MASSCreative Program Director Receives Fellowship to Build Community Through Creativity


Tracie Konopinski to develop arts leadership capacity as a NAS ‘creative change agent’

BOSTON, August 1, 2019—MASSCreative is pleased to announce that Tracie Konopinski, the organization’s program director, has been awarded a Creative Community Fellowship by National Arts Strategies (NAS), a Virginia-based organization dedicated to strengthening the arts and culture sector by supporting and educating leaders working in the arts ecosystem.

As one of 25 fellows in the 2019 Creative Community Fellows New England cohort, Konopinski will spend the next five months working with NAS, faculty partners from the University of Pennsylvania, and leading practitioners in the field learning ways to deepen community connections through strategic partnerships and other collaborations.

“Arts and culture connect people and strengthen communities. But this only happens when skilled, passionate, and creative people like Tracie make it happen,” said MASSCreative Interim Executive Director Emily Ruddock. “As a grassroots arts advocacy organization, we’re excited for Tracie to have this opportunity and to see how she applies her fellowship experience in our work to ensure that the Commonwealth’s arts and culture sector can thrive.”

“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to stretch my thinking and perspective on community organizing and program development with a talented and diverse cohort of creatives,” said Konopinski “I’m looking forward to using the Fellowship to build out MASSCreative’s Youth Arts Action Initiative into a year-round curriculum while also collaborating with fellow creatives on their projects.

 “New England is teeming with creative entrepreneurs working at the intersection of culture and community,” said NAS Director Sunny Widmann. “This year’s Fellows have a clear passion to connect with others driving positive change across the region. The range of experiences and knowledge each Fellow brings to the cohort will contribute to a diverse community of practice which will strengthen and grow each project.”

Creative Community Fellows New England, instituted last year, is funded by the Barr Foundation. Konopinski and the members of her cohort will join a nationwide network of nearly 200 leaders who have participated in NAS’ parent Creative Community Fellows since 2014.

“Creative Community Fellows New England recognizes our region’s cultural leaders whose work is driving positive change in their communities, and provides support to deepen their impact,” said San San Wong, Barr Foundation Director of Arts & Creativity. “We welcome this newest class of artists and celebrate the expansion of this impressive network of creative change makers.”

Konopinski, a dancer and longtime community organizer, has been with MASSCreative since 2013, building a grassroots network of artists, cultural leaders, and arts advocates who are building creative communities throughout Massachusetts. She works closely with MASSCreative’s Leadership Council identifying new grassroots partnerships and ways to generate support for greater public investment and leadership in art, culture, and creativity. Konopinski has also trained hundreds of activists on political organizing and leadership development in prior campaigns for voter registration, affordable higher education, and environmental justice throughout western Massachusetts and Maine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Muhlenberg College, where she studied business, communication, and dance.


About MASSCreative

MASSCreative works with artists, cultural councils, arts organizations and the broader creative community to build a Commonwealth where arts and creativity are an expected, recognized, and valued part of everyday life. Working with our coalition of 400 arts and cultural organizations and artists from across the Commonwealth, MASSCreative uses public education and awareness, grassroots organizing, advocacy campaigns, and other civic and political engagement to ensure that arts, culture, and creativity are considered when important policy and political decisions get made at the state and local level.

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