

We are excited to announce the 50 Creative Community Fellows! This incredible community of cultural entrepreneurs will work with NAS and each other over the next nine months to build projects that will lead to stronger, healthier communities. We received over 200 applications from 38 states and 14 different countries. We were overwhelmed by the vision and passion of the applicants. We found them all to be curious, open and hungry for a community of collaborators.

Each Fellow is coming to the program with an idea for responding to a problem in their community – from a mobile museum of American artifacts that will collect, record and preserve stories to creative writing as a means of igniting neighborhood change and empowering residents. We will provide Fellows with tools, training and mentors to help them push their projects forward. The Fellows will work together to refine their projects and perfect their pitches. They will also have the rare opportunity to receive feedback from leading funders.

We often hear leaders talk about the challenge of making the case for arts and culture. We feel that if we connect with our communities in the ways that these Fellows are, then few people would question our value. We’ve seen that the leaders who thrive are the ones who understand and connect with their communities. By giving these leaders training, support and a voice, we hope to create ripples that will spur connection throughout the field and help ensure sustainability.

This is not solely a program for the 50 Fellows. We want to build and support a community of cultural entrepreneurs. 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 all of the content and tools from the program. We hope you will join this incredible group of Fellows.

 

Kate Balug Nicolle Bennett Corina Bucea Scott Burkholder
Casey Caldwell Justina Crawford-Williams Sadiqua Iman Crutcher Thupten Dakpa
Tanya Daud Dawn DiPrince Ali Fadlallah Hannah Fox
Mina Girgis Angela Goerner Philip Graulty Sara Greer
Alma Guzman Abdul Karim Hakib Rachel Hamilton Lisa Harper Chang
Danny Harris Kate Jopson Laurelin Kruse Al Letson
Valerie Liais Alex Macharia Hayk Makhmuryan Sifiso Maposa
Erik Moe Monica Montgomery Katy Moonan Jessica Moore
Kristina Newman-Scott Christina Oi Ying Nip Elise Pepple Damaris Pereda
Steve Prince Julie Rada Rachel Reynolds Luster Josh Rice
Madeline Sayet Andrew Shea Scott Shigeoka Amanda Thompson
Chris Webb Emilia White Tamara Williams Heidi Wright
Hunter Wright Heather Zinger

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 Foundation, University of Pennsylvania, ArtPlace America and RocketHub.

 

Welcome First Creative Community Fellows, Two Days Left to Apply

We are excited to announce our first two Creative Community Fellows, admitted early to give you all a sense of the diversity and project range in this cohort. With only 48 hours left to apply to be a Creative Community Fellow, we wanted to share the exciting work of Rachel Reynolds Luster and Madeline Sayet to encourage all of you working at the intersection of culture and community to apply by May 7.

Rachel Reynolds Luster

Rachel Reynolds Luster is a folklorist, librarian, artist, and organizer working to promote community renewal and sufficiency in the Missouri Ozarks. As the founder of the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op, Rachel has created a space for members of her community to share their resources, handmade goods and learn from each other. In addition to functioning like a traditional food Co-Op, the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisans Co-Op also hosts guest speakers, classes and skill sharing workshops as well as cultural events. Furthermore, the Co-Op serves as a community bulletin and convening center, truly making it a place that nurtures the community and brings people from a variety of backgrounds together to contribute to the self-sustainability of Oregon County, Missouri.  Learn more about Rachel and her project here. As a Creative Community Fellow, Rachel wants to learn from her counterparts working at the intersection of culture and community development and specifically receive suggestions for sustainable funding strategies to grow and scale the Co-Op.
 

 

Madeline Sayet

Resident Artistic Director at Amerinda Inc., Madeline Sayet, is creating the first Native Shakespeare Ensemble, which will give Native artists a chance to find their voice by rediscovering classic text. Madeline seeks to challenge the representation of Native peoples in American theatre, empower Native theatre artists and expose audiences to Native theatre. Learn more about Madeline and her project here. Through participation in the Creative Community Fellows program, Madeline seeks to be submersed with like-minded individuals interested in changing the landscape of art within communities across the world. She wants to be challenged, provoked and empowered in her ideas as well as reciprocate this and invoke collaboration among other participating Fellows.
 

 
Both Rachel and Madeline are using culture to respond to local needs and contribute to the development of their communities. We could not be happier to have them on board! If you are working at the intersection of arts and culture, social change and entrepreneurship, we encourage you to go to our website, learn more and get involved.  Creative Community Fellow applications are due by May 7.