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In 2015, the Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) program at the Carolina Center for Public Service and Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) partnered to create the Arts in Public Service Fellows, a program that encourages students to enrich their communities and work toward social change through the arts.

APSF workshopUNC-Chapel Hill and the Triangle area are both rich with opportunities to connect the arts and public service. This may mean pursuing public service in a creative mode, pursuing the arts in a service-oriented mode or some mixture of the two. This program emphasizes expansive definitions of both “service” and “arts,” and advocates for creative modes of connecting them. Arts in Public Service Fellows will learn the ways in which the arts have effected and will continue to effect social change, develop necessary skills for engaging in this work themselves and gain first-hand experience supporting local arts and public service projects.

Fellowship components

Arts in Public Service Fellows (APSF) fulfill the requirements of the BPSS program and build portfolios with a particular focus on the connections between arts and social change.

Arts Fellows with fiddles stand before classroom of school children all raising their handsTo complete the program successfully, Arts in Public Service Fellows must log at least 100 arts-based hours (of the 300 necessary for BPSS), two arts-based skills trainings (of the four required for BPSS) and one arts-connected academic service-learning course—in addition to participating in one APSF academic year cohort. Interested students can apply to participate in the academic year cohort early in the fall semester each year and independently pursue other forms of arts engagement.

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 typically be recognized at a reception before a CPA performance near the end of their final spring semester.

2021-2022 Arts in Public Service Fellows cohort

The following components are planned for the 2021-2022 Arts in Public Service Fellows cohort:

  • Orientation and skills training – Fellows will gather with BPSS and CPA staff to for an orientation of the program before a skills training on Fundraising 101 with CPA’s Director of Development, Ketura Parker, and Associate Director of Development, Betsy Busald – Date and time TBD in October 2021
  • One individual meeting during the fall 2021 term – Each fellow must schedule at least one individual meeting with staff associated with APSF to set goals and discuss progress in the program.
  • Two cohort performances – Later in the fall semester, fellows will attend two CPA-sponsored performance (subsidized by CPA) together and have the opportunity to reflect together their connections with students’ work in community engagement and social change.
    • Nov. 5 – Digital performance with David Newman, Marcella Murray and Tei Bow of Primer for an Impossible Conversation. Click here for information about the premier of this performance.
    • Early December – Visit to presentation of Atmospheric Memory by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Memorial Hall
  • Spring 2021 enrollment in Careers in the Arts service-learning course – Fellows will enroll in a Spring 2022 service-learning section of a Communications course called “Careers in the Arts” and taught by Amanda Graham that will involve substantial engagement with an arts-based community partner organization throughout the semester. Read a student’s reflection on a previous iteration of this course here.

The staff supporting this year’s cohort includes Ryan Nilsen, Senior Program Officer for Community Engagement at CCPS, and Amanda Graham, Associate Director of Engagement at CPA. All planned cohort activities are subject to change.

How to Apply

Students who would like to be an Arts in Public Service Fellow should email Ryan Nilsen at RBNilsen@unc.edu to indicate your interest, whether or not you plan to apply for this year’s particular cohort.

Applications for the 2021-2022 Arts in Public Service Fellows cohort are are open Aug. 11 through Sep 15. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

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.