Create Change

Applications for Create Change are now closed. Please check back in December 2018, for information about applying you can view INFO SESSION DOCUMENTATION



For over a decade, the Create Change artist development program has connected communities, artists, and organizers in meaningful ways, creating a corps of creative community leaders. Each year The Laundromat Project selects up to 20 multiracial, multi-disciplinary change makers living in New York City to participate and produce eight new projects through our fellowships and residencies. For a period of 6 months, participants are guided through a series of workshops, studio visits, and intense community building focusing on experiential coaching in order to build and develop community responsive creative projects.


Create Change participants acquire necessary practical and ethical tools to critically examine the role that arts and culture have in community change. This program is centered in the experiences of People of Color and their communities. Create Change further provides participants with a community of support, opportunities to build networks and the resources they need to further develop their creative practices and positively impact the communities where they live, work, and grow.





Throughout the program, participants meet with a diverse roster of arts professionals, activists, funders, and change agents offering strategies for creating and sustaining work that overlaps both arts and social change. The Create Change Program offers intensive experiential workshops led by a team of experts. Past workshops have included:


  • Entering Building and Exiting Community led by Urban Bush Women
  • Cultural Organizing led by Ebony Noelle Golden from Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative
  • Community Partnerships led by Rachel Falcone and Michael Premo
  • Engaging the Public Sector led by Arts & Democracy, Natural Occurring Cultural Districts New York
  • Disrupting Racism Through Art led by Nayantara Sen, Tammy Johnson from ArtWork Practice


2018 Artist and community council

Our Artist & Community Council is comprised of socially engaged art professionals who live and/or work in the communities where our programming is located. They serve as both programmatic advisors and ambassadors to The LP over a year-long period.


Larry Ossei Mensah

Independent Curator


Nico Wheadon

The Studio Museum in Harlem


Ola Ronke Akinmowo

Artist, Create Change Alumna


Ron Kavanaugh

Literary Freedom Project


Sajata Epps



Past Council members


Practicing Sanctuary, Year Two



In 2017, for the first time The LP instituted a theme for Create Change —Sanctuary: Reimagining Community Safety. This was partially a response to the current socio-political climate of the country and proactively a way to sharpen our collective socially-engaged practice as a community. We asked, What is role of the arts in supporting and making sanctuary? One of the lessons we learned was that sanctuary is more than a space, it is a practice. The individual and collective actions that support communities are at the core of what sanctuary is. Within this practice there are levels of complexity that require definition, time, and resources. This is why we decided continue to expand and explore the theme of sanctuary for a second year. As we continue this journey we know now that we are in it for the long haul. We continue asking, What does it mean to have a practice of sanctuary?


We are looking for artists, cultural producers, and makers of all disciplines that support the practice of “sanctuary” through Create Change projects. We are asking that you define with us what does it mean to practice sanctuary while doing. This year, we are looking to support creative projects that weave, build, and rethink notions of safety with diverse community members in our anchor neighborhoods (Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point/Longwood).


2017 Sanctuary: Reimagining Community Safety


In the United States the term sanctuary has a complex history. It usually refers to the sanctuary movement that became popular during the 1980s mainly in the south west of the country. Faith based organizations offered their spaces and refused to cooperate with government authorities in order to protect immigrants that were coming mainly from Central America while fleeing war and political prosecution.


In 2017’s context, were anti-immigrant, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-muslim rhetoric and actions are used to openly attack groups of people in the United States, we see a resurgence of the term sanctuary. This movement has expanded from its earlier origins to college campuses, cultural spaces and even cities as a whole.


When The LP says Sanctuary, we mean a place of refuge or safety. Be it literal or symbolic.


In the context of our current political and socio-economic climate, it is important that we act together in solidarity across disciplines, expertise and differences. For the first time, The Laundromat Project is building our Create Change Program around a theme: Sanctuary. We are looking for artists, cultural producers, and makers of all disciplines to produce “sanctuary” spaces through Create Change projects. We think of sanctuaries as safe spaces that provide refuge and security. They can be literal or symbolic–a coming together or collective state of mind. What is role for artists and the arts in this sanctuary movement?


This year, we are looking to support creative projects that weave, build, and rethink notions of safety with diverse community members in our anchor neighborhoods (Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point/Longwood). In addition, we invite artists whose would be conducive to collaborations with civic, community-based organizations, government agencies and small businesses. We are looking to open, share and hold safer spaces that can help evoke, articulate, and realize our most imaginative and collective dreams of refuge in our current historical moment. The LP’s ultimate vision is to nurture creative community leaders as they help build more resilient and interconnected communities.


Reference to Sanctuary Movement


Fellowship Program (15 artists)

The Fellowship program is for artists and makers of all disciplines including, cultural producers, and community organizers who may or may not have experience doing community-based projects and are interested in developing or deepening their socially-engaged creative practice. Fellows may live in the five boroughs or close enough to NYC to attend all program activities between April and October.


To apply and for more information on this program, please click HERE.



Residency Program (5 artists)

The Residency program is for artists interested in developing and mounting a socially-engaged, community-responsive, and participatory public art project in their local laundromat, community gathering and/or other everyday public spaces.


  • Open to artists of color living in or deeply invested in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Harlem Manhattan, and Hunts Point / Longwood The Bronx.


  • Open to alumni from the Create Change Fellowship program and can take place in any of New York City’s five boroughs.




To apply and for more information on both opportunities, please click HERE.



The Create Change program is made possible in part through the generosity of The Andrew Mellon Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.