As mentioned earlier this month, the inaugural Createquity Writing Fellowship was a resounding success, and we’re going to do it all over again this fall. The application process has been slightly revamped, but otherwise the basic deal remains the same: five months of intensive writing, collaboration with colleagues, and exposure to field leaders between September 2011 and January 2012. Think of it as your very own virtual graduate class in cultural policy. Here’s what our previous participants had to say about the experience:

It’s made me a much more discriminating writer. This is one of the few experiences I’ve had where writing was not so much about just getting done whatever could be done before the paper was due….I personally am proud of the work that we did in the Fellowship.

It was very exciting to be able to write something and have it critiqued and developed. Kind of like practicing an instrument and working with a teacher on the nuances of the music, in order to really hone the final performance.

Because of this fellowship there are people who know who I am (or at least know what I’ve written).

Overview
Createquity.com, a blog and unique virtual think tank promoting next-generation ideas about the role of the arts in a creative society, is seeking talented arts policy writers and researchers for the second semi-annual Createquity Writing Fellowship. Createquity was founded by Fractured Atlas Research Director Ian David Moss when he was a first-year business school student in October 2007, and now reaches more than 1500 regular readers around the world via email, RSS, and web. Createquity has received significant acclaim for its “lively” and “must-read” commentary on topics including arts policy, arts philanthropy, urban planning, economics, leadership, and research, and is consistently ranked among the top arts blogs by third-party websites. The inaugural Createquity Writing Fellowship took place in spring 2011 and generated 13 articles by three authors, including several that attracted national attention and became among the website’s most-visited posts of all time.

Createquity Writing Fellows will hold the position for a five-month term, at the successful conclusion of which they will be welcome to continue writing for the site on an ad hoc basis. Fellows are expected to write two to three larger pieces and approximately two to five smaller pieces* during the course of their term. One of the larger pieces must be a write-up for the Arts Policy Library, a project that synthesizes important arts publications (research studies, books, etc.) for a lay audience.

Article topics may be proposed by the Fellow or assigned. Each Fellow is encouraged to specify one or more areas of interest that he or she would like to pursue during the semester. A few examples of the many possible “beats” Fellows might choose to take on include:

  • State and local arts policy and advocacy
  • Cultural policy outside of the United States
  • “Under the radar” arts activity (e.g., amateur performance, street art, busking)
  • Arts education research or policy
  • Technology and arts policy (e.g., cultural mapping, data standards, etc.)
  • Measurement and metrics in the arts
  • Intersection of the arts with another, specific discipline (e.g., cognitive science, community organizing, economics)

If Fellows have an existing blog, cross-posting content generated for Createquity is allowed and encouraged. Fellows will receive significant exposure to the Createquity readership community, which includes officials at most major national arts foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, Grantmakers in the Arts, and locally-focused arts councils and organizations all across the country, as well as many of the field’s top researchers and consultants. Furthermore, Fellows may interact directly with top leaders in the field in the course of specific writing assignments. Opportunities will be sought out to promote the Fellows and their work as appropriate during the Fellowship term.

* “Larger” pieces are defined here as 1500+ words in length; “smaller” pieces are up to 800 words. Word counts are approximate and should be treated as guidelines rather than strict maximums or minimums.

Application Process and Criteria for Selection
Createquity Writing Fellows must possess outstanding writing and keen critical thinking capabilities, and be comfortable working remotely in a collaborative environment. A basic background in statistics and social science research methods is helpful, but not required.

Application is a two-step process, beginning with the submission of a 250-word statement of interest. A group of 8-10 finalists will be chosen from among the initial pool of applicants and asked to submit a full set of application materials including writing samples. It is estimated that between two and four Fellows will be chosen for the fall 2011 term.

Here is how to apply:

  1. First, familiarize yourself with the Createquity website and past articles if you have not already done so. In particular, read selections from the Arts Policy Library and articles written by previous Createquity Writing Fellows.
  2. Then, submit a brief (approx. 250-word) statement of interest to fellowship@createquity.com by 12pm EDT on August 5, 2011. Your statement should address why you are interested in this opportunity and in what area(s)  you’d like to specialize.

Applicants will be notified of their status by August 12, 2011. Applicants selected as finalists will be sent further instructions (which may include a short original writing assignment) at that time. Fellowships begin September 1, 2011 and will last until January 31, 2012. Feedback on unsuccessful full applications will be provided upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Createquity Writing Fellowship
(from editor Ian David Moss)

Q: What is the time commitment for the Createquity Writing Fellowship?
A: The Createquity Writing Fellowship is designed to carry a time commitment roughly equivalent to that of a graduate-school class. Based on the experience of past Fellows, you should expect to spend an average of between 4-8 hours per week reading, researching, writing, editing, and posting articles, and in conversation with your fellow writers.

Q: Who should apply to the Createquity Writing Fellowship?
A: While the Fellowship is open to all, emerging leaders (including students) are particularly encouraged to apply. This opportunity will be especially attractive to anyone who is currently or will soon be looking for a job/contract work in arts policy, philanthropy, research, or consulting.

Q: I’m from outside the United States. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Yes! Just keep in mind that Createquity’s audience is primarily American, so you will need to focus your writing in a way that will be relevant to readers Stateside (e.g., take the time to explain details of how arts policy or funding works in your country that may seem obvious to you).

Q: Is this a paid opportunity?
A: As Createquity is not currently a revenue-generating operation, there is no financial compensation offered with the Fellowship. Fellows receive a robust set of nonfinancial benefits from participation, however, including high-impact exposure to industry leaders, extensive mentorship and writing help, and access to a growing network of collaborators who are part of the Createquity “family.” School credit (for internships) is available on request.

Q: What is the editorial process for publishing articles on Createquity?
As a Fellow, you will work closely with me (Ian) and can expect to receive significant editorial guidance on the content, structure, and prose of your pieces. I will not ask you to change your opinions, but I will challenge you to articulate your arguments clearly and expect you to offer compelling justifications for them. In addition, I will work with you to eliminate imprecise language and other common writing pitfalls from your prose, hopefully for good. It is not uncommon for articles to go through several drafts before they finally appear on Createquity.

Q: What are some tips for crafting a successful statement of interest?
A: The main purpose of the statement of interest is to give me a sense of your writing style and skills. The two qualities I value most highly in your writing are clarity and personality. So even though it’s only 250 words, put some time into communicating your thoughts and make sure there are no typos. Second, be as specific as possible when stating your interests. You can even go so far as proposing an article topic or two if you feel comfortable doing so. Finally, keep it short, but don’t be a slave to the word count. If you need 230 or 270 words to present your best case, so be it – just don’t send me pages and pages.

About Ian David Moss
As Research Director for Fractured Atlas, Ian David Moss helps institutional funders, government agencies, and others support the field more effectively by harnessing the power of data to drive informed decision-making. Ian designed and leads implementation of Fractured Atlas’s pioneering cultural asset mapping software, Archipelago, which aggregates and visualizes information about creative activities in a particular geography in order to better illuminate who’s making art, who’s engaging with it, where it’s happening, and how it’s made possible. A composer and choral singer, he founded two first-of-their-kind performing ensembles in New York City: a hybrid electric chamber ensemble/experimental rock band that commissioned works by classical composers for rock instruments (Capital M), and a choral collective dedicated to the music of living composers (C4). Ian is a member of the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Council and was recently named one of the nonprofit arts sector’s top 25 “most powerful and influential leaders” by arts consultant and blogger Barry Hessenius. He holds a BA and an MBA from Yale University.