New England

Creative Community Fellows


Spark connections. Accelerate your work. Transform communities.

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 gain...

understanding of strategy, design thinking and leadership from University of Pennsylvania faculty, NAS, leading mentors and practitioners in the field, as well as your peers. 94% of Fellows said they gained new skills relevant to their work.

You'll use...

your new knowledge right away. Together, we’ll test, adapt and build on your work. You’ll walk away with clarity…and a game plan. 90% of Fellows said they shared learnings from the program with their collaborators and organizations.

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

The connections made with a diverse range of like-minded, inspired, and accomplished artists and changemakers have been the most useful to me in expanding my understanding of how to navigate as a leader of a service centered creative/arts/healing organization.

Taraneh Sarrafzadeh, Southwest Mississippi Multiplex, San Jose, CA


“I have never had time and space to really focus on my ambitious projects, nor had recognition from anyone other than peers that these are useful things to spend time on. It's nice to have the feedback that yes, while ambitious and challenging, these ideas have merit and are worth pursuing.”

Sita Magnuson, La Cultura Cura, Easthampton, MA




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.