Arts and culture can be a powerful force for positive community change. That's why creative people who are called to strengthen their communities need to be supported.

Driving transformation through arts and culture can be daunting, difficult and often lonely. Creative Community Fellows brings cultural trailblazers across New England together for five months, to be part of something bigger, to learn life-changing skills and to see dreams become reality.

You are… a creative change-maker in your community. You use the power of arts and culture to drive social or physical transformations in your world, alongside local partners.

You have… a good start, but want to advance your project to make an even greater impact. So you’ll need the curiosity, an open mind and determination to tackle the challenges ahead.

You’ll learn… strategy, design thinking and leadership from University of Pennsylvania faculty, NAS, leading mentors and practitioners in the field, as well as your peers.

You will… put your new knowledge into practice right away. Together, we’ll test, adapt and build on your work. You’ll walk away with clarity…and a game plan.

You’ll join… an incredible community of collaborators dedicated to learning from and sharing with each other. It’s a connected cohort that continues to support each other long after the program concludes.


Who Should Apply

You are:

  • An artist, community organizer, administrator or entrepreneur working on a project to create positive community change through arts and culture and ready to take your project to the next level
  • Living and working in one of the following six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont
  • Curious, open, and collaborative
  • Looking to join a community of practice that will hold you accountable
  • Ready to contribute your skills and take the time to apply what you learn

This program is about action and we recognize that this work happens in stages. The most competitive applicants will be those who have a good start:


Join a National Alumni Network

I am really excited about the time I have spent in this program. It has allowed me the opportunity to be creative, to be thoughtful, to learn strategies to realize my project and to do that with other kindred spirits and other creative people who want to bring about change in their communities. I has been an amazing energy.
Clinnesha Sibley
Southwest Mississippi Multiplex
McComb, MS

I am bringing back the relationships that I am making here with people to my community. The resources, networks, connections. I am starting to connect people here to those in my community because they are doing such similar work across the country.
Dulce Juárez
La Cultura Cura
Phoenix, AZ



Core Curriculum

STRATEGY: Clarify your project's unique value and position in your community

DESIGN THINKING: Learn a people-centered, cyclical process for developing and testing new ideas

LEADERSHIP: Develop a growth mindset and a way of leading that stems from your values

Download the detailed curriculum. 


Thanks to the generous support of The Barr Foundation, tuition is on us. All tuition, including the cost of lodging, food, local transportation and program fees is completely underwritten.

Fellows are responsible for their transportation to and from the two in-person events.