Aisha Motlani F'20

Aisha  Motlani

Leading Edge Fellowships 2020
Arts Alliance Illinois
Appointed to Arts Alliance Illinois for the project "Researching Relief: Policy & Civic Engagement"
PhD, Art History, Northwestern University

Arts Alliance Illinois fights for 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. Our work in civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity positively impacts every community across the state. The Leading Edge Fellow will produce original research and mine existing sources that can guide the organization’s policy proposals as we continue our efforts to bring relief to the creative sector in Illinois. The fellow will be expected to not only draw from existing state, local, and national data sources and create primary research on Illinois’ creative sector, but also to work alongside our Deputy Director to craft policy and programmatic initiatives in response to the needs of our member base. The Alliance has already identified the overarching fields of research to be COVID-19 relief efforts, arts education, and overall social impact and value assessment of arts and culture. The fellow will develop their project in collaboration with Arts Alliance staff and select two to three research projects that will generate either new or updated Arts Alliance advocacy and case-making assets. Potential projects include the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund impact and program evaluation; artist skill mapping to support potential workforce development policy recommendations; arts education policy recommendations that implement the arts indicator of the Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act; or the Illinois Creative Social Impact survey.