Each fall, at land’s edge invites fifteen cultural producers to participate in a free six-month research fellowship. Our understanding of “cultural production” is broad and encompasses not only a traditional understanding within the visual, literary, and performing arts, but also includes any participation in and invention of cultural forms, especially in the realms of political organizing and community building. Throughout this six-month period, each research fellow will develop a self-determined project with the conceptual and technical support of at land’s edge.
The at land’s edge Research Fellowship comprises the following six elements:
1) Four individual meetings with a mentor
2) Two individual meetings with a Mentorship Coordinator
3) Ten seminars (two per month for five months)
4) Four technical workshops
5) Six public programs
6) Public presentation of Research Fellow projects
Our Research Fellowship is free and geared toward adults who seek the conceptual rigor, challenging mentorship, and vibrant community graduate level education might ideally provide, but for whom that formal education is logistically impossible, politically undesirable, or economically inaccessible. at land’s edge especially welcomes participants who are not involved in formal or institutionalized schooling, participants who identify as people of color, immigrants, poor, undocumented, and indigenous, and participants who reflect a broad range of generational diversity. While our Research Fellowship provides cultural producers with the critical tools, guidance, and dialogue necessary to hone and refine their work, at land’s edge more generally provides all who participate with a shared space to conceive autonomous and accountable modes for our practice.
at land’s edge shifts our horizon away from the market system. Instead, we urge our research fellows to explore and engage in the difficult political questions that concern the production and content of their work; we also encourage research fellows to critically assess how their work relates to the communities to and with which it is accountable. The community-based perspective is coupled with an emphasis on “research,” which we understand as the process of inquiry that one enters in any creative project. By emphasizing research, we intend to shift cultural production away from a finished product and toward a process, method, and practice. Research necessitates experimentation, risk, and criticality—actions we believe are integral to decolonize the spaces of culture and to recover the role that creativity can play in social transformation.