2020 Creative Fellowship: Call for Proposals

Providence Public Library is now accepting applications for our 2020 Creative Fellowship.

The 2020 Creative Fellow will create new, original work in the field of music or sound related to the topic of Journalism, as part of the Library’s 2020 exhibition and program series tentatively titled “The King Is Dead.”

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 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 on the part of both the Fellow and 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 meet with Special Collections staff or to view some of our materials.

About the Exhibition & Program Series

The 2020 exhibition will explore how we understand and use the news—how it orders our lives, gives us current information, and does (or doesn’t) relate to the facts. Throughout history, people have relied on the news to guide our daily activities and to shape our evolving attempts to understand the world. Using historic voices and sources—from ballads and broadsides to scandals and hoaxes—this exhibition will use print journalism to shed light on how and when people know what they know. Items will be on display from April 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020.

Corresponding educational and cultural programming will examine how we define what is newsworthy; how new, proliferating platforms are changing the way we consume, understand, and share news across generations; what it means to be “media literate;” what is the legacy of “fake news” and who benefits from it; and what are the uses and challenges of “citizen journalism;” among other topics.

Fellowship Products

The 2020 Creative Fellow may choose to focus their research on a specific topic or historical news format, or to explore the themes of journalism, news, truth, and timeliness more broadly. 

After performing research in Special Collections, the Creative Fellow will be expected to create new work in the field of music or sound, which can take the form of a composition for live performance or a sound recording. This can be a solo or group performance and can be performed on-site or outside of the library.

Fellowship products will include: 

  • A short performance of new or existing work at the exhibition kick-off party, tentatively planned for April 1, 2020.
  • A public event for library users, including a performance or presentation of the Fellow’s new work. 
  • An interactive workshop or artist’s talk, which may be combined with the above public event if desired.
  • Archival-quality documentation of the Fellow’s new work for inclusion in PPL’s Special Collections in the form of photographs, video, and/or digital or analog sound recording.
  • Ongoing documentation of the fellow’s research and creative process for PPL’s social media.

Stipend and Benefits

The 2020 Creative Fellow will receive a stipend in the amount of $1,000, with an additional amount of up to $500 reimbursable for supplies or performance 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, 2019: Application materials are due by 5 p.m.

October 15, 2019: Creative Fellow is selected; all applicants will receive notification of their status on or before this date.

October 2019 – March 2020: Creative Fellow performs research in the Library’s Special Collections.

April  1, 2020: Journalism exhibition opens. Creative Fellow will give a short performance at the kick-off party tentatively scheduled for this date.

April 2020 – June 2020: Creative Fellow continues research and creates new work. Artist’s talk/workshop shall be scheduled during this window, with the date based on the Fellow’s availability and preference.

June 30, 2020: Closing date for exhibition and program series; Fellow’s final products 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, 2019. Applications may be emailed to:


A complete application consists of the following:

  • proposal in body of email
  • 3-6 work samples: sound recordings, videos, photographs, or documents with or without images, either as email attachments 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 music/sound project with some specificity. (For example: “I will compose a short cycle of songs, to be performed by a string quartet in the library’s computer lab” or “I will create a five- to ten-minute sound recording utilizing vintage synthesizers and samples of interviews.”) 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 will relate to the theme of journalism.

Work samples

​Please submit 3-6 recent, representative samples of your work. These can be submitted as files attached to your proposal, or you can link to online recordings (for example, Youtube videos) or to a Dropbox or GoogleDrive folder. If you would like to provide context or explanation for any of the work samples, feel free to attach a description in a PDF document.

Description of experience:

A creative résumé or written narrative of the applicant’s knowledge and experience in music or sound 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 2020 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 adiveglia@provlib.org.

Image from PPL's Rhode Island General Photograph Collection (circa 1910).