Apply for the Spring 2012 Createquity Writing Fellowship

Createquity is now accepting applications for the Spring 2012 Createquity Writing Fellowship! Full details below the jump, but the short version is that this is an opportunity to get your writing in front of some pretty serious people in the arts and beyond, all while receiving mentorship, research assistance, and guidance on your writing from me. Think of it as your very own virtual graduate class in arts policy. This will be the third Createquity Writing Fellowship term (the second is still ongoing; check out Katherine Gressel’s public art evaluation mega-treatise published just yesterday), and it’s an intense but fun (and mind-expanding) adventure for participants. For a testimonial, try Jennifer Kessler’s reflection on her Createquity Writing Fellowship experience here.

The structure and process for the Spring 2012 Fellowship is much the same as in past editions; the main difference is that, in an effort to track better with the academic schedule, I’m shortening the fellowship term from five to four and a half months. Read on for further details and application instructions.

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 third 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 2,000 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 four and a half months between February 15 and June 30, 2012. Fellows are required to write two to three larger pieces and 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. Following the successful completion of their term, Fellows will be welcome to continue writing for Createquity on an ad hoc basis.

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 spring 2012 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 11:59pm EST on January 17, 2012. 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 January 23, 2012. Applicants selected as finalists will be sent further instructions (which will include a short original writing assignment) at that time. Fellowships begin February 15, 2012 and will last until June 30, 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 a total 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 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 extrinsic 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 has been named by his peers one of the nonprofit arts sector’s top 25 “most powerful and influential leaders” for two years in a row. He holds a BA and an MBA from Yale University.

 

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