The Dr. English Fellowship is a 4-month-long mentorship program for young adults who have been through the foster care system and have an interest in the arts.
If you are accepted into the program, you will be matched with an artist in their creative field of interest, whom you will meet with every week throughout the program. If you are looking for an opportunity to grow your artistic talents, meet other artists, showcase your work, break into creative industries, or all of the above, you should apply! Past fellows have specialized in mediums such as film, music, fashion, dance, writing, animation, and visual art.
Check out 2022 fellow, Chyenne Roan-Santini’s reflection on her final showcase to learn more about the program!
Questions can be directed to Engagement Director Jessica Emmanuel at email@example.com.
About Dr. English
Raised in Southern California, Dr. Kerry English was well-known in the medical community as both a teacher and a doctor. He was the medical director of the MLK Outpatient Center Foster Care Hub Clinic in Watts, director of the Child Development Division of the Pediatric Department of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and director of the Pediatric Department of the King/Drew Medical Center, where he worked for over 40 years. He also taught at CDU, as well as his medical alma mater UCLA. In addition to his work, Dr. English served on the board of Drew Child Development Corporation, El Nido Family Centers, and SHIELDS for Families.
Dr. English fostered a deep passion for the arts. He could often be found attending theater performances across Los Angeles. He was a board member for many arts organizations, including 24th Street Theatre, Cornerstone Theater, Secret City, and the Watts Towers Arts Center.
The Dr. Kerry English MLK Jr. Outpatient Center Creative Fellowship lies at the intersection of Dr. English’s dedication to the arts and to the wellbeing of individuals in the foster care system. The fellowship is currently funded by Dr. English’s widow, Olga Garray-English.
Spring 2024 Creative Fellows
Hello! My name is Maré (Ma-reh) Villagrana. I am a disabled, queer and gender fluid Chicana artist hailing from the San Fernando Valley. I entered the foster care system as a teenager in high school, and now I’m a senior at UCLA, studying Sociology and Education. I have ADHD and Fibromyalgia, so I’m always in some sort of pain, but I’m finding coping mechanisms every single day so that I can continue my journey! My identities are important to me as they have made me the person I am. I love my cat, art, music, reading, and learning.
Although my major and minor don’t reflect my creative interests, I’ve learned so much about the intricacies of society, systems, and people, which has influenced how I see the world and live in it. I strive to create art that inspires people to learn more about social justice, disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. to take action. I want my advocacy to inspire others because it comes from a place of first-hand experience, love, care, and respect.
I have been drawing since I was a little kid, and once I was a teenager I felt the urge to draw everything I saw from people’s faces to flowers. Art has always provided me an outlet to express myself; my emotions, my thoughts, and my passions. My art style is colorful, bold, and thoughtful- it represents who I am as a person.
Through Kids In The Spotlight, I have been granted many creative opportunities, such as screenwriting, art commissions, and the opportunity to work on a stop-motion 2-D animation. I was the visual development director of a stop-motion animation film about the incredible Judge and director of the Justice, Care and Opportunities department, Songhai Armstead last summer. This wonderful experience cemented my desire to pursue my artistic career and to meet every one of my creative goals. Her story as a former foster youth uplifted my spirit and reminded me that anything is possible, as long as you are persistent. I learned how to storyboard and animate scenes, I created backgrounds, and 3-D figures, and directed my team!
I hope to integrate art into my life full-time once I graduate from UCLA because it is what sparks the most joy for me! There is so much for me to learn, and I’m excited to evolve as a person and as an artist. I’m happy, honored, and grateful to be a 2024 Dr. Kerry English Bridge Program Fellow!