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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.




Application Process

Applications will open for the Gyo Obata Fellowship on Feb. 1, 2022. The application process will close on April 1, 2022. In order to be eligible for the program, 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.


Lillian Gardner

Lillian Gardner – Gyo Obata Fellow

She’s writing a novel. She’s kickstarting her own brand. She’s preparing to get her master’s degree. To say Lillian Gardner is determined is a bit of an understatement. Her passion for a career in the arts led her to the Gyo Obata Fellowship Program offered by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

“My career goals link directly to my life goals. I hope to achieve and keep on evolving as an individual,” Gardner explained, “through creating art, working in various organizations, fighting for justice, serving the community, and educating myself and others.”

When Gardner was selected as a Gyo Obata Fellow in 2019, she was placed at the National Blues Hall of Fame. During her time at the National Blues Museum, Gardner gained crucial marketing and programming experience – creating original educational content and marketing materials and conducting research.

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