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The Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow Program
Celebrating Inspiring Artists
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
-President John F. Kennedy, Remarks at Amherst College, October 26, 1963
The Kennedy Center, a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, honors our 35th President everyday by uplifting ideals from his legacy (service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude) that live through the arts. As part of this celebration of legacy, the Kennedy Center launched the “Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition” in 2016, which celebrates emerging artists across the country who utilize their art form for positive impact on communities.
Through the Citizen Artists Fellows program, the Kennedy Center uplifts citizen artistry, providing selected fellows with customized resources and support to advance their work. During their year-long engagement, Citizen Artist Fellows develop and strengthen connections in their fields, receive opportunities for artistic collaboration and presentation, and gain access to Kennedy Center Staff and Artistic Partners for individual professional development. In return, the Citizen Artists enrich the Kennedy Center community, helping us understand broader issues, reach new audiences, and learn through the power of their art.
Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellows represent the overall diversity of the national audience the Kennedy Center strives to reflect and serve.
More Details About the Recognition
Selected Citizen Artist Fellows will…
Most of the fellowship takes place in the fellows’ home community, with frequent phone consultations with Kennedy Center staff and occasional in-person meetings at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. All transportation and housing for Arts Summits and Summer Retreat will be provided by Kennedy Center. Nominees must be available to attend both Arts Summits and the Summer Retreat in order to receive the recognition.
The nomination period for the 2019/2020 Citizen Artist Fellow cohort will be from October 1, 2018-December 22, 2018.
Learn more and nominate an artist HERE
Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American rapper/poet living in Los Angeles. Known for his blend of Hip Hop and Arabic poetry, he’s appeared on prominent news outlets, at prestigious academic institutions, major cultural organizations, and helped raise millions for humanitarian groups.
Musician/composer Shaw Pong Liu engages communities through multidisciplinary collaborations, music, and social dialogue. She started Code Listen, a project using music to build relationships between Boston police, teen artists, families surviving homicide, and local musicians, to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices.
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