Deadline for Applications: October 17, 2017
Open to US citizens, or those with a green card or resident alien status.
The Penland Core Fellowship Program is a two-year work-study fellowship that offers emerging artists the opportunity to explore artistic interests and career possibilities in a supportive artistic community.
Penland core fellows are energetic, bright lights who soak up everything and bring something truly special to the Penland community. These artists fully engage with Penland by taking classes, working in their own studios, and performing integral jobs for the school.
Core fellows are selected through a competitive process that attracts applicants from every part of the country. Applications are assessed for the quality of the art work and the interest of each applicant in being part of a close-knit community of artists. When selecting new core fellows, Penland is looking for talented individuals who have reached a moment in their lives when the program will be a pivotal experience.
Penland’s ever-changing learning environment, which includes world-class artists and teachers in a dozen media, allows core fellows to tailor their experience to meet their individual goals. The program can serve as preparation for careers in studio art, education, or design.
The work that core fellows do for the school—jobs such as dining hall manager, weekend cook, and entertainment coordinator—places them at the heart of Penland’s operation and gives them an opportunity to develop leadership skills. They are a bridge between the staff and the studios and serve a unique role in helping others have “the Penland experience.”
Core fellows live and work together and often learn as much from each other as they do from their classes. In the process, they form close friendships and become part of each other’s lifelong professional networks. The core house is an incubator for great ideas and deep conversations.
History of the Core Fellowship Program
The Penland Core Fellowship Program was established in 1970 by Penland’s director, Bill Brown. He and his wife, Jane, were looking for ways to expand scholarship opportunities for dedicated students and to keep up with the needs of Penland’s growing programs. Out of these interests came the original Core Program, so named because students were given core jobs at the school—jobs that enabled the school to run at a fundamental level. The selected students lived and worked at the school year-round in exchange for room, board and classes.
Over the years, many core students have returned as studio assistants and instructors. Several have later become resident artists and others have settled in the immediate area and set up studios that are now integral to the Penland community. A measure of the program’s success is the number of core students who have gone on to make a life in crafts. To date over 200 people have participated in the program and about 80% are practicing artists today.