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The Taconic Fellowship supports Pratt Institute faculty, staff, and students working on community development projects throughout New York City.

About the Fellowship

The Fellowship provides financial awards for projects that align with Pratt Center’s urban planning and policy work to advance sustainable and equitable community development in New York City and its neighborhoods. The goals of the Fellowship are to facilitate “beyond the gates” community service projects and support Pratt Institute’s commitment to collaboration, interdisciplinary projects, and service learning.

The Taconic Fellowship supports projects that use a ground-up, community-based approach to tackling issues of urban sustainability and socioeconomic inequity. Fellowships are awarded to teams of Pratt Institute faculty and students working in close collaboration with a community-based organization on a project which addresses a community need. The maximum award per project is $12,000, and it is intended to allow Pratt teams to engage in a collaborative design, decision-making, and implementation process with the community organization.

  1. Pratt Institute affiliation. All projects must be led by current Pratt Institute faculty, staff, or students. Student-led projects are welcome; however, a faculty advisor must agree to act in a supervisory capacity for their project. All students must be enrolled for the entire 2023-2024 academic year.
  2. Partnership with an organization that serves as a community-based client for the project. All projects must partner with a community-based organization in New York City. This community partner should be invested in the project, and the project should be in alignment with the organization’s mission.
  3. Based in New York City. Only projects based in New York City will be considered. As such, the community client must also be located within the five boroughs.
  4. Proposed activities occur during the school year. All project activities outlined in the proposal must take place during the period between August 2023 and June 2024.

We are interested in projects that:

  1. Use a lens of socioeconomic and/or racial justice to address one or more of the following aspects of community development: Affordable housing, climate change / resiliency / sustainability, economic development, environmental justice, land use, open space, transportation planning / public transportation
  2. Work toward community impact
    Proposals should demonstrate the capacity to make a tangible impact on a community, whether it is a place-based community or an affinity community made up of people with similar backgrounds and/or interests.
  3. Have a significant community engagement component.
    The stakeholders (or a subset thereof) who stand to benefit from the project should be meaningfully involved in it.
  4. Are proposed by people from different departments
    Partnerships between faculty and students and between people in different departments are strongly encouraged.

An evaluation committee will review proposals for impact, capacity, and approach. More specifically, the review committee will make decisions based on:

  1. Significance and relevance. Does the proposed project address a problem or question in the arena of equitable community development as outlined in the aforementioned aspects of community development?
  2. Community impact. How will the project tangibly impact a community? Does the proposal reflect a deep community engagement process and mutually beneficial relationship between the fellows and the community partner?
  3. Capacity for success. Are the fellows qualified to realize the proposed project? Is the community partner invested in the success of the project
  4. Approach and method. Is the project proposal adequately developed for the purpose of the project and commensurate with the stated project goal? Does the proposal allow for adequate collaboration and communication with the community partner to ensure feasible outcomes?


Posted 10/17/2023

The Taconic Fellows for 2023-24 have been announced. Learn more about the fellows and their projects below. Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

2023-2024 Projects

Co-Designing the Flatbush Community Land Trust
Hudson Access Project, Research and Advocacy Roadmap
Classroom Prototype: A Design-Build Community Engaged Studio
Racial Impact Report Assessment
Riis Beach is the Peoples’ Beach: Envisioning Queer Health in and with Community
Equitable Access to Art High Schools
Equitable Economic Development through Creative Placemaking
Visioning Corona Plaza

2022-2023 Projects

Food Futures Food Justice Lab
A flooded street in The Hole neighborhood looks more like a marsh, with tall grasses growing along the side. A row of houses are seen in the background
The Hole
Long Memories of Material Injustices
Pratt Phenology Trail
Mujeres Atrevidas

2021-2022 Projects

The Green Stitch: Knitting Communities Together One Garden at a Time
Enhancing Access to Healthy Food
Reclaiming the Commons through Play
Multigenerational Active Streets Jackson Heights
All Weather Garden Pavilions

2020-2021 Projects

Connecting to the Archive of Weeksville
Minecraft x Youth Engagement
Piloting Innovative Community Engagement Tools for Two Bridges
Owning Our Narrative: From Victims to Victors
Blue City Blue Blocks Garden
Grassroots Women in Community Development & Climate Justice

2019-2020 Projects

Environmental Justice For Vendors By Vendors
Future Cities
Life of Benjamin Banneker
Migration Stories in Multiple Media
Emancipatory Urban Futures
(Dis)placed in Sunset Park
Fear as Fuel

2018-2019 Projects

A Food Buying Club for East New York
Climate Resilience Leadership Lab
Community Photo Album
As Told

2017-2018 Projects

Stories in Clay
Truthworker Theater Trilogy
Designating Community Gardens as Critical Environmental Areas