Etching depicting men working in a ship building workshop - from Providence Public Library Special Collections

Call For Proposals For PPL 2018 Creative Fellowship

August 7, 2017

Call for Creative Fellowship imageProvidence Public Library is now accepting applications for our 2018 Creative Fellowship. The 2018 Creative Fellow will create new, original work in the field of performance (theater, dance, performance art, puppetry, etc.) related to the topic of hair, as part of the Library’s 2018 exhibition and program series, “HairBrained.”

About the Creative Fellowship

Providence Public Library offers an annual Creative Fellowship for an artist to create new work with a topical tie-in to the library’s exhibition and program series. Creative Fellows perform in-depth research in our historical collections, using images and text as source material and/or inspiration.
In addition to new work, a successful Creative Fellowship results in innovative, engaging programming, and measurable instances of engagement and learning both on the part of the fellow and on the part of other community members. Our hope is that a stipend alongside supported, immersive research allows the Fellow to explore new directions, topics, or methods in their own work and creative process.
Read more about Special Collections at, or drop in during our open hours on Tuesdays 10-1 or Wednesdays 3-7 to learn more about our holdings.

About the Exhibition and Program Series

The HairBrained exhibition will focus on hairstyles throughout history–braids, curls, facial hair, wigs–and the ways in which hair defines and reflects culture, self-identity, agency, and politics. Exhibition materials will include books, prints, magazines, and photographs from the Providence Public Library’s Special Collections. Items will be on display from March – June 2018.

HairBrained educational programming will explore the light-hearted and serious related to hair, culture, innovation, the mind and more, with activities for all ages offered through Spring 2018.

Fellowship Products

After performing research in Special Collections, the Creative Fellow will be expected to produce the following:

  • A one-time, public performance related to the theme of Hair; this can be a solo or group performance, and can be performed on-site (in our auditorium or other parts of the library) or outside of the library.
  • An artist’s talk, workshop, or other public presentation for library users.
  • Documentation of the Fellow’s research and creative process for PPL’s social media.

Stipend and Benefits

The 2017 Creative Fellow will receive a stipend in the amount of $1,000, with an additional amount of up to $500 reimbursable for supplies and materials.

In addition to a financial stipend and extensive research support from Special Collections staff, PPL will offer the Creative Fellow a small, locked office space with a desktop computer, which can be used during the library’s open hours.

The Fellow may utilize PPL’s auditorium for rehearsal and/or performance space. Note that the auditorium has basic lighting and sound equipment/ wireless microphones. While we cannot offer more sophisticated sound or lighting options, the Fellow is welcome to utilize their own or borrowed equipment in this space.


October 1, 2017: Application materials are due by 5 p.m.

October 18, 2017: Creative Fellow is selected; all applicants will receive notification of their status on or before this date.

October 2017 – March 2018: Creative Fellow performs research in the Library’s Special Collections.

March 1, 2018: Opening date for Hairbrained exhibition.

March 2018 – June 2018: Creative Fellow develops performance and does additional research as necessary.

May – June 2018: Final performance takes place on a date during these months, as determined by the Creative Fellow and by the library’s schedule.

June 30, 2018: Closing date for Hairbrained exhibition; artist’s talk/workshop must take place before this date.


​Application is open to practicing artists 16 years of age or older.


How to Apply

​All proposals must be submitted electronically by the end of the business day on October 1, 2017. Applications may be emailed to

A complete application consists of the following:

  • proposal in body of email
  • 3-6 work samples: photos (JPG) or videos, either as email attachment or links (Youtube, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, etc)
  • description of experience (PDF) as email attachment
  • short artist biography (PDF) as email attachment


​The written proposal should describe the applicant’s potential performance. (For example: would it feature a single performer or multiple performers? What topics would it address? In what physical environment would it be performed? Would it have any lighting or sound requirements?) The proposal should also address how the applicant would work within the Fellowship’s budgetary and space limitations, how the applicant envisions Special Collections materials influencing or being integrated into their performance, and how the performance would relate to the exhibition’s theme of hair.

Work samples

​Please submit 3-6 images or videos showing representative examples of your work. These can be attached to your proposal, or you can link to videos or other documentation online.

Description of experience: A creative résumé or written narrative of the applicant’s knowledge and experience in performance is required.

Artist biography: Please submit a short artist biography to help us understand you, your context, your approach, and your inspiration.

Review Process

​The 2018 Creative Fellow will be selected based on the quality of work samples; the applicant’s demonstrated ability to create performance works with small budgets or in nontraditional settings; the potential of the proposed project to be accessible and interesting to a diverse audience; and the possible connections between the proposed project and the exhibition theme.

Questions? Contact Angela DiVeglia at (401) 455-8076 or .

Image from “The Stage and Its Stars,” PPL Nickerson Collection.