Application Guidelines

Our open call for the Fall 2018 Fellowship is now open.
Applications are due September 27, 11:59pm.
Download the application guidelines here.

Culture Push's Fellowship for Utopian Practice is a testing ground for new ideas that aim to create positive social change through civic engagement and horizontal learning opportunities. Through the Fellowship for Utopian Practice, Culture Push serves artists by providing creative, analytical, and logistical tools in the creation of truly transformative projects.

The Fellowship program is open to artists and other professionals working in any discipline who wish to expand the boundaries of their practice. Applicants are encouraged to review our organization’s mission before submitting materials. 


Applicants must have at least 3 years of professional experience in their field. Currently enrolled undergraduate students may not apply. Projects must be new, socially engaged work that have not received any prior institutional support occur within the five boroughs of New York City. Group or collaborative proposals are welcome.


To be considered for the Fellowship, projects must:

  • Be interactive and engage the public (entirely or in part), in accordance with our mission.

  • Note: Our definition of “civic engagement” includes public talks, live interactive components, skill-shares, participatory performances and similar activities that in some way address the public good and have clearly defined goals for serving as a means of generating social change.

  • Test a new and previously unrealized idea that expands the scope of the applicant’s current practice.

  • Not be considered as an exhibition or the production of a ‘show,’ but rather a series of events and/or actions aimed at engaging the public.

  • Occur during the Fellowship year.

  • Take place within the 5 boroughs of NYC (projects may have components outside of this geographic region, but they will not be supported by Culture Push).

  • If your proposed project is part of a larger piece or series, Culture Push funding may only be applied toward the public engagement component of the project.


  • Honoraria for the project ($1000)

  • Fiscal sponsorship for additional grant-based fundraising and individual contributions

  • Strategic meetings with Culture Push staff, including development and production support

  • Access to Materials for the Arts

  • Networking meetings with Culture Push Board, Executive Director, Staff, Advisors, and other Fellows

  • Marketing via the Culture Push network, email list, and social media contacts for promotion purposes

  • Mentorships with experts in the field

  • An opportunity to contribute to or edit our online journal, PUSH/PULL

  • An opportunity to present your research and project development at the annual Culture Push Symposium

  • An opportunity to exhibit your work at a public presentation produced by Culture Push alongside past and current Fellows

Culture Push does not provide a venue or exhibition space for projects, but we will work with Fellows to help secure suitable site(s).

Please send an email to with the subject “Fellowship for Utopian Practice,” letting us know how you heard about the Fellowship program, and attach the following materials in a single PDF (5MB or less):

  • Project Narrative that describes your proposed project, its goals and timeline, and the link between your project and the Culture Push mission with as much detail as possible (500 words max).

  • A one-page resume or CV detailing your artistic and/or professional experience. For collaborative proposals, please provide resumes or CVs of each participating artist; Collectives should provide a resume for the group’s activities.

  • A sample of no more than 5 images of recent, relevant work and/or a link to online video or audio content that is no more than 5 minutes long. If submitting an audio or video work sample longer than 5 minutes please provide a cue point.

  • Contact information for one professional reference.

Over the past few cycles, we have received applications for compelling projects that for various reasons we are unable to support through the Fellowship, but are interested in nurturing in a less involved capacity. For this cycle, we want to try something new: in your application, please let us know whether or not you would consider a relationship with Culture Push outside of the Fellowship. Depending on the project, this might be a reciprocal exchange, a partnership, or a set of strategic meetings with Culture Push staff.


What kind of work samples should I include?
Include your strongest work samples. We understand that you are proposing a project that you have not yet completed or developed, and understand that your work samples will not necessarily be representative of your proposed project. This is why we encourage you to submit what you believe to be the best example of your work to date. If you think it would be helpful, feel free to send a sketch, rendering, or mock-up of your idea.

How long does the Fellowship last?
The Fellowship will begin in October 2018 and end in October 2019, lasting a year.

Do I have to complete the project within the Fellowship year?
No, your project does not need to conclude within the Fellowship year in order to be successful. We only require that you develop your project during the year and have at least one public presentation of your work. The Fellowship is a process-based program. We are more interested in supporting artists as they develop sustainable working strategies to purse unusual lines of inquiry than in seeing a “finished” product. Many Fellowship projects become long-term commitments that only begin with the Fellowship.

Do I have to live in New York to apply?
Technically, you do not have to currently reside in New York City to be eligible for the Fellowship. However, the Fellowship is designed to support artists engaging directly with people, places, and institutions in New York City. If you do not currently live in New York and would like to apply, we would expect you to relocate here for at least the duration of your Fellowship in order to develop your project and attend regular meetings. Outside of the $1000 stipend we cannot currently provide funds to assist with travel or living expenses.

More questions? Send us an email at with the subject line “Fellowship Question."

Current and Past FELLOWS