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Gyo Obata Fellowship

The Gyo Obata Fellowship is a program for undergraduate students pursuing careers in arts management. With major funding provided by the Gateway Foundation, the program will address the need for a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable local nonprofit arts and culture sector.

The Gyo Obata Fellowship is a substantive, full-time, summer work opportunity for college undergraduates from backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented in the arts. The 10-week paid summer fellowship program will provide a minimum of ten college students working towards careers in arts administration with a hands-on introduction to arts nonprofits in St. Louis City and County.

The program will match undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds with host nonprofit arts organizations. The program is intended to be mutually beneficial, providing arts organizations with financially subsidized staff to support ongoing operations or address the needs of special projects during the summer months.

Students must meet the following qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in any bachelor’s degree-seeking program of an accredited college or university in the greater St. Louis area.
  • Students who are enrolled in an accredited college or university outside of the St. Louis area may apply but must reside in St. Louis City or County.
  • Entering their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies, have at least 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university, or have graduated within a year of the program start date.
  • Must also be able to legally work within the United States.

Read our guidelines for more detailed information.

*The 2021 Gyo Obata Fellowship Program may at any point be altered due to COVID-19 restrictions at the discretion of the Regional Arts Commission. This may include but is not limited to: shifting to remote-based work and activities, altered work hours, shortened and/or altered programming, change in Host or Fellow selection, elimination of large gatherings, elimination of social events, and cancelation of program.

The Gyo Obata Fellowship is a program of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), with major support from the St. Louis-based Gateway Foundation.

Gyo Obata Fellowship Group Photo 2019

2019 Fellows

The following students were part of the 2019 Gyo Obata Fellowship.

Darla Allen
McKendree University Major: Studio Arts Hometown: Houston, TX Host Organization: Laumeier Sculpture Park
Amber Bell
Harris-Stowe State University Major: Communications, Minor: Theatre Hometown: St. Louis, MO Host Organization: Central Print
Lillian Gardner
Webster University Major: Studio Arts, Emphasis: Sculpture Hometown: St. Louis Host Organization: National Blues Museum
Eunyoung Rosa Jang
Washington University Major: Studio Art, Minor: Art History Hometown: Washington DC Suburbs Host Organization: The Luminar
Tyson Johnson
Park University Major: Graphic Design/Illustration Hometown: St. Louis, MO Host Organization: COCA
Sequoyah Lopez
Saint Louis University Major: Political Science, Minor: Marketing & Visual Communication Hometown: Carbondale, IL Host Organization: Craft Alliance
Zoe Newton
Washington University Major: Communication Design, Minors: African and African American Studies and Art History Hometown: Atlanta, GA Host Organization: Springboard to Learning
Alyssa Ogle
Swarthmore College Majors: Sociology & Anthropology Hometown: St. Louis, MO Host Organization: Contemporary Art Museum
Shana Pettes
Harris-Stowe State University Major: Communication Studies Hometown: Detroit, MI Host Organization: Cinema STL
Popoai Tanuvasa-Lole
Maryville University Major: Psychology, Minor: Communications Hometown: New Baden, IL Host Organization: Regional Arts Commission

Arts and cultural events are waiting around every corner throughout the St. Louis region. Explore the abundant creativity our area has to offer. From gallery shows and performances to public installations, St. Louis is rich with culture and the arts in all forms. Browse these links to experience our arts community firsthand.


Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.


We have gathered a variety of news, information, and other resources to sustain the health and vibrancy of our arts community.


As the leading public catalyst for arts and culture in St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission leverages the power of creativity to strengthen and enrich our community. Read our commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and see our strategic plan for the next five years.


Covid-19 has impacted us all. But what it hasn’t changed is RAC’s commitment to finding innovative ways to support arts programming, arts organizations, and individual artists through the pandemic, and to resuming these programs as soon as conditions allow.


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