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Fellowship Program

The Laundromat Project offers its Create Change Fellowship program for artists and creative individuals who may or may not have experience doing community-based projects and are interested in developing or deepening their socially-engaged creative practice. Fellows need to be from one of the five boroughs or close enough to NYC to attend all program activities between April and October.

The Fellowship is a six-month series of workshops and programs for artists interested in developing or deepening their practice of making socially relevant, socially-engaged art. This is meant to be a groundbreaking effective, affordable, intensive training for artists interested in learning how to do community-based, social practice work better and deeper.

Throughout the program, Fellows meet with a diverse roster of artists, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents offering strategies for creating and sustaining work that overlaps both the arts and social change sectors. Up to 15 Create Change Fellows will be selected to participate in the program. This opportunity is open to artists at all stages of their careers, all diversities, and disciplines.

Program Schedule

The Fellowship runs from April to October. Participation in the program requires a significant time commitment of roughly 200 hours, including attendance and participation in the following:

  • A one-day orientation
  • Eight workshops, trainings, and discussions
  • Three Create Change Residency project site visits
  • Three potluck dinners
  • One “Doctor’s” hours professional individualized consultation
  • Five Field Day check-in meetings
  • Field Day planning meetings with your team and community partners (as needed)
  • Presentation of community-based, socially-engaged projects at one of three LP Field Days
  • Attendance at other LP Field Days
  • Final Evaluation Session
  • Community Board and Partner meetings in one of The LP’s anchor neighborhoods (Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Hunts Point)
  • The LP’s Annual Public Art Potluck

Click here to consult the 2017 calendar of events to review meeting dates and times.

Program Benefits

  • Access to an incredible range of information designed to deepen and expand one’s socially-engaged creative practice.
  • Access to a rich network of local and national peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents.
  • Formation of a strong long-lasting peer network where one can share their creative vision, strategies for change, and ideas.
  • Access to a peer network of over 120+ Create Change alumni living and working in New York’s five boroughs and nearby cities like Jersey City, Yonkers and Philadelphia.
  • As alumni, eligibility to receive grants from The Laundromat Project for future community-based projects.
  • As alumni, eligibility to become a Create Change Commission artist, including honoraria and production support to complete a community-based project.
  • Preference for ongoing professional opportunities, such as speaking engagements, press coverage, and commissions.

Program Guidelines

Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for those who:

  • Are already creating positive local impact with their artistic practice, or interested in doing so.
  • Want to develop their individual artistic practices by incorporating tools for social engagement.
  • Can commit the time and attention to participating in the program’s workshops, project planning meetings, potluck dinners, and Field Day. Fellows should expect to spend at least 200 hours over 6 months participating in the program.
  • Be open to building knowledge about The LP’s anchor neighborhoods—Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood
  • Want to build community among artists working to create impact with their creative practice.


To participate in this program, one should:

  • Have a demonstrated creative practice.
  • Be interested in (or already) making socially-engaged art.
  • Live close enough to New York City to attend all required program activities.
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Be able to attend all program activities listed in this document.
  • Be able to spend 50 hours attending Fellowship workshops and completing related assignments.
  • Be able to spend at least 150 hours over 6 months working independently and with other Create Change artists on group Field Day and related projects.

Selection Criteria

Strong candidates have:

  • Demonstrated record of artistic excellence in their work samples and resume.
  • Familiarity or interest in local issues impacting their neighborhoods.
  • Interest/Ability to actively engage non-artists in all aspects of their creative process.
  • Capacity for critical thinking and analysis.
  • Deep respect for their neighbors and desire to collaborate with a broad public.
  • Ability to commit to all program activities.

Program Cost

For the first time thanks to the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Create Change Fellowship is Free of charge. However, upon acceptance into the program, participants will be required to put down a refundable deposit of $100 that will be returned upon successful completion of the program, (successful participation amounts to at least participating in 90% of all program activities, including workshops, open studios, Field Day, and planning meetings, among other activities).


You can also download the Create Change Fellowship Guidelines FAQ

Should I already identify as a community-based artist or one that incorporates social practice within my work?

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 Professional Development Fellowship to provide a space where artists can build on their approaches to community-based art making and explore various approaches to collaborative art making.

What if I am a writer, performing artist? Do I have to be a “visual artist” to apply?

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, which will be presented at The LP’s annual Field Day Festival.

I’ve already participated in several professional development workshops. What does this program offer that is unique?

The Create Change Fellowship is not a typical series of professional development workshops. Some of the topics and themes covered every year include: cultural organizing and community organizing, building local partnerships, deep listening skills, policy approaches for artists, sustaining one’s practice, and communication strategies. Our workshops are led by experts from the arts, community organizing, policy, and other related fields. We also believe in the tenets of popular education and draw from the immense and diverse knowledge of the Fellows themselves, whenever possible.

This Fellowship also allows artists to learn by doing while creating a project collaboratively with other Fellows and community members for Field Day. 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 making socially engaged and relevant art across mediums. The LP’s rich network includes local and national peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents and over 50 Create Change alumni living and working in New York’s five boroughs and nearby cities like Jersey City, Yonkers and Philadelphia. Upon completion of this program, all Fellows receive a certificate and become eligible for exclusive alumni opportunities, such as LP grants and commissions for future creative projects.

Do I have to be a professional artist to apply? How do you define a professional artist?

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 will be able to demonstrate that they have a record of relevant artistic experience; a solid creative practice; and analytical thinking skills to offer to workshop discussions.

What is the time commitment for the Professional Development Fellowship?

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 Field Day programs, and meeting with neighbors, community-based organizations and businesses in The LP’s anchor neighborhoods.

Can I apply if I am currently enrolled to a part-time or full-time college or graduate program?

Yes, you are eligible to apply so long as you are able to commit to participate in all Fellowship activities. Fellows are expected to commit approximately 200 hours over 6 months to participate in this program.

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