To offer tangible support and career development for local creative community, we launched the Harvester Arts Fellowship program in 2017. Harvester Arts worked with 7 local artists to create a focused community of artists to foster dialog, offer practical support and feedback, professional development, exhibition development, and networking opportunities on a national scale. Our first class of Community Fellows were: Cheyla Clawson Chandler (dance, sociology), Hallie Linnebur & Meghan Miller (performance, community organizing), A.P. Vague (writing, media), Kristen Phipps (painting), Kevin Kelly (painting), Amanda Pfister (photography, community organizing).
For 2019-2020, we are re-framing our Community Fellows program to recruit and train the next class of fellows as creative placemakers and socially engaged artists with community impact at the core of their operations. We will provide mentorship, financial and practical support, and training for creative entrepreneurs.
Once artists are empowered and trained as viable cultural producers with solid budgets, and identifiable and measurable goals, they become their own engines of creative placemaking. Artists need tools and agency to be effective drivers of these efforts in their communities and to execute projects that don’t just use artists’ talents but really foster growth and develop local creative resources.
GOALS + PLAN
The goals of the program include:
- Empowering artists with the skills and training to become cultural producers in Wichita, with a focus within downtown and surrounding neighborhoods as stipulated by the Knight Foundation.
- Fellows will participate in mandatory training sessions on event production and planning facilitated by Harvester Arts. These sessions are open to the public. Sessions will focus on four central topics:
- October 1, 6:00 PM: Best Practices in Creative Placemaking & Socially-Engaged Art
- October 15, 6:00 PM: Marketing & Outreach
- October 29, 6:00 PM: Budgets & Fundraising
- November 12, 6:00 PM: Outcomes & Evaluations
Harvester Fellows will be responsible for planning the following events:
- Individual Fellow: A small-scale event (exhibition, concert, workshop) at Harvester Arts in the first year of the Fellowship.
- All Fellows Collaborate: Produce the Harvester Arts 2020 Riverfest Artist in Residence programming.
- Individual Fellow: A major capstone project out in the community during the second year of the Fellowship.
The capstone project, event, or happening must meet the following criteria:
- Utilizes, compensates and engages local creative talent.
- Engages with populations outside of the art communities and considers underserved/underrepresented populations within the community. (For example, hosting a music festival inside an already-established music venue would not qualify. Working with local musicians to write new songs in collaboration with community members and then throwing a neighborhood festival where the new music is performed would qualify.)
- Secures relevant partnerships and sponsorships. Harvester Arts staff will assist the Fellows in identifying these resources during the training and planning period beginning in the Fall of 2019.
- All Fellows efforts will be supported by Harvester Arts staff and outside mentors serving as guides in the process.
- Each Fellow will be given a personal stipend of $2500 per year to support their time dedicated to these projects and a seed money of $8000 for the production of their capstone project. Fellows will be expected to raise additional funds. Harvester Arts will work with the Fellows to develop fundraising strategies to leverage this seed funding and fully cover the needs of each project.
Artists interested in being Fellows will need to apply with the following information:
- Bio and work samples (website, instagram, images, video, audio, etc - show us what you do!)
- A minimum of two references who can speak to your creative work.
- Statement of interest: Why do you want to be a Harvester Arts Community Fellow? What is your drive to be a part of this program?
- What’s your idea? Tell us what your proposed main project would be. It’s ok if this changes (it will and it should) but you need to enter the program with an idea of what you’d like to do in the community. Ideas will take shape in vastly different ways depending on what you’d like to do. Our intention is to make this application process as open as possible to allow room for all creative perspectives, so please your vision with us!
- Harvester arts will meet with finalists individually to discuss and brainstorm about target audience, goals and outcomes, strategies for raising more funds, strategic partnerships, a rough budget outline, etc. so be thinking and making notes about this information.
- Applications due by Sept 3
- Finalist interviews the week of Sept 16
- Fellows announced by the end of September.
Training sessions open to the general public will focus on four central topics:
- October 1st: Best Practices in Creative Placemaking & Socially-Engaged Art
- October 15: Marketing & Outreach
- October 29: Budgets & Fundraising
- November 12: Outcomes & Evaluations
Summer 2019: applications released
September 2019: Fellows chosen, calendar of Harvester Arts events established, Fellows begin planning first event.
Fall 2019: Training workshops begin, Riverfest artist recruited by the group & in collaboration with Wichita Festivals Staff, Fellows initial events are produced. Fellows begin plans for capstone projects.
Spring 2020: Community & target collaborators identified & recruited - Capstone project plans finalized.
Summer 2020 - Spring 2021: Capstone projects produced in community.
Summer 2021: Final reports & project evaluations compiled