2023 Policy Research & Analysis Summer Fellowship

Note: The application deadline has been extended to Thursday, March 30!

Arts Alliance Illinois (AAI) is pleased to announce our open call for our first-ever Policy Research & Analysis Fellow. This Fellowship seeks to promote the career of young leaders who seek to develop professionally in the cultural nonprofit sector, governance, and/or policy advocacy. The fellowship will start on May 29th and end on August 25th (dates are flexible). 

Policy research not your thing? We’re also looking for a Community Organizer Summer Fellow!


Who We Are

Arts Alliance Illinois champions arts resources and policies that benefit our members and all Illinois residents. As the only statewide, multidisciplinary organization concentrated on the strength of arts and culture, the Alliance takes on challenges that no single organization or artist can face alone.


Fellowship Overview

The Policy Research & Analysis Fellow will gather and analyze  information about current cultural policies in Illinois, informing the advancement and evaluation of AAI’s policy agenda for a more equal and thriving arts community in the state. 

The Fellow will research local and state cultural policies in Illinois and analyze their effects on the state’s art workforce, with a particular focus on traditionally excluded communities, such as BIPOC, LGBTI+, and immigrants, among others. Reporting to and working closely with our Deputy Director, Civic Engagement, the Fellow will research, analyze, and make recommendations on policies to foster an equitable cultural industry, as well as develop convincing arguments to reinforce AAI’s advocacy efforts. 

The Fellow will also reach out to other policy experts to enhance the collective perspectives on the issues analyzed and exchange ideas that further the understanding of policy proposals. Finally, the Fellow will produce a series of presentations and scholarly materials that will effectively document and communicate the outcomes of their study.


Primary Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Conduct Illinois cultural policy review and summarization. 
  • Research and analyze cultural policy models in the US and the world that could help address current Illinois arts community needs, focusing on BIPOCS, LGTBI+, immigrants, and other traditionally excluded communities.
  • Research and analyze the impact of other non-cultural policies on the cultural life of the state of Illinois.
  • Present research analysis and policy recommendations to Arts Alliance Illinois’ staff and other constituents, stakeholders, and personnel of relevance.
  • Assist in outreach policy professionals in other institutions and agencies for collaborative research.
  • Gather, summarize, and provide data of relevance to AAI’s policy work.
  • Present an end-of-fellowship paper report on Illinois cultural policy analysis and policy suggestions.
  • Attend weekly check-ins with our Deputy Director, Civic Engagement.


Fellowship Outcomes

  • Three presentations with accompanying papers during the fellowship: 
    • (1) preliminary planning, 
    • (2) mid-fellowship policy research and analysis outcomes, and 
    • (3) final conclusive presentation.
  • A final policy proposal paper.


Eligibility and Qualifications

This Fellowship is geared towards currently enrolled or recently graduated from a graduate degree in the arts or adjacent fields like public policy, humanities, arts administration, social work, among others. Alternatively we welcome applications from people without bachelor or graduate studies degrees with equivalent institutional, administrative, or social work experience (research, papers published, on field experience, and similar). Strong candidates will demonstrate the following:

    • Able to work self-directed in a fast-paced environment.
    • Strong organizational skills.
    • Strong written and oral communication skills.
    • Excellent interpersonal skills.
    • Excellent demonstrated research and analytical abilities.
    • Fluency with Microsoft 365 and Google Suite.
    • Highest attention to detail.
    • Strong cultural competence.
    • Eager to apply constructive criticism.
    • Familiarity with the challenges facing arts venues, arts nonprofits, and artists in the state of Illinois is not required but would be preferred.

    To be eligible for this fellowship, candidates should be/have:

    • Two years of experience in policy-related work (or equivalent internships).
    • Available to travel across the state of Illinois.
    • Resident of Illinois
    • Authorized to work in the US for any employer during the term of the fellowship

    Compensation and Benefits

    The Policy Research & Analysis Fellow will be a full-time, seasonal, employee of the organization. They will be paid $18 per hour, for up to 35 hrs per week and a stipend to cover utilities. This position is not eligible for health benefits.



    This position is 90% remote within Illinois. Depending on the Fellow’s location, they might be expected to attend some meetings in Chicago.


    How to apply

    Applications are due on March 30th. The selected applicant will be notified by April 28th. 


    Please submit the following:

    • One page cover letter with  “LastName – Policy Fellow” as the file’s title (no quotes) answering to the following questions: 
      • What strengths would you bring to this fellowship?
      • How does Arts Alliance Illinois’s advocacy mission align with your professional goals?
      • What do you think would be the most challenging part of the fellowship for you?
      • How do you expect this fellowship will prepare you for your intended career?
    • Resume in no more than 2 pages.
    • Three references phone numbers and email addresses.

    Arts Alliance Illinois values diversity and is committed to building an inclusive workplace that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We encourage Black, Indigenous or People of Color, immigrants, people without college degrees, LGTBQ individuals, people with disabilities, and anyone part of a group that has been historically discriminated against, to apply.