Program Information

The Engaged Arts and Humanities (EAH) Scholars is a yearly cohort for up to six graduate students in the arts and humanities who are interested in community-engaged research, teaching and creative work and developing skills for both academic and professional careers. No prior experience with engaged scholarship is required, only an interest in applying the tools of an arts and humanities discipline and the student's unique experience to work with communities beyond the university.

For those interested in learning more about the EAH Scholars, please review the sections below for important information about benefits, eligibility and requirements that elaborate on the scope of participation. Please also learn more about the student cohorts by visiting their individual scholar pages.

A committee composed of faculty and staff from the Office for Outreach and Engagement, CU Engage and the Graduate School selects the students. Contact Lisa Schwartz, program lead, with any questions or for additional information. The program was launched in 2018.

Participant Benefits

  • Receive a stipend for participation ($1,000) and for partnering with communities (up to $1,000). The participation stipend is provided in two installments in summer 2019 provided that requirements are met. 

  • Creatively apply tools, approaches and expertise from your discipline to community interests and build mutually beneficial relationships with community and campus partners.

  • Develop skills for both academic and professional (non-academic) careers.

  • Grow your public and academic image and repertoire.

  • Network with artists, nonprofits, leaders, academics and community members statewide.

  • Attend activities at conferences oriented toward the creative industries, creative placemaking, and the economic and cultural vitality of Colorado towns.

  • Form partnerships and projects with communities.

  • Applicants must be enrolled graduate students in the arts and humanities at CU Boulder (i.e. those who are graduating during the summer or academic year that comprises the cohort time-frame will not be eligible). Preference will be given to those enrolled in PhD or MFA programs in the Arts and Humanities.
  • Prospective EAH Scholars are not required to have prior experience with engaged scholarship, only an interest in applying the tools of an arts and humanities discipline and the student's unique experience to this work.
  • Students who have already been part of this cohort or the CU Engage Community-Based Research (CBR) Fellows are not eligible. We will ask those who are accepted into the EAH scholars cohort not to apply to the CBR fellows program in the same year. In the event that a student does apply to and is accepted into the CBR fellows, they will be need to immediately choose which program they want to remain in, as they cannot be in both. 

The cohort will meet to develop partnership plans and engage in professional development activities over summer 2019. Cohort members will have summer 2019, academic year 2019–20, and summer 2020 to: develop partnerships, develop an action plan, actualize a community engaged-scholarship "partner" project and present aspects of their work to the public. The goal of the the "partner" project is to develop a mutually beneficial and shared activity with a community partner.

An important goal of the program is to emphasize relationship development and a collaborative process for working with Colorado communities as well as campus colleagues. Our office has many potential partners across campus and Colorado with whom students in the cohort could develop partnerships (see example projects and partners below). While students might partner with others on campus, the critical goal of the community-engaged scholarship "partner" project is to work with communities external to the Boulder campus. 

The following required meetings and activities are with the cohort and the Office for Outreach and Engagement Program Manager Lisa Schwartz. Campus and community partners relevant to the program will also attend meetings. The program is designed with an understanding of the needs and schedules of graduate students, however certain requirements will be mandatory for participation.

  • April, May 2019: Orientation, and "Hone Your Pitch" Workshop. Dates to be determined. 
  • May 16-17 2019: Attend the fun and exciting conference of the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Summit in Salida, CO. The Creative Industries Annual Summit draws attendees from communities around the state. Attendance is also required at a pre-conference meeting combined with a "hone your pitch" workshop. If you are selected for the cohort, attendance at this events is critical for your participation (your conference registration is covered, as is one night of hotel in Salida, CO for the CCI conference). However, applicants with extenuating circumstances that prohibit their attendance may still be eligible (there is space on the application to explain). 
  • Summer 2019: Attend three cohort meetings (one meeting may be attended virtually if needed) to work on a plan for a community-engaged scholarhip "partner" project, and participate in professional development related to this work in order to receive the $1000 stipend. The goal of the the "partner" project is to develop a mutually beneficial and shared activity with a community partner. Students in the cohort will write a proposal for this activity that must be approved in order to receive funds up to $1000 (attendance at other activities below are also required for dispersal of funds). 
  • Summer and/or Fall 2019: Meet with Lisa Schwartz, program lead at least one time to discuss your project. 
  • Summer and academic year 2019–20: Help Schwartz with content for your EAH scholars page (see example student pages from year 1); write one blog post on your project to be featured on your EAH scholar page. 
  • Summer and academic year 2019–20: Work with OOE program manager, Lisa Schwartz, to review your "partner" community-engaged scholarship project plan and budget in order to receive funding. Additional funding up to 1k for the community-engaged scholarship project might entail travel expenses for the engaged scholar, stipends for community partners, food for meetings etc. These plans are not guaranteed to be approved if they do not meet the specific criteria (e.g. mutually beneficial work with external communities, especially those with less access to university resources; work that meets the campus definition of outreach and engagement).
  • Oct 2019: Participate in and provide support for the 2nd Colorado Creative Industries Convening on Oct 24, 2019
  • Academic year 2019–20:  Meet with the cohort once per semester in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.
  • TBD Final Presentation Fall 2020: Present on your project to community partners, campus mentors and colleagues. 

As an Engaged Arts and Humanities Scholar, graduate students will gain experiences in applying the tools of their discipline (research, teaching and creative work) to forge relationships and spaces for community interaction and dialogue. For some current thought on this type of work, see The New Work of Building Civic Practice, Michael Rohd, 2012 and the National Humanities Conference.

For example, students might listen to, document and share community members' stories or facilitate community members in doing this work themselves. Or, they might develop workshops, performances or creative work with communities. ​We have a wide network of existing partners and will support students in work with organizations in urban, rural and small town Colorado with communities that historically have less access to CU Boulder resources. In locations where changing community demographics, economies, landscapes, rising housing prices and gentrification are hot button issues, students' collaborative work could support the inclusion of diverse communities in local programming, important community conversations and/or opportunities to educate those from other locations. 

Below are examples of some existing projects and programs across campus and Colorado that students could partner with to support or extend their work and/or reach new communities. These programs are aware of and excited about possibilities and there are many more possibilities as well! 

  • The Boulder Pottery Lab is a partner that students in Ceramics could work with to reach underserved audiences in Boulder County and to learn about how Studio Arts Boulder develops their community programming.
  • The Weehawken Creative Arts Center and the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, Colorado has robust programming and many opportunities to partner with them for workshops and other forms of community engagement.
  • The CU Boulder Latino History Project partners with the Trinidad History Museum in Trinidad, CO and the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area in the San Luis Valley, as well at the Boulder Valley School District and other communities in the front range. Together they work with k12 schools and local communities to develop curricular resources, archival and artifactual material, community events and more to bring the history of diverse Latino, indigenous and other immigrant communities into the lives of present day students. 
  • Downtown Colorado Inc has "challenge studios" generated through participants who attend the Downtown Colorado Inc. conference to help a community creatively address an issue. The example below is from a past challenge studio, and a graduate student scholar could help actualize some of the ideas, or come up with other ideas in partnership with community participants.
    • From the Challenge Studio Text: “The Old Fox Theater in early 20th century Walsenburg, then a coal town, was built in 1910 for live performances but since then fell into disrepair. Recently, the theater has been renovated by volunteers and donated to the county in interest of the public good where it is run by the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation; staff consists of one full-time person. The community is interested in keeping the historic theater going, but limited funds and staff are placing the theater in jeopardy. Our Challenge Studio participants came up with a number of ideas to solve this problem including a variety of programming opportunities (open mic, poetry, live music, etc.) and ways to get the word out about the Old Fox Theater and the benefits it brings to Walsenburg.”
  • Work with the Colorado Creative Industries and/or one of the 21 Colorado Creative Districts around the state (e.g. Carbondale, Crested Butte, Denver neighborhoods, Greeley, Manitou Springs, Ridgway, Paonia, Pueblo, Steamboat Springs, Trinidad, and more) on a multitude of projects, including a way to foment artist exchanges across Colorado, "space to create" projects, connections with local arts organizations and higher education institutions, public art and downtown spaces, ideas for creative district tours and more.
  • CU Boulder Lens on Climate Change Program in its 3rd year, works with youth who will primarily be first generation college goers to develop videos on how climate change affects their communities. Students could support video and story development as well as ways to share with communities.
  • Colorado Humanities is embarking on a project in collaboration with Motus Theatre and Latino serving arts organizations to help communities in Colorado engage with their Latino neighbors.
  • The CU Boulder Upward Bound program and is working to develop campus artwork and spaces that will make visible the indigenous history of the area on campus.
  • The Boulder County Arts Alliance works on advocacy for the arts, spaces for artists to work and share their work in Boulder and diversity and equity focused professional development for the local community, as well as other areas.

Please have the following information ready before you begin the online application. The deadline for the 2019–20 cohort has passed. We anticipate the deadline for the 2020–21 cohort will be March 15, 2020. 

Section One

  • Personal contact information
  • Contact information (email and phone) for two CU Boulder professors who could serve as references. Indicate your relationship to the professors that you list (advisor, mentor etc.).
  • Program affiliation
  • Your CV (this is solely to give us a general idea of your background)

Section Two: Availability for key dates noted on the application

Section Three: Research and Interests

  • For an audience of academics in your field: How would you explain your research to others in your discipline? (250 words or less). PhD or MFA Program Department and name of your program area if applicable *
  • For a public audience: How would you explain your research to a public audience? (250 words or less)
  • What are your career goals? (150 words or less)
  • How do you think your disciplinary skill set, interests and experience might connect to the public or be applicable to community engagement? 
  • Why are you interested in this program and what are your goals for your participation? (250 words or less)
  • What questions do you have for us? (150 words or less)