2022 Culture & Narrative Fellowship: Call for Applications


The Opportunity Agenda is now accepting applications from U.S. based artists and cultural strategists for our 2022 cohort of Culture & Narrative Fellows!

We Can Thrive Together is an ambitious call to reimagine cultural realities and rewrite dominant narratives around economic justice.

Creatives have the visionary power to expand the national imagination and pave the way for bold improvements to people’s lives.

The Fellowship is a six-month opportunity for artists and cultural strategists who are grappling with how to dismantle and replace the dominant narratives of our time — especially those informing racial justice and immigrant rights — for true economic justice.

Fellows receive a $15,000 award to assist with the project, expert support and advisement from The Opportunity Agenda, and opportunities to connect with a vibrant community of activists, culture workers, and advocates.

A total of five Fellows will be selected during this cycle. The Fellowship term begins January 11, 2022 and ends June 28, 2022.

APPLY NOW

Download Call for Applications

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Woman painting mural

SHOULD YOU APPLY?

Are you just as likely to be drawing attention to the need for better wages or healthcare as you are to your latest film project, installation, or creative campaign? We want to hear from you!

We’re looking for bold and inspired creatives who:

  • Are pursuing or want to pursue an informed and people-centered approach to a narrative challenge around economic justice
  • Understand the power of affirmative messaging (i.e., “Healthcare is a Human Right,” “Future Over Fear,” and “Black Lives Matter”)
  • Know exactly who they want to reach 

WHAT YOUR PROJECT COULD LOOK LIKE:

That’s up to you! Examples might include:

  • A creative digital intervention highlighting the relationship between food security and a green future that reaches tens of thousands on Instagram
  • The design and pilot of a new podcast centering a non-ableist culture of care
  • Working with a community to imagine the neighborhood they want through a series of murals/other visual means or developing replicable protest art/performances for grassroots organizing 
  • Engaging youth activists around the theme “We Can Thrive Together” through cultural means (posters, fashion, new technologies, music, etc.) 
  • Designing a cultural strategy toolkit around economic justice that offers the field new information and methods to help inspire the public imagination  

CULTURE & NARRATIVE FELLOWS RECEIVE:

  • $15,000 to assist you with your proposed project
  • Narrative and cultural strategy support via up to three customized advisement sessions led by The Opportunity Agenda team which may include but are not limited to: research briefings in your area/s of interest; media interview and public speaking training or coaching; training in narrative & message framing; social media and digital strategy support
  • Opportunities to be introduced to members of our broader network of creatives and advocates
Woman holding child on street named Abundance Street

APPLICANTS MUST AGREE TO:

  • Define project milestones for their Fellowship and actively work to meet them
  • Allow The Opportunity Agenda to promote any work produced during the Fellowship across its network for one year, but Fellows retain full rights to any work produced during the fellowship term
  • Attend a remote welcome orientation and a remote closing session with the 2022 Fellows and The Opportunity Agenda
  • Participate in 2-3 advisement sessions on topics of their choosing
  • At the conclusion of the Fellowship, submit a reflection on how their Fellowship helped to address their narrative challenge that can be shared with our network – can be text, sound recording, visual, etc. (Open to creative means to reach that end.) 

 

LOCATION

This is a remote opportunity.

APPLICATION PROCESS 

Apply now at oppagenda.typeform.com/fellowship. Applications will be accepted from October 13, 2021-November 10, 2021. All applications must be received by 11:59pm EST on November 10, 2021. Fellowship recipients will be notified by December 8, 2021. The six-month Fellowship will run from January 11, 2022 - June 28, 2022. If you have any questions about the Fellowship or the application, please contact Sughey Ramírez, Cultural Network Strategist at fellowships@opportunityagenda.org. 

The Opportunity Agenda is a social justice communications lab dedicated to moving hearts and minds for lasting policy and culture change. We do this by using research to shape compelling narratives and messages, building the capacity of social justice leaders through communications training, and engaging artists and creatives as storytellers to shift public discourse.


FELLOWSHIP FAQ 

Q: If I’m not selected, can I apply again in the future?
A: Absolutely! You’re welcome to apply for other opportunities as they arise or reapply for the fellowship if it is offered again.

Q: How are the fellowship funds disbursed?
A: You will receive the funds in two or three equal installments (depending on your preference) with the first issued at the start of the fellowship term and the last issued at the end of the fellowship term. You must submit an invoice for each payment. Funds will be issued via check or direct deposit.

Q: What is the time commitment?
A: The Fellowship is not a full-time commitment, but the ideal candidate is 1) actively engaged in their Fellowship project; 2) interested in interacting with, learning from, and sharing with The Opportunity Agenda; and 3) expected to attend the welcome orientation, at least two advisement sessions, and the closing session. 

Q: How long are the required sessions? 
A: The welcome orientation will be 2 hours. The closing session will be approximately one hour, and the advisement session length will be determined in consultation with the Fellow. 

Q: What are the eligibility requirements?
A: You must meet the project criteria outlined in the Fellowship description. Additionally, we cannot choose individuals who are under 18 years of age or running for political office (either now or during the Fellowship period).

Q: Are Fellows employees?
A: No. Fellows will be independent contractors.

Q: Can you accommodate applicants and Fellows with disabilities?
A: The Opportunity Agenda is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for an accessible application process and Fellowship experience. If you require accommodations, please email Sughey Ramírez, Cultural Network Strategist at fellowships@opportunityagenda.org.

Q: Do I need to have access to my own computer and internet connection or does the organization provide that? 
A: This is a remote, non-employee opportunity and we require all Fellows to have access to a computer and internet.

Q: I’m working on a project with a partner. Can we apply as a team?  
A: This Fellowship program is designed for individuals. However, individuals may propose a collaborative project in their application. We love collaborative projects, but each Fellowship award can only be given to one person. 

Q: When will I know if I’ve been selected?
A: Selected individuals will be notified by Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

Q: Who owns what I produce during the Fellowship period?
A: Fellows retain rights and title to any work produced during the Fellowship, but as part of the Fellowship terms, allow The Opportunity Agenda to promote the work across its network for one year after the conclusion of the Fellowship.

Q: What can I do with the fellowship funds?
A: Each Fellow will receive a $15,000 award which may be used to help defray costs associated with your time, travel, supplies, equipment, and other project-related needs during a six-month period starting January 11, 2021. Fellows do not need to provide receipts or otherwise account for the use of the funds.

Q: I’m an artist interested in narrative change, but I’ve never completed any narrative and messaging training. Can I still apply? 
A: While previous narrative experience is helpful, it is not required. We’re looking for talented creatives with big, yet focused ideas on how to change the story around economic justice and can offer foundational narrative and messaging training as a part of the Fellowship advisement sessions.

Q: What is your selection process? 
A: The Opportunity Agenda has created a diverse selection committee which will evaluate all application materials to determine project quality, alignment with the Fellowship theme, and if and how our organizational offerings might support your project.

Q: What are the values driving your economic justice work? 
A: We thought you’d never ask! At The Opportunity Agenda, we believe that true economic justice for all depends on access to community, voice, security, and opportunity. To learn how we arrived at these, and the role our partners played in the process, check out our latest discussion guide on economic justice here.