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Call for Proposals for PPL’s 2019 Creative Fellowship

August 16, 2018

Providence Public Library is now accepting applications for our 2019 Creative Fellowship.  The 2019 Creative Fellow will create new, original work in the field of creative writing (poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative nonfiction, etc.) related to the topic of the evolving built environment, as part of the Library’s 2019 exhibition and program series.

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. Each year’s fellowship focuses on artists working in a specified discipline, rotating between visual art, performance, writing, and music/sound on a four-year cycle.
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 here, or make an appointment to view some of our materials.

About the Exhibition and Program Series
The 2019 exhibition and program series will explore Providence’s evolving built environment.
The exhibition will focus on the histories of vacant places and open space throughout the city. Our eyes often pass over vacant space, rendering it all-but-invisible in the profuse urban landscape. What are the stories of these nothing-spaces, these overgrown lots, parking spaces, crumbling foundations, and fields, and what urban processes left them unoccupied? As PPL’s building is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, this exhibition will take place primarily off-site, utilizing site-specific installations and a digital tour featuring maps, photographs, and information gleaned from PPL’s Special Collections.
Corresponding educational programming will explore changes and continuities in PPL’s building over the past 120 years to see what it can tell us about the history and future of our city. Buildings, especially civic spaces, are dreamed up and designed with aspiration and permanence in mind, and reflect, in ways both intentional and invisible, the civic moment of their conception. Fifty or a hundred years after that civic moment has passed, what can we read in the architecture and siting of a building? How does it reflect its past as well as our present?
Fellowship Products
The 2019 Creative Fellow may choose to focus their research on a specific geographic location/ building, or to explore the themes of cityscapes, vacancy, and architecture more broadly.
After performing research in Special Collections, the Creative Fellow will be expected to produce the following:
– A short presentation or reading of new works-in-progress at the exhibition kick-off party on April 1, 2019.
– 3 copies of a printed final product containing completed new work based on the fellow’s research. This final product can take many forms–a chapbook, a graphic novel, an artist’s book, a collection of poetry, an illustrated long-form essay–but will ideally be paper-based and contain one lengthy written piece or several shorter pieces. (The fellow is welcome to create more copies of this book to distribute as they please, provided that the book mentions that it was created through a Creative Fellowship at the Providence Public Library.)
– A public event for library users, including an artist’s talk/ reading and a workshop or other interactive portion.
– Ongoing documentation of the fellow’s research and creative process for PPL’s social media.
Stipend and Benefits
The 2019 Creative Fellow will receive a stipend in the amount of $1,000, with an additional amount of up to $500 reimbursable for supplies and printing costs.
Other benefits include extensive research support from Special Collections staff, with opportunities to build connections with librarians, archivists, and curators in other local libraries and museums.
October 1, 2018: Application materials are due by 5 p.m.
October 15, 2018: Creative Fellow is selected; all applicants will receive notification of their status on or before this date.
October 2018 – March 2019: Creative Fellow performs research in the Library’s Special Collections.
April 1, 2019: Vacancies exhibition opens. Creative Fellow will give a short presentation at the kick-off party on this date.
April 2019 – June 2019: Creative Fellow continues research and writing. Artist’s talk/workshop shall be scheduled during this window, based on the Fellow’s availability and preference.
June 28, 2019: Closing date for exhibition and program series; Fellow’s final printed product must be delivered on or 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, 2018. Applications may be emailed to:
A complete application consists of the following:
– proposal in body of email
– 3-6 writing samples: documents with or without images, either as email attachments (PDF preferred) or links (Dropbox, GoogleDrive, etc.). Combined writing samples should not exceed 25 pages.
– description of experience (PDF) as email attachment
– short artist biography (PDF) as email attachment
The written proposal should describe the applicant’s potential writing project with some specificity. (For example: “I would create a new, 50-75 page graphic novel exploring the history of the house where I was born.”) The proposal should also address how the applicant would work within the Fellowship’s budgetary limitations, how the applicant envisions Special Collections materials influencing or being integrated into their work, and how the applicant’s project would relate to the exhibition’s theme of vacancies and the built environment.
Work samples
Please submit 3-6 recent, representative samples of your work. These can be attached to your proposal, or you can link to writings or other documentation online. Total writing samples should not exceed 25 pages.
Description of experience:
A creative résumé or written narrative of the applicant’s knowledge and experience in creative writing 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 2019 Creative Fellow will be selected based on the quality of work samples; the potential of the proposed project to be accessible and interesting to a diverse audience; and the connections between the proposed project and the exhibition theme/ PPL’s Special Collections materials.
Contact Angela DiVeglia at (401) 455-8076 or