The Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship

Applications for the summer of 2020 Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship open January 11, 2021 and are due March 15th, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship

Fellowship administered by IDA with support from the Haas Center and Stanford Arts.

Lyric McHenry fellows work with an arts organization or a community-based organization using the arts to further racial/social justice. With the help of IDA staff, CAF Fellows will determine a course of research and preparation for their summer learning experience.

Applicants must propose their own placements with organizations with whom they have corresponded before the application deadline, and effectively demonstrate that their intended partner is a well-run organization where they will receive adequate guidance and supervision. Fellows assist in building and maintaining relationships with these arts organizations and the communities in which they are based.

Recent Fellows have worked with the Laundromat Project, Mural Music & Arts Project, Katina Parker's film project on Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, Scene and Heard (North London, UK), Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Art of the Soul (Gaborone, Botswana), Rashaad Newsome Studios, and more.

Each Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellow receives a base stipend of $5,000 award to support travel and living expenses during the summer. Financial aid and supplemental funding are available to students who qualify.

Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowships are available only to Stanford undergraduate students. Preference will be given to students who will be returning to school in the 2019-20 year.

This program is named and funded in honor of Lyric McHenry (Stanford ‘14). While at Stanford, Lyric McHenry interned at IDA, majored in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and performed in and directed a number of theater productions. Lyric’s appreciation for the effect of the arts in the fight for social justice propelled her dedication to writing and producing. Her unique talent for uplifting others showed itself in an infectious ability to support and empower those around her, speak up for what she believed in, and create art that shed light on racial inequity and identity. Lyric brought curiosity, brilliance, and warmth to everything she did.


In honor of Lyric’s passion for the arts and social justice, the Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship gives students the opportunity to spend a summer working full time in the areas of curating, presenting, outreach and/or arts education with a focus on racial/social justice issues. Fellows may work in the United States or abroad.



Lyric McHenry Community Arts fellows are required to work at least 35 hours/week for 9 consecutive weeks at their placements. Other commitments include the following:

Spring Quarter

  • Domestic service: attend a program orientation in April.
  • International service: contact Hilary Douglas
  • Design a personal learning plan for the summer.
  • Participate in placement identification process.
  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.


  • Update staff with changes to contact information.
  • Share learning plan with site supervisor and update accordingly.
  • Check in with IDA staff at least once during the fellowship.
  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowship program staff.

Autumn Quarter

  • Meet with academic mentor at least once.
  • Attend a debriefing for the purpose of reflecting upon and evaluating summer experiences.
  • Participate in at least two campus presentations to share experiences and help publicize the program.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Up to two Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowships are awarded. Currently enrolled undergraduate students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Priority may be given to students who have taken IDA courses. All applicants should exhibit a demonstrated interest in the arts that relates to a particular field of study. Applicants vary in academic interests, community service involvement and experience. Graduating seniors may apply with the understanding that preference will be given to competitive continuing undergraduate applicants.

This fellowship is intended for individuals whose application, references, and interview demonstrate:

  • integration of the fellowship experience with applicant’s academic, personal, and/or career goals
  • prior interest or involvement in the subject area, including related coursework
  • strong interpersonal and intercultural skills
  • a commitment to exploring how the arts can be a means of working towards justice

Complete applications will be screened, finalists interviewed, and fellows selected by a committee with the intention to announce fellowship awards prior to spring break. Committee decisions are final.

Meet last year's fellows

Rachel Lam

Rachel Lam '20, is an artist who works visually, auditorily, and through movement and dance. Rachel (any/all pronouns) graduated from Stanford in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology. They are Anigiduwagi enrolled Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a first-generation Malaysian-American, and white. Rachel’s goal for this fellowship was to write and illustrate children’s books in the Cherokee language. Rachel worked with Snowbird Traditions–a community organization that revitalizes Cherokee traditions —including language, arts and crafts, and traditional medicine. Her experience as a Stanford Cherokee language teaching assistant has given her a strong Cherokee language-specific background in classroom management, instructional assistance and curriculum development, as well as the ability to talk about positionality and the skill of inner-group cultural humility. Rachel states: "Working with Snowbird Traditions means working with the Cherokee language and with Cherokee children. I want my children’s books to be extremely intentional and this experience would greatly enhance my ability to be intentional."


Shannen Torres

Shannen Torres '21, is a visual artist who works to bridge art and community for change.  This primary goal led them to return home to the South Bronx during the summer of 2018 where they worked with NYC muralist crew TatsCru to paint murals initiated and commissioned by communities around the city. Their lived experience informs their research on Black and brown struggles in urban communities and how artwork, like graffiti, reflects this history. Moreover, they are interested in how artists working within such communities lead to personal and collective radicalization. This fellowship allowed for a second collaboration with the U.S. Latinx Art Forum to work as an archivist to create a public database of Latinx artists across multiple generations. Their role is to help fill generational gaps and answer some key questions such as: "How do I best take into consideration identity, identity politics, and the differences between various fields of study (i.e. Latinx Art vs. Art of the Americas vs. Latin American Art) to best represent Latinx artists who have passed and who are still with us today?"

Clarissa Scranage-Carter

Clarissa Scranage-Carter '20, is a coterm-senior and a Gates Millennium Scholar pursuing a graduate degree in Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT). A talented singer/performer and accomplished music producer, Clarissa has been working on technological solutions to increase female representation within the music industry, particularly within music production and engineering. She interned with Women's Audio Mission (WAM) a San Francisco/Oakland-based nonprofit organization– the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women and GNC individuals.

WAM’s award-winning curriculum weaves art and music with science, technology and computer programming and works to close the critical gender gap in creative technology careers.

Clarissa remarks: "An experience [with WAM] will help me continue to seek accountable ways to solve the gender gap in this industry."

Dayonna Tucker

During Fall 2019, Dayonna Tucker '20, was Assistant Costume Designer to Dana Kawano during TAPS' mainstage production of REVIVAL: Millennial Rememberings in the Afro Now, devised by Amara Tabor-Smith and the Committee on Black Performing Arts. The two co-designed an egun-gun costume together and it was through continued collaboration that Dayonna learned new skills in design with further intentionality and purpose toward healing and ritual.  Dayonna recently completed her honors thesis in African and African American Studies where her thesis theorized about biological bondage and argued that garments could be cloaks of protection and promise for Black Women. The Lyric McHenry fellowship enabled her to deepen her relationship with her mentor Dana and  Dayonna also designed her first collection of sustainable clothing for black women as ritual garments of wellness and protection. She remarks: "Every class and conversation always leaves me more empowered to make my own work that is rooted in intellectualism, thorough research, and community activism. This opportunity granted me the time and space to put these theories into praxis."


Submission deadline for application materials, including unofficial transcript and recommendation, is March 15th at 11:59 pm (PST). All documents are time stamped upon receipt. Application materials received after the posted deadline are not accepted.

A complete fellowship application includes the following three components:

1) Application Form

  • Relevant academic coursework
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Resume
  • Budget
  • Short essay questions

The short essay questions are your opportunity to express why you are interested in this fellowship experience. The selection committee is interested in both your personal and academic reasons for applying. Please ensure that you are thorough and specific in your responses to the questions. Respond to each question separately; each response should be approximately one paragraph (4–6 sentences) in length.

  •  Why are you applying for this fellowship?
  • How have you prepared for this fellowship and what do you anticipate will be your biggest challenge?
  • How will this fellowship contribute to your academic success and professional and/or personal development?

2) Recommendation

Provide Stanford faculty/staff recommender with detailed information about the fellowship(s) for which you are applying. There will be instructions for recommendations included in your application.

Recommendations will be allowed up to 24 hours after your deadline.

3) Community Partner Questionnaire

The Community Partner Questionnaire consists of three questions that must be answered by an individual representing your proposed partner organization or a community representative, preferably your potential supervisor. The questionnaire must be submitted by the application deadline, so be sure to contact your partner organization well in advance. See the online application for the questionnaire itself.