2022/2023 Holland Community Opera Fellow

Open to Artists of Any Discipline

Artists of any discipline who have an interest in impacting and engaging community are encouraged to apply. This program is not only for singers.

You will join Opera Omaha at an exciting time in the Company’s history, building on a radical program that redefines how an opera company serves its community. Launched in 2017, the Holland Community Opera Fellowship (HCOF) leads the opera field in civic practice - building deep relationships outside of the performance venues. These relationships and the programs co-created with our partners have proven to be our strengths in these unprecedented times. A team of Holland Community Fellows are engaged each season to bring their skills as artists and trained civic practitioners in service to individual creative growth within partner organizations, through a combination of long- and short-term co-created programs. Programming is focused on creativity and inspiration with the art form of opera as a toolbox, not teaching opera.

A strong interest in serving community through the arts and teaching artist experience, an interest in opera, a team orientated work style, and a collaborative and creative thinker are the primary qualities in the successful candidate. Opera Omaha values staff diversity that represents Omaha’s racially diverse communities and seeks candidates who reflect this value.

This full-time position will be for the 2022/2023 season.

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Application Guidelines

The Application for the Holland Community Opera Fellowship is unique and made up of multiple elements. The goal of the Fellowship application is to get a sense of the whole person and what drives you.

A full application consists of 3 parts: Your Resume, Essay Questions, and Artistic Work Samples all submitted via the online application form.

Your Resume

Your resume should include:
Work Experience, Volunteer Experience and/or Experience Working in and with Community, Teaching or Teaching Artist Experience, Education and Training, Artistic Training and Experience, Language Skills

Please be sure to highlight:
Experience developing and teaching arts programming for community audiences including adults, youth, and/or families.
Experience working with populations served by HCOF including adults, individuals with disabilities, seniors, immigrants and refugee populations, incarcerated youth, adults experiencing homelessness, and youth.
We are not looking for your performance resume.

Your Essay Questions

Your essays must specifically address all of the following questions:

  1. What pulls you toward community engaged work? Why is making art in, with, and for community important to you? Please provide examples.

  2. What are the skills that make you an effective team player and what dynamics do you bring to a group?

  3. What inspires you as an artist to engage with opera and how do you envision your artistic practice intersecting with opera?

  4. When you think about engaging communities through the arts, how do you imagine utilizing your creative process, practice and/or skill? In your answer, describe a population you have or would like to work with and how you would use your talents to engage with them.

Your response should be no more than 250 words for each question, no more than 1000 words total.

Your Artistic Work Samples

Show us who you are as an artist.
Artistic Work Samples should illustrate your own work as an artist and may also include samples from working with students or community. Samples may be on a website, PDFs, photographs, or video files. Please submit no more than five work samples. All work should be clearly labeled and can be uploaded in the application form.

Applications are now closed

We recommend reading the FAQs before submitting your materials. If you have additional questions, please email Fellows@operaomaha.org


Deadlines & Interview Process

Application Deadline is January 1, 2022
The interview is a multi-step process.
The first round is an interview with the Fellowship staff which will happen virtually.
Second round is a deeper evaluation of you as an artist. You will be contacted by Opera Omaha to arrange an audition or submission of specific materials if selected to more forward in the process.
The final stage is a site visit in Omaha during the week of March 14-18, 2022. Specific dates to be announced. This may include interviews and experiential sessions with staff, the Community Panel, and community partners. Travel and accommodations will be arranged and paid for by Opera Omaha and a stipend will be provided for individuals is this stage of the process. Candidates must be available for this site visit to move forward in the process.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should my resume include?
Opera Omaha is looking for highly skilled artists who have a passion for community-engaged work- in or outside of the arts. What volunteer experiences have you had? What work experiences have you had outside of being an artist? We want to know.
We also like to know what makes you unique. What are your interests? What are your talents and skills outside of your profession? Tell us!

I don’t have a degree. Would my application be considered?
Yes, experience will be considered in lieu of academic credentials.

How long is a Fellowship contract?
This full-time position will be for the 2022/2023 season. Fellowship contracts are twelve months July to June, however, programming will not commence until August 8, 2022 and will end on May 14, 2023. Fellows are only expected to be in Omaha during that time. The position may be renewed for the 2023/2024 season. The typical length of a Fellowship is two years.

Am I expected to travel to Omaha at any point in the recruitment process?
Yes, we are planning for a site visit to Omaha for final candidates during the week of March 14-18. Opera Omaha will and arrange and pay for travel and accommodations for candidates.

Do I need to live in Omaha for this position?
Yes, Fellows are expected to live in the area while on contract. When it is safe to do so, most Fellowship programming will occur at community partner sites across the Omaha metro area. We expect programming in the 22/23 season to be primarily in-person.

What does a typical week look like in the Fellowship?
In a given week, Fellows will:

  • Plan programming
  • Participate in staff & community partner meetings
  • Provide programming in the community—programming can be anywhere from a one-time event, weekly or monthly sessions, to a year-long project
  • Reflect and Report on their work
  • Take part in professional training (non-artistic)
  • Time for deepening creative practice, which may include time with artist mentors, or individual studio or practice time (weekly)
  • There will also be opportunities to share your artistry with the community, this has included concerts, performance poetry and recordings. These opportunities will be shaped by the unique skills and talents you bring as a Fellow.
    The Fellow must be available for programming Aug 2022 – May 2023 (40-weeks per year). The position may be renewed for the 2023/2024 season. The typical length of a Fellowship is two years.

Who are some of the community partners I’d be working with as a Fellow?
The Holland Community Opera Fellowship collaborates with more than two dozen partners across the Omaha metro area. HCOF’s priority is to help community partners reach their goals as they work to provide a better quality of life for their communities and serve those who may have limited access to arts experience and programming.
Programming is focused on creativity and inspiration with the art form of opera as a toolbox, not teaching opera.
Some examples of co-created programming with partners in the last year include:

  • Music and acting workshops with participants from Quality Living Inc.(QLI) and Ollie Webb Center, Inc. QLI is a residential rehabilitation facility for individuals with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and Ollie Webb’s Art of the Imagination Program serves adults with disabilities.
  • Creativity and writing workshops with residents at MICAH House. MICAH House is an emergency housing shelter that serves families and women, our programming is for residents of their women’s shelter.
  • Creativity and music workshops to support connection with members of the Intercultural Senior Center. Intercultural Senior Center serves hundreds of seniors across Omaha, including those from immigrant and refugee communities. You can view the ISC Songbook project created with HCOF Fellows in Fall 2020 here. (Link to blog post)
  • Outdoor concert and online music workshops for participants at Gotta Be Me. Gotta Be Me offers recreational programming and opportunities for connection and continued learning to adults of all abilities, primarily adults with disabilities ages 21+.
  • Music and poetry videos for UNMC’s Healing Arts patient TV channel, and creativity workshops for their staff.

Do Fellows work mostly independently or as a team?
Fellows primarily work as a team. Most programming in the Fellowship is facilitated by two or more Fellows. In addition, they work together to develop curriculum and activities informed by community partners. Fellows work closely with the Community Opera Fellowship Manager and the Director of Engagement evaluating and reflecting on the programs and day-to-day activities in the Fellowship. Some projects involve more independent work and research, and Fellows work independently to be prepared for collaborative work. The ideal candidate has a strong sense of teamwork and desire to collaborate with other artists.

I’m not an opera singer, what might support for my artistry look like?
Opera Omaha will work with each Fellow to explore ways to support their artistic growth and process. This may include finding opportunities to showcase their art through Opera Omaha programming, or connecting with artists and mentors across the opera field or other organizations here in Omaha.

I’m a singer, are there mainstage performance opportunities?
Because the role of the Fellow is to be a resource and provide a consistent, meaningful presence in the community, they are not scheduled in mainstage productions. That type of commitment would pull the Fellow away from the primary purpose of them being here. Fellows may perform throughout the year in a variety of venues, including concerts and performances with community partners like Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, and concerts as part of Opera Omaha’s programming like Opera to Go and Opera Outdoors.

What is the compensation?
Fellows are full time staff members with a salary of $40,000/year.
Fellowship contracts are twelve months July to June, however, programming and certain duties associated with this position will not commence until August 8, 2022 and will end on May 14, 2023 (40 weeks). Fellows are only expected to be in Omaha during that time.
Fellows also receive benefits including medical, dental and life insurance, 403b retirement savings plan, flexible time off and holiday pay, and a professional development stipend.

Will there be opportunities for training and professional development?
Opera Omaha provides professional development opportunities for Fellows in order to develop them into well-rounded, civically engaged artists. It is a goal of the Company to set Fellows up for success in their professional careers and as they work in our community.

Training and Resources
Expanded training for our Fellows is necessary to better prepare them to work with a wide range of populations. This includes utilizing training programs outside of the arts including such as Healthcare Sensitivity Training, Community Awareness and Intercultural Competence, Trauma Informed Models, Programming and Curriculum for Vulnerable Adult Communities, Youth Programming and Curriculum Development, Diversity & Inclusion, and Facilitator Training, PLUS specialized training from specific partners.

Professional Development
Fellows receive a professional development stipend per season to use towards continuing education, artistic development, and/or professional development. Funds can be used for things such as classes and trainings, coachings or lessons, seminars, conferences, and travel and housing to and from said engagements.

Artistic Development
Artistic Training opportunities will be developed based on needs of Fellows and may include coachings with Head of Music, sessions with visiting guest artists, and connecting with artists and mentors across the opera field or other organizations here in Omaha.

What is Civic Practice?
Civic practice draws on opera’s authentic creative assets to address public priorities and community needs. Projects that are co-created with community partners or participants and involve artists aiming their creative practice/assets at partners/participants self-defined needs.
We highly recommend reading Opera America’s “An Introduction to Civic Practice”.

"Getting to be a fellow has helped me learn more about my art, collaborate more deeply with other artists, and even become more connected with the artist and writer I want to be in the future.”

—Fernando Antonio Montejano

21/22 Holland Community Opera Fellows

Meet the Team

Hear from our current and past Fellows