The Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship


Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship

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

Our summer Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship allows Stanford undergraduates the opportunity to conduct research with a community-based arts organization or an established community-based artist for 35 hours a week / over at least 9 weeks during the summer quarter. Projects coming out of this fellowship have a distinct interest in questions that further the arts at the intersection of social justice. 

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.

Students who need support finding an arts organization or artist with whom to work can reach out to IDA staff for additional support.

Recent Fellows have worked with the Laundromat Project, MACRO, BLD PWR, Women's Audio Mission, Dana Kawano Studios, Rashaad Newsome Studios, and more.

Each Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellow receives a base stipend of $7,500 award to support travel and living expenses during the summer. Financial aid and supplemental funding up to $9,000 total are available to students who qualify.

Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowships are available only to Stanford undergraduate students.

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 at least 9 consecutive weeks at their placements. Other commitments include the following:

Spring Quarter

  • Attend a program orientation in April.
  • 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.
  • Create a post for social media talking about your fellowship experience
  • 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 campus presentations to share experiences and help publicize the program.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Up to five 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 the 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 toward 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.

Meet the 2022 Lyric McHenry Fellows

Tyler Newman

Tyler Newman is a product design major and filmmaker working in Los Angeles, CA. A gifted media maker, Tyler is using the fellowship to work both with media company @staymacro and arts and justice org @bldpwr. With MACRO, Tyler contributes to script coverage, location scouting and research for upcoming projects. With BLDPWR, she works on deck design and social media content creation for diverse filmmakers and creatives.

Photo by @vjoyphoto



Tristyn McClure Thomas

Tristyn McClure Thomas is a Stanford artist working in New York City with artist Lucien Smith, founder of Serve the People. Serve the People is a non-profit digital community connecting innovators with audiences globally to facilitate opportunities for them to share their work. Tristyn has been working on brand outreach for various social media platforms, doing research, ideation, and design with the team across various projects big and small. Tristyn looks forward to continuing to amplify the voices and artworks of underrepresented communities through their work this summer and beyond.

Photo by @vjoyphoto

Victoria Sampors Chiek

Victoria Sampors Chiek is an Anthropology major using the fellowship to work internationally in Cambodia with media company KUDU Studios. With the company, Victoria supports complex projects that increase visibility for Cambodian history, culture, news, and politics through film. Currently they are working on gathering archival footage and interviews for both KUDU Studios and their own academic research, which will fuel their honors thesis in the fall.

Photo by @vjoyphoto



Sequoiah Blaire Hippolyte

Sequoiah Blaire Hippolyte is a recent Stanford graduate class of 2022 and an award-winning theater artist and filmmaker. Sequoiah moved to Los Angeles for their summer fellowship and is working with cinema company Sunhaus under the direction of artist Arthur Jafa. Sequoiah has been supporting logistics for visiting filmmakers and writers, and doing creative analysis on readings, music, and selections from the Sunhaus archives. Sequoiah recently accepted a position with Sunhaus full time in the fall.

Photo by @vjoyphoto

Kiara T. Dunbar

Kiara T. Dunbar is a recent Stanford graduate class of 2022, writer, and filmmaker. Kiara used the fellowship to work in New York City this summer with filmmaker Annalise Lockhart. Kiara has been supporting Annalise’s original scripts for revision and feedback while attending meetings related to pre-production for the upcoming cinematic project. Kiara has also been researching local community partners, artists, and locations, while providing hands-on support both on and off set.

Photo by @vjoyphoto



Applications for the summer of 2023 Lyric McHenry Community Arts Fellowship are now closed and will open on November 2022.

A complete fellowship application includes the following three components:

1) Application Form

  • Unofficial transcript
  • Resumé
  • Personal Statement
    • Short essay questions
    • Relevant academic coursework
    • Budget

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-two paragraphs 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?
  • How does this fellowship contribute to your academic success and your personal / professional artistic 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 (unless applying to EPACenter Opportunity) 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.