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.