Create Change Fellowship
The Laundromat Project offers its Create Change Fellowship program to artists and cultural producers who are interested in developing or deepening a collaborative, community-based, and socially-engaged creative practice. The Fellowship is philosophically grounded in rigorous theory and the practice of art making, power analysis, and individual and collective transformation. As a POC-centered organization, our perspective is deeply informed by and embedded in the voices, cultures, histories, perspectives, and leadership of people and communities of color.
The program champions an intensive learning-practice model, that culminates in place-based team projects. Fellows meet with a diverse roster of artists, activists, arts professionals, curators, and change agents offering diverse strategies for creating work at the intersection of art and civic action. This supports the development of an active community of practice and new approaches for participatory community art engagement.
The program format offers a series of six workshop trainings, an opportunity to co-create a community activation within a neighborhood context, monthly coaching sessions, professional development, network building through a cohort-based setting. Past workshops have included deep listening and oral history, disrupting racism through art, building community partnerships, and understanding public policy and power mapping. Incoming Fellows will join a network of 160+ alumni, including artists and cultural producers like Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Sara Abdullah, Taja Lindley, Katherine Toukhay, Ola Ronke Akinmowo, Keke Brown, Tomie Arai, Sydnie Mosley, Raúl Ayala and more.
Overall, this Fellowship helps artists deepen practices in storytelling, ecosystem building, cultural arts organizing, and cooperative / collaborative community engagement. Our aim is to shape a “community-first” approach to public art.
The 2020 Create Change Fellowship program will engage a specific neighborhood around models of cultural asset mapping that center the voices and histories of long term residents, small business owners, youth, activists, and cultural institutions. How are neighbors reshaping cultural production and what does it mean to belong to a city, a neighborhood, or a block? What role do the commons play amidst rapid urban change? What do POC communities need to thrive in abundance? These are the leading questions Fellows will address through the theme of “abundance in practice” as we make art, build community, and create change in place.
Up to 8 Create Change Fellows will be selected to participate in the 2020 program. The Fellowship is open to artists, activists, neighbors, designers, organizers, healers, storytellers, and cultural producers at all stages of their creative practices. We value age diversity, multilingual artists, and self-taught practitioners. The program requires a serious time commitment, and Fellows must live in one of the five NYC boroughs to take part in the six-month program from February through July. We are looking for artists with research and community engagement experience who want to explore strategies for entering and building within a community using LP values and methodologies as a foundational approach.
…we are each other’s harvest:
we are each other’s business:
we are each other’s magnitude and bond.
– Gwendolyn Brooks
The Laundromat Project commits to practicing abundance as a pathway to imagining more for ourselves and our communities. Claiming abundance is a personal and political commitment, especially for communities of color in this historical moment. From a place of self-determination and care, the Create Change program is an invitation to show up as each other’s harvest, business, magnitude, and bond.
As the theme of our 2020 program, we will collectively explore: What does it mean to make art and build community with abundance as a foundation? What does change look like if we are all invested in the advancement of POC artists and communities? How can we cultivate the resources, knowledge, and relationships needed for our communities to thrive? In other words, we believe creative visions, ideas, and actions can fuel new ways of making positive change in the world.
We are looking for artists, cultural producers, and makers of all creative disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences to practice abundance through the co-creation of community-based art projects in NYC.
2020 Open Call
Submit your application via laundromatproject.submittable.com
- Application Open: September 19
- Application Closes: October 20 (11:59pm ET)
- Group Interview: November 23
- Decision Notification: Early December 2019
- Announcement: January 2019
- September 26: Webinar Session via Youtube
- October 9: Live Session at The LP Harlem Office (127 West 127th Street)
If you missed this year’s Info Sessions, you can watch our YouTube webinar here
Eligible Fellowship candidates:
- Are in alignment with The LP’s values, POC-centered principles, and practicing abundance statement
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Are not enrolled in degree-seeking program
- Demonstrate an interest or practice in socially and community engaged art
- Live in one of the five boroughs
- Are committed to working collaboratively with members of the 2020 Create Change cohort
- Are familiar with the cultural history and local issues impacting the communities of color
- Have the availability to commit 200 hours to the Fellowship: at least 150 hours over 6 months working with the Create Change cohort and community partners and 50 hours attending Fellowship workshops, programs, and related assignments
- Orientation: February 1
- Mondays: February 10, March 2 + 23, April 20
- Saturdays: February 22, March 14, April 4
- Group Coaching Sessions: April 27, May 4, June 8
- Group Work Sessions: May 4, June 1 and July 20
- Doctors Hours: May 18
- Culminating Project Activations: June – July
This schedule is subject to change and does not include the independent work Fellows will conduct around their culminating community activations
We recommend applicants review the Program Guidelines before applying.
Download the Program Guidelines here.
Not necessarily. We realize that traditional models of formal training for visual artists (be they based in universities or facilitated through residencies emphasizing individual aesthetic and/or professional development) quite often do not fully prepare them to work with and in a community in a sustained or even substantive way.
As our flagship program, Create Change was created to offer artists an opportunity to deepen or develop a public art practice that graduates from a model of placing static art objects in public spaces to one that emphasizes the ways art and artists can serve as catalysts for social action and relationship building (not just contemplation). We realize that some artists may not identify as community-based artists or social practitioners, but are curious about making work in this way. We created the Fellowship program to provide a space where artists can build on their approaches to community-based art making and explore various approaches to collaborative art making.
Artists working in any art form are eligible to apply as long as they are interested in community-based art making. No matter the accepted applicants’ medium, Fellows will work together to develop a community-based, socially-relevant and socially-engaged project.
The Create Change Fellowship is not a typical series of professional development workshops. Some of the topics and themes covered every year include: cultural arts organizing, building community partnerships, deep listening and storytelling, understanding public policy, dismantling racism through art, and more. We believe in the tenets of popular education and draw from the immense and diverse knowledge of the cohort participants throughout the program.
This Fellowshipprogram also allows artists to learn by doing while creating a project collaboratively alongside a group of their peers and community members. This powerful and experiential form of learning is central to The LP’s mission and core values, which we imbue in all of our programs. Besides concrete skills and experiential learning opportunities, one of the greatest benefits we offer our artists is a network of like-minded practitioners and supporters.
The LP’s rich network includes local and national peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents and over 140 Create Change alumni living and working across NYC. Upon completing this program, all Fellows receive a certificate and become eligible for exclusive alumni opportunities, such as LP grants for future projects and continued professional development training.
As a community-based program we recognize that there are many accomplished artists who do not identify themselves as “professional artists” and/or do not earn their living solely from art-making. Successful applicants are able to demonstrate a record of relevant artistic experience; a solid creative practice; and analytical thinking skills to offer to workshop discussions.
Fellows will spend roughly 50 hours participating in professional development trainings, workshops, and discussions, but should plan to spend roughly 150 hours attending potluck salons, planning group project, and meeting with neighbors, community-based organizations and businesses in The LP’s anchor neighborhoods.
No, applicants currently enrolled in degree-seeking programs are not eligible for the Create Change program.
No, the Create Change program it open to artists of all creative disciplines who are interested in community-based art making.