Regional Arts Commission and Gateway Foundation Launch Gyo Obata Fellowship for Underrepresented Students

January 9, 2019

Categories Press Releases

ST. LOUIS (January 9, 2019) – The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) and the Gateway Foundation are partnering to bring more diversity to the field of arts administration in the St. Louis region. The Gyo Obata Fellowship, a 10-week paid summer fellowship program, will provide a minimum of 10 college students with a hands-on introduction to nonprofit arts administration in St. Louis City and County.

The program will match undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds with host nonprofit arts organizations that will guide their personal and professional development throughout the summer.

“Promoting and preserving cultural diversity is central to our mission at RAC, and we are pleased to partner with the Gateway Foundation to bring more opportunities to students who have been traditionally underrepresented in our field,” said Felicia Shaw, executive director of RAC. “The program joins a growing number of programs across the country that opens doors to viable careers in the arts for diverse young people.”

The program was conceived in response to findings from EVOKE, a community cultural visioning process initiated by RAC, that identified the need for greater diversity in the arts as a regional priority. Fellowships will be open to students currently enrolled in any bachelor’s degree-seeking program of an accredited college or university in the greater St. Louis area. Fellowships also are open to St. Louis City or County residents who are enrolled in an accredited college or university outside of the St. Louis area. Students must be entering their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies or have completed at least 60 credit hours. Applications for the fellowship open January 9 and will be accepted through February 2.

Gyo Obata earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and later co-founded the global architectural firm HOK. He contributed to several noteworthy projects including the McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., and the Japanese-American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The Gyo Obata Fellowship is modeled after three long-running and highly successful programs of the Arts and Business Council of New York; the Los Angeles County Arts Fellowship Program; and the Getty Foundation Multicultural Fellowship Program.

The inaugural 2019 program begins June 3 and runs through August 8. For more information about The Gyo Obata Fellowship, visit