This project began in an unconventional way. I was in the grocery store when I saw an email from Patti Phillips on my phone. It was the middle of the summer, and the message seemed to be that I was in the running for a huge a fellowship that I had not applied for. It was too good to be true. I showed it to my partner, asking her if it was spam

Subject: Letter for Caroline Woolard

June 11, 2018

Dear Caroline,

Kindly see the attached letter from Moore College of Art & Design. We look forward to your response.


Patricia C. Phillips Academic Dean

June 11, 2018 Dear Caroline Woolard,

Moore College of Art & Design has announced a fellowship to support and advance its historical mission and 21st century vision to educate women to be creative leaders, agents, and entrepreneurs. The College is delighted to inaugurate a new and unique fellowship that adds value to the academic experience and research community by making significant connections within the College, as well as the creative and civic life of Philadelphia. Jane Zimmerman Walentas graduated from Moore in 1966 and, with her husband David, has endowed this fellowship. The Jane and David Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellowship supports an ongoing commitment to confirm and perpetuate the highest values of Moore College of Art & Design and represent the remarkable vision and generosity of the donors.

The Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellowship is a term appointment of distinction for an artist, designer, scholar, curator, thinker, and/or innovator who embodies creative and visionary leadership, seeks to inspire Moore students, and create opportunities for collaboration between academic programs, the Galleries, and other areas of the College. The Walentas Fellow will participate in a “customized” residency at Moore for one-to two- years and is expected to be a passionate contributor to the creative and intellectual life of the College and city. The Fellowship is both responsive to Moore’s priorities, new alliances, emerging opportunities, and other cultural developments, while being highly flexible to meet the expectations and schedule of a Fellow. The distinguished appointment may include a combination of teaching and workshops, interdisciplinary or discipline-based research, creative projects and programs, and other special projects and initiatives developed through collaborations with Moore faculty, students, and external partners. As part of the appointment, the Fellow will give a major presentation—the Walentas Distinguished Public Lecture.

Recently, a panel including Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon, the donor Jane Walentas, two faculty members, and the Academic Dean convened to review prospective Walentas Fellows. The list of potential Fellows was developed through nominations from the Moore community, as well as the College’s extended community of cultural leaders and supporters. The panel reviewed all nominations and developed a prioritized short list. We are delighted to let you know that you are one of the leading nominees to be the first Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellow.

At this time, we invite you to confirm your interest to explore this opportunity with us—and your potential engagement in a process that includes submission of materials on your work, participation in a remote or on-campus interview to explore ways you may choose to focus and shape the Fellowship, and an open- ness and excitement to help launch the first successful and generative chapter of the Walentas Endowed Distinguished Fellowship at Moore— and in Philadelphia. The Walentas Fellowship will provide remuneration for whatever form the residency may take, as well as support for related expenses for travel, materials, and other requirements of the Fellowship.

Kindly contact Patricia Phillips (see information below) indicating your interest and willingness to explore and participate in this review process at Moore.


Cecelia Fitzgibbon, President

Patricia C. Phillips, Chief Academic Officer/Academic Dean

I immediately wrote back, sending Patti questions, ideas, and suggestions.

June 11, 2018

Dear Patricia Phillips,

What an honor. I would love to submit my materials for review. One important note: I now have a full time, tenure-track job at the University of Hartford, so to participate in this opportunity during the academic year, I would need my Dean’s approval and I would need to be bought out of full time teaching commitment ($62,000 a year). Alternatively, we could schedule the residency in the summer, if possible, though I doubt that is ideal for the mission of the program.

Please let me know if you’d like to speak on the phone. I’m available in PST as I’m at a residency in Seattle.

Best wishes,

Caroline Woolard

Patti explained that I did not need to be in Philadelphia full time for this Fellowship. We scheduled a call, and I sent her this email after we spoke in person about her vision for the inaugural Fellowship.

June 19, 2018


I am so excited by the possibility of this Fellowship at Moore. As I mentioned, I teach Mondays– Wednesdays in Hartford, so I could do something once a month on a Thursday–Friday, or a long weekend (Friday–Sunday), and/or I could do a week-long intensive. I am certain we can make it work.

As I said, I started making objects for meetings because I want the physical environment of the meeting itself to be as wildly imaginative as the conversations that occur in those spaces. Recently, I have focused on furniture-clocks-objects for an intimate and alternative time. I have found that by bringing gatherings, like my Capitoline Wolf tables and my Water Clock time- keeping devices, see chapter 7,I make tangible the slow temporality of community-building; people sense the care that has gone into the facilitation practices I bring to group work.

For more information about my recent work, please see:

Best wishes,


PS: Here are some ideas to begin a dialogue:

The Study Center for Group Work,see chapter 2,is an open access library of collaborative methods. The Center focuses on collaborative methods that have been recommended by artists. These methods often embrace the unknown, encouraging people to listen deeply enough to be transformed.

More info:

Also this short video:

And also: (this was the day after the election, so the tone is a bit somber)

The first iteration of the Center was run at Cooper Union in 2016–2017. It then moved to the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center (2018) and is now being piloted at the Glasgow School of Art (2018–2019). It would be a great thrill to bring this to Moore.

After a few emails and two phone calls, I got this email from Patti, announcing that I had received the Fellowship. I was overjoyed. It seemed unreal.

July 9, 2018

Hi Caroline,

Please accept my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. President Fitzgibbon has been away and we finally have been able to discuss “next steps.” We would be delighted to have you as the inaugural Walentas Endowed Fellow. (We have been in conversation with one other person, but we think the timing/potential content is better for the next iteration of this initiative.)

The next step is for you and I to begin to bring some shape—with respect to focus/content and temporal frame/availability/commitment—to what this fellowship can become. As you know there is no precedent for this at Moore (but certainly good examples at other schools and organizations), so we will imagine this into existence. Caroline, let’s begin with some phone calls, and I also am happy to visit with you in New York—and/or invite you to Moore to meet with Cecelia (president), faculty, etc. I know that you have had significant experience creating programs, so I am wildly enthusiastic to begin the conversation, hear your ideas, and also answer your questions and provide relevant background and context.

I am flying to California on Wednesday and return Tuesday morning, July 17. It is possible that I may have some time to talk on Thursday, July 12. Or we can wait until I am back in Philadelphia. Where are you and what is your availability?

Best wishes,


I had learned from the Capitoline Wolves, see chapter 7, project at Cornell to be careful about the budget, so I explained to Patti that I wanted a very clear separation between the artist fee, the partner fee, and the production budget for making objects. I asked for this almost immediately, but it was not until after I had visited Moore and met with the faculty and staff that I wrote again to find out about the scope of the project.

August 23, 2018


I am inspired to dream after this first visit to Moore. This week is busy, as I am about to open on Tuesday and event/carried-on-both-sides-encounter-three/on Thursday. Would you, Jane, and Cecelia be able to join me for a private tour of my show at the Knockdown Center on Saturday, October 27th from 2–4pm? See the invitation attached, and please share it with them as well. Send my thanks! After this week, I move to CT and will take a week or two to settle in, and can begin to make a plan for this big project, and have regular phone calls with you, starting in late September, I imagine.

To get the ball rolling on this Fellowship, I keep wondering: What is the scale of this project? I’d really like to get clear about labor / materials / stipend / in-kind budget soon, so that I can be realistic in my dreaming, and also think strategically about partners who can also bring some funding and in-kind gifts like spaces/venues for this endeavor.

(1) Is it possible to work with an undergraduate or graduate assistant? Could this be an internship or other work-study position? I would love to do this, starting in the spring, and continuing into the fall and spring of 2019/2020, to have assistance with research, follow up with faculty/staff/partners, and on-the-ground connections to groups.

Once I know this, I can think about an appropriate and equitable scale for my dreams.

Sending thanks and gratitude,



September 7, 2018

Hi Caroline,

Thank you for your patience. The conclusion of the summer and opening of the new school year has been labor intensive but good (four staff and faculty searches to complete, opening of the renovated library, etc.) I will respond to your questions below as fully as I can. This will get us started and then, as you suggest, we should schedule phone calls and/or other meetings. And we also should think about when you might want to make another trip to Moore and Philadelphia—and what would be your priorities regarding an itinerary of conversations, meetings, etc.

What is the scale of this project?

Caroline, you are the first so we will be dreaming and precedent-setting together. We imagine this as a two-year experience/fellowship. The unfolding, timing, length and frequency of visits is something that will be developed based on your proposed project/work, ideas, thoughts on cadence and timing and, of course, your availability. The Walentas Endowment provides $25,000 annually—a total of $50,000. I do believe that a significant part of this has to be secured for your artist fee/honorarium with the remaining resources dedicated to expenses (project-related, your travel, housing and other costs while in Philadelphia, etc.) Once we get a little further into this process, I would be happy (with your guidance) to draft a working and revisable budget that we can work with ... I also believe that what you may propose to do may interest or attract other resources/ partners (Mural Arts? Jacque’s Liu’s office? Free Library? Barnes?)

(1) Is it possible to work with an undergraduate or graduate assistant?

I think it will be wonderful to engage student interns or assistants. I am confident that we can identify 1–2 students for spring 2019. And all BFA students are required to do a summer internship between the junior and senior year. I am sure there would be students who would be thrilled to do their summer 2019 internship with you. And for our next admission cycle for the MFA/MA—and as we are doing financial aid offers—we can build 1–2 graduate assistantships into your project for 2019–2020. And I am currently working with a second year MFA student who will have some available hours on her annual assistantship to work with you.

Shall we schedule a phone call in the next few weeks? I generally am around and happy to work with your availability.

I am excited about working with you, Caroline—and doing all that I can to support your ideas and vision. By the way, I recently had dinner with Mierle Laderman Ukeles in New York. She said that you had wondered if she had nominated you for the Walentas Fellow. She did not. Actually, I did. In our “call” we invited Moore faculty and staff to make nominations/recommendations—and I exercised my opportunity to participate. Of course, I was delighted by the outcome of the panel’s deliberations and decision.

Not sure why my computer inexplicably keeps changing the font. Sorry for this.

All best,


Soon after this, I created a google spreadsheet of the budget and Patti’s assistant helped to add expenses to keep track of what was being spent on production versus my artists fee. Because the Fellowship was new, and because we needed to confirm the various partnerships were in place, including with the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Free Library of Philadelphia, it took awhile for the Fellowship to be official. Although I worked intensively from August 2018 on, it wasn’t until seven months later, in February 2019, that the Fellowship was announced to the public, and it took until March 2019 for my consulting agreement to be finalized. It is important to note that the scope of work described here was supported fully by Patti Philips, who helped translate my proposals and ideas into a form that the Business Office at Moore would accept.


This consulting services agreement (“Agreement”) is made and entered into on March 1, 2019 between Moore College of Art & Design, “College” and Caroline Woolard, “Consultant,” and is effective retroactive to March 1, 2019.

Background/Scope: The College is engaging the Consultant to serve as the inaugural Jane and David Walentas Fellow. During this engagement, the Consultant will collaborate with members of the College community and selected artists, cultural and other community organizations in the Philadelphia area. During this collaboration, the Consultant will work with members of the Moore community to bring art process and art objects into spaces, circumstances, meetings, and other quotidian settings and passages. The Consultant will make, with support of Moore studio technicians, who shall perform such work during their regular work time for the College, beautiful objects for facilitation settings, meetings, and other group settings.

These objects will be displayed first at Moore, and then shall be loaned to and become a central part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s new Public Engagement space where they can be used on site and/or borrowed for use by community organizations and artist-led workshops to enhance collaboration among community and art institutions while animating the library and its new community engagement space as a center for contemporary art.

Other key collaborators include the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives; Maya Pindyck, Director of the Margaret Minik Writers Studio; Joanna Jenkins, Associate Dean of Graduate, Professional, and Continuing Education; Ashley York, Head Studio Technician; and Nicole Steinberg, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, as well as a number of College faculty members.

March 2019—Launch of public programing and events

Summer 2019—Planning of objects, engagement, and additional public programs

Fall 2019—Project development, fabrication of art objects, publicity of programs

Spring 2020—Exhibition opening and ongoing events

By signing this Agreement, Consultant agrees that the College may, both during and after the term of the Agreement, take photographs of any artwork, and may reproduce images of any artwork or written materials created in connection with this Agreement, including but not limited to:

  • in publicity and/or publications in conjunction with this Agreement;

  • in promoting the College in any media (including but not limited to, print, catalogs, websites, and social media)

  • for educational use.

  • The College, in its sole discretion, may choose at any time not to display a particular art object on College property, or may remove any art object from display on College property, and such action shall not constitute a breach of the Agreement.

No changes or additions to this agreement shall be effective unless approved in writing by both parties.

This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be binding upon the party signing, and all of which together shall constitute a single Agreement.

In consideration of the foregoing, and intending to be legally bound, the parties have executed this agreement on the date set forth above.

Caroline Woolard

Within a few months of accepting this Fellowship, five big commissions came my way from other institutions. In October, 2018, I had an invitation from curator Alison Burstein to do a project at Tenthaus in Oslo. At the same time, an invitation came from Daniel Eisenberg and Ellen Rothenberg to do a project for a group show which included Mierle Laderman Ukeles at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In December 2018, after a few months of conversation and proposals, a formal invitation came from Macushla Catherine Robinson and Anna Harsanyi to do a project that would coincide with a centennial exhibition at the New School. Six months after these first round of invitations came in, in March 2019, I got an invitation from Caitlin Rubin at the Rose Museum to be a Perlmutter Resident artist and the inaugural INDEX artist for “a new initiative at the museum, housed in the Lee Gallery, bi-annual projects by INDEX artists will produce site-responsive and participatory platforms and programs.” I was excited, but overwhelmed.

One reason I was overwhelmed is that I had decided to enroll in an unusual, low-residency, free MFA program, and I knew that I would be traveling to Bennington, VT once a week. I was one of two MFA candidates in the first cohort of the MFA in Public Action program, created and Directed by Robert Ransick, which is “specifically geared to professionals working in the arts, including visual and performing artists and leaders, who are making significant contributions to the field of socially and civically engaged creative practice.” I was starting my second year in a tenure-track job, teaching three courses per semester at the University of Hartford, and one course per quarter at Bennington, as part of the work required for the MFA program. In addition to this, I was working to finish Making and Being, a book for arts educators, co-authored by Susan Jahoda. See chapter 5 on BFAMFAPhD for more about this book, which was a priority. A lot was going on.

Around this time, I began training for a 120 mile circumnavigation of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe.

I knew that I could not make five different projects in one summer; I had learned from at Exchange Café, see chapter 4, at MoMA and from LISTEN, see chapter 6, at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati that working this way would overwhelm me and result in projects that were not fully developed. I had also been learning from my partner, Leigh Claire La Berge, who works daily toward one book that is finished every three–seven years. Without taking on other big projects, she showed me the daily patience of sitting with one idea, and letting it build and deepen, over years. In one of our discussions at Bennington, I asked my friend Aaron Landsman, a playwright who I recruited to join the MFA cohort with me, what to do. Should I cancel the other projects or could I combine them, somehow? Aaron told me that in the performing arts, singular plays and dance works would be shown multiple times, with something called a “rolling premiere,” which would be produced by all of the theaters that supported the showings of the work in progress. I loved this idea. This thrilled me. Why couldn’t I do this in the visual arts?

I decided to make a rolling premiere for the project I was developing at Moore. I would show it as it evolved, and adapt it to each location: at The Galleries at Moore, at Tenthaus in Oslo, at the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, at the Anna Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery at the New School, and at the Rose Art Museum. I would make one video, and bring objects for facilitation to local groups to adapt and improve, based upon their contexts, groups, and conditions. With each site, I would work with a local facilitator. For example, in Chicago, I knew Jessica Cook-Qurayshi, the Director of the Labor Education Center at DePaul University was interested in working with objects to facilitate dialogue. She used the objects I made in workshops about labor negotiations for union members. At the Rose Art Museum, curator Caitlin Rubin put me in touch with Don Greenstein of the University Ombuds. Don continues to use the objects I have made, both in workshops at the Rose Art Museum, and in his office, outside of an art setting.

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