The Arts in Public Service Fellows

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The Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) program and Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) partnered to create the Arts in Public Service Fellows, a program that encourages students to make a direct impact in their communities through the arts.

DSC_0999North Carolina has a rich history of the arts bringing citizens together and inspiring social change. This program is an opportunity to continue and broaden this tradition through teaching students about the history of the arts as instruments of public service, researching how art is being used in our communities today and encouraging students to connect with communities and make positive contributions to the lives of North Carolinians through the arts.

Components of the fellowship

Arts in Public Service Fellows fulfill the requirements of the BPSS program and build portfolios with a particular focus on the arts as instruments of social change. Fellows apply and enroll in AMST 398 (Service-Learning in America: the Arts and Social Change), a service-learning course that involves at least 30 hours of service with an arts-based project in the community in addition to providing a rigorous history of the arts and social change in American culture. Fellows may request that other arts-based, service-learning courses (such as MUSC 269) fulfill this component of the fellowship.

Additionally, Arts in Public Service Fellows must log at least 100 arts-based hours (of the 300 necessary for BPSS) and two arts-based skills trainings (of the four required for BPSS).

Examples of community partners from AMST 398:

  • Interactive Theater Carolina
  • Durham Performing Arts Center
  • BUMP: The Triangle
  • Theater Delta
  • Kidznotes
  • Durham Arts Council
  • The ArtsCenter
  • Common Ground Theater

Examples of campus workshop series that have included arts-based skills trainings:

  • Workshops by visiting CPA artists
  • SkillfUL Tech Workshops at the Undergraduate Library
  • Makerspace workshops
  • Workshops associated with the Ackland Art Museum
  • Organization-specific arts-based trainings

Students pursuing this distinction will have the opportunity to work with established arts-based projects, to propose and create engagement opportunities with the arts and receive training and support from Carolina faculty and staff in arts-based work with communities. Graduating Arts in Public Service Fellows will be recognized at a reception before a CPA performance near the end of their final spring semester.

How to Apply

The deadline for the application to take the spring 2016 service-learning course that introduces the program (AMST 398) is Monday, Nov. 2. After that deadline, interested candidates can still apply before Wednesday, Dec. 2 and have their applications considered as space permits. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

Contact Aaron Shackelford at for more information.

About Carolina Performing Arts

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Established in 2005 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Performing Arts presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz, folk and world music artists, dance and theater.

CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.