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Chautauqua School of Art and Pratt Institute Announce Groundbreaking Partnership

Inaugural Pratt/VACI Fellowship in Pedagogy a First-of-its-kind Opportunity

Chautauqua Institution’s School of Art this week announced a series of new and reconfirmed partnerships designed to increase awareness of the renowned summer program and to provide its students with more attractive financial aid packages. Spearheaded by Sharon Louden, Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Artistic Director of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (VACI), the new partnership initiative features as its centerpiece the inaugural Pratt/VACI Fellowship in Pedagogy, an innovative collaboration developed by Pratt Fine Arts Department, the Center for Teaching and Learning at Pratt Institute and VACI.

“As I’ve traveled and visited with many artists, educators, students around the country, it’s become clear to me that there’s a gap in our education system for artists who would like to teach— artists don’t often learn how to teach when they are in college seeking a MFA,” said Louden, an artist, educator, advocate for artists, and editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books. “My hope in partnering with Pratt on this groundbreaking fellowship is to provide a model for how we might educate the next generation of artists to teach as well as give direction on how to apply, interview, negotiate and secure a teaching job, where to apply our skills to teach outside of higher education, and actively encourage artists to participate in explorations around new pedagogies.”

This first-of-its-kind fellowship, which is fully-funded, enables a Pratt Institute Fine Arts graduate student to attend the summer program and to teach a course through the training of VACI core-faculty member Hasan Elahi, who will teach the “Art of Pedagogy” component within the residency program. Elahi is an artist, associate professor at the University of Maryland and board member of Creative Capital. After the summer residency concludes, the fellow will return to Pratt Institute and share their new knowledge with Pratt Institute students and faculty.

The Fellow is selected via an application process. For more information, please see the PDF file at this link.

“We are thrilled to partner with VACI on this unique new fellowship,” said Jane South, chair of Pratt Institute Fine Arts. “It is of great importance to us to craft innovative opportunities for Fine Arts MFA students interested in teaching so that they can participate in thoughtful conversations around pedagogy, and gain practical experience in the classroom. This fellowship will also enable graduates to access better employment opportunities as they continue to develop their lives as artists.”

Along with Elahi’s mentorship and all the usual opportunities of the VACI School of Art residency, the selected fellow receives board and lodging, accommodation, travel expenses, a Chautauqua Institution gate pass and studio space.

The 2019 artists-in-residence program at VACI welcomes students and emerging artists who have yet to receive wide recognition of their work. Artists who engage in all media are encouraged to apply. This is an environment that promotes collaboration, exchange, and an openness to other art forms at Chautauqua, which includes dance, theater, music and more.

The program has a corfaculty along with visiting artists who will hold workshops and give lectures through the summer. Corefaculty will host weekly one-on-one conversations with students and emerging artists and will conduct classes of their specialties. For more information, visit

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing its 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt’s esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars challenge their talented students to transform their passion into meaningful expression.

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