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Community Revitalization Fellowship


The Community Revitalization Fellowship (CRF) helps grassroots community leaders revitalize neighborhoods that are struggling with serious challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment.


This rigorous, nine-month fellowship is a profound, immersive experience. In 2020, Fellows will grow their perspective on how residents can advocate for and lead community efforts to improve vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties to improve their neighborhoods through creative placemaking.


The 2020 Community Revitalization Fellows are eighteen community leaders from Fitchburg, Massachusetts; Montgomery, Alabama; and Reading, Pennsylvania. Fellows will participate in learning exchanges in each other’s communities and develop strategies to improve safety and support vacant property revitalization in their neighborhoods.


2020 Fellowship Communities


Fitchburg, Massachusetts

In Fitchburg, Massachusetts, CRF Fellows are working to revitalize the North of Main neighborhood. Their efforts focus on music, art, and community education to engage residents in the revitalization of vacant property including implementing, “Activate Mill Street” through the transformation of a forgotten alleyway. Their work also includes “Salsa on the Riverfront,” “Porchfest,” and the “We Love our City” campaign.


NewVue Communities, who works to create strong, healthy neighborhoods where residents live, work, and invest, will serve as the Institutional Partner by providing guidance and mentorship to Fitchburg, MA Fellows who include:


Emmanuella J. Demosthenes



Sam Godin



Leandro Lopez

Thomas Moser



Evelina Paulino


Casey Taylor 


Montgomery, Alabama 

In Montgomery, Alabama, CRF Fellows will build on existing local collaborations between artists, writers, and business owners to revitalize neighborhoods across the city, including the King Hill neighborhood, home of well-known Civil Rights Activist Claudette Colvin.


Friends of Montgomery Clean City Commission, which works to strengthen and empower neighbors to engage in community action, will serve as the Institutional Partner by providing guidance and mentorship to Montgomery, AL Fellows who include:


Iesha Brooks



Kevin King



Wade Preston

Aquan Robinson



Ka-Santa Sanders


Rhonda Thompson 


Reading, Pennsylvania 

In Reading, Pennsylvania, CRF Fellows will build upon local creative placemaking efforts to improve the South of Penn neighborhood. Their existing efforts utilize the arts to engage neighbors in the co-creation of programs that transform vacant properties into community assets including dance performance space, playgrounds, and community gathering space for movie nights and block parties.


Barrio Alegria, who focuses on leveraging community engagement and the arts to drive individual transformation, will serve as the Institutional Partner by providing guidance and mentorship to Reading, PA Fellows who include:


Jeanette Buchanon



Kaylee Carpinteyro



Jose Garcia

Goldy Ghuman



Anthony Orozco


Morgan Thomas 


“The work that happens in these communities results in both local wins and opportunities to help other cities and neighborhoods across the nation,” said Courtney Knox, Vice President and Director of National Leadership and Education at Community Progress.