Arts for Learning Principal Fellowship is Expanding: Applications Now Open

“To commit to imagining is to commit to looking beyond the given, beyond what appears to be unchangeable. It is a way of warding off the apathy and the feelings of futility that are the greatest obstacles to any sort of learning and, surely, to education for freedom. We need imagination.” Maxine Greene

Imagine a place centered around dreaming—a place where ah-ha moments and big ideas are born. Leaders in education need the space to imagine. They need time in a community of peers to reflect and dream, and they need a team that understands their priorities and goals—a team that will work with them to identify and utilize the best resources to realize those goals. The Arts For Learning Principal Fellowship creates this space. And principal applications for our 2022-23 cohort are now open!

Each year, 10 principals in our Principal Fellowship program learn to use the arts as a catalyst for change. This year, we are expanding this opportunity to include principals in Prince George’s County in addition to Baltimore City! Details and the application, due June 20, can be found on our website.

The Arts For Learning Principal Fellowship prioritizes wellness as it creates space for principals to engage in mindfulness, artmaking, gathering and sharing resources, and connecting about their work in schools. Through group meetings, one-on-one mentor sessions, and weekend retreats, the experience creates a community of support to ensure schools are grounded in justice, love, joy, and anti-racism. Through mentorship and in community, principals learn to articulate how they want to use the arts as a lever for positive change in their school and develop a plan of action. We give principals time and space to dream big and we give them the knowledge and the tools to back them up.

The fellowship is strategic. It is geared around each principal and each school and their population. If you have the desire for arts integration, and putting your thoughts into action, this is an amazing program with support. —Peter Kannam, Principal, Elmer A Henderson Hopkins School: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School

The Principal Fellowship prioritizes mental health and self-care, with an understanding that leaders’ own strength is essential in taking care of their staff and students.

We know that long before the first bell rings and well past the time the last student exits the building, principals are doing the behind-the-scenes work to make sure their schools are the centers of their communities. It is the principal of the school who every other person in the building looks to for reassurance, to shoulder burdens, and establish culture. These leaders are responsible for ensuring academic achievement, but they are also key to creating a community of pride and belonging within their walls. 

And each year, we are thrilled to see principals’ pride and excitement as their plans grow from dreams to reality. Thanks to the Principal Fellowship, principals are integrating the arts not just into the school day through artist residency, assembly, and after-school programs, but during family engagement nights, empowering families and caregivers to continue utilizing the arts for learning, creative expression, and growing at home. They are planning legacy murals for their school communities. They are providing embedded professional development for their teachers to learn Arts for Learning’s collaborative planning process in order to integrate the arts into existing units and teach other educators at their school to do the same. And they return to mentor future fellows. As Principal Kannam once said, “Once a fellow, always a fellow.”

10 outstanding principals from Baltimore City and Prince George’s County will be selected to participate in the Arts for Learning 2022-23 Principal Fellowship. Applications for the 2022-23 Principal Fellowship are due Monday, June 20, 2022. Learn more about the Principal Fellowship and apply on our website.