National Arts Strategies would like to extend a warm welcome to the 25 creative change agents joining the inaugural Creative Community Fellows New England cohort. From creating a community media center in a Maine ice cream parlor to performances in Rhode Island highlighting rising sea levels, the selected individuals embody a drive to strengthen their communities through creative means.
Fellows will work with National Arts Strategies, faculty partners, mentors and each other over the next six months to embrace their authentic leadership capacities, examine their partnerships and strategy, and craft processes for deepening their connection to the community. In addition to implementing their projects, Fellows will create a vibrant, regional network enriched with the unique experiences and expertise each brings to the table.
“The recruitment process was very competitive. The high number of qualified applicants indicates how rich the New England region is with creative activity – and how hungry people are for connection and support,” said Sunny Widmann, the program’s director. “The selected Fellows bring such a range of knowledge to the cohort – from backgrounds in city planning to experience with local business councils – and they’re all united by their clear passion for the arts.”
Now in its fifth year, the Creative Community Fellows program has supported nearly 150 leaders nationwide. NAS’s launch of the regionally-focused Creative Community Fellows New England is thanks to the generous support of The Barr Foundation, who has underwritten the Fellows’ participation costs.
“New England has so many talented artists whose work both enlivens and addresses social challenges in our communities. Yet opportunities are few for them to connect, learn together, and support one another,” said San San Wong, the Barr Foundation’s Director of Arts & Creativity, “The Creative Community Fellows program tackles this challenge head on. It is our privilege to support this new network of cultural leaders, who can collaborate and strengthen each other’s work, and deepen their impact.”
NAS received more than 115 applications from Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and was moved by the inspiring projects happening across the region. The following Fellows were selected for their capacity to make immediate impacts on their communities and NAS is eager to see them thrive.
May Babcock | Pawtucket, RI
Stephanie Benenson | Hamilton, MA
Mai Chao | Providence, RI
Carolyn Clayton | North Adams, MA
Angelica Durrell | Stamford, CT
Ceilidh Galloway-Kane | Greensboro, VT
Alexander Golob | Wellesley, MA
Catherine Griffin | Lancaster, NH
Mary Haley | Skowhegan, ME
Christopher Hope | Cambridge, MA
Kristin Humbargar | Essex Junction, VT
Jesse Keller Jason | Chilmark, MA
Jesse Kreitzer | Marlboro, VT
Kristin Leffler | Bar Harbor, ME
Sita Magnuson | Easthampton, MA
Jean Mineo | Medfield, MA
Catherine Morris | Dorchester, MA
Mallory Nezam | Somerville, MA
Aditya Nochur | Somerville, MA
Sheila Novak | Boston, MA
Daniel Pizarro | New Haven, CT
Gowri Savoor | Barre, VT
Kate Schapira | Providence, RI
Andrea Shellman | Boston, MA
Jane Wegscheider | Shelburne Falls, MA
This program is the result of the incredible support of the The Barr Foundation.