Skip to main content

Reese Fellowship

William Reese Company Teacher Fellowship

The Reese Teacher Fellowship is open to all Pre-K – 12 educators. Applicants may be affiliated with a public, private, or charter school.  Fellows will be selected on the basis of their project’s potential to enrich Pre-K – 12 curriculum based on an interdisciplinary connection between American art and another subject topic by using primary sources from the Crystal Bridges Library’s Rare Book and Archives collections. Creative research projects that seek to enhance traditional teaching methods and engagement are encouraged.

The Reese Teacher Fellow is expected to spend one month at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. A computer and work station within the Crystal Bridges Library will be provided during the fellowship term. The Reese Teacher Fellow will be awarded $5,000, disbursed to the recipient as income to cover expenses, including travel and lodging. To support their research, Reese Teacher Fellows will have access to the art and library special collections of Crystal Bridges as well as the library at the University of Arkansas in nearby Fayetteville.

Sponsored by Dorothy M. Hurt


You may apply as an individual or as part of a team of two from the same school. Two fellows will be selected for 2023.

Applications should be submitted by May 23. Qualified applications will be reviewed and announced by May 26.

Submit applications to

Applications must consist of:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Project proposal: Include details on subject to be explored, alignment with curriculum standards, and resources to be used from Crystal Bridges’ collection.
  • Two letters of recommendation: one of the two from your school principal, if possible

Expected outcomes will include:

  • Copies of any publications and lesson plans
  • Presentations to staff and teacher audiences
  • Final report to Crystal Bridges and the Fellowship donor

Reese Fellowship FAQ

  • Who qualifies for application?
    The program is open to Pre-K – 12 educators of language arts, history, social studies, or the sciences. Applicants may be affiliated with a public, private, or charter school. Two fellows will be selected for 2023.
  • Does my project have to be object oriented?
    We invite applicants working on object-based (a work of art at Crystal Bridges) projects. We highly encourage interdisciplinary connections between American art and other academic subjects. Creative research projects that seek to enhance traditional teaching methods and engagement are particularly encouraged.
  • How long is the term?
    Terms are 4 weeks consecutive during a period of time chosen by the Reese Teacher Fellow and agreed upon by program committee members. The term typically would fall June and August; however, the Museum is open to considering consecutive four weeks during other times of the calendar year.
  • What resources are available to Scholars?
    Fellows will have open access to the Crystal Bridges Library catalog and subscription databases. The Crystal Bridges Library is open stacks, internally circulating. Access to Crystal Bridges’ manuscripts, archival materials, and artist files will be available by appointment with the Library. Objects in storage and object files can be viewed by appointment with the Registrar. Close physical examination of objects, including supports and frames, may also be arranged through Collections Management staff. Fellows may also request access to the museum’s collection database and object files through Collections Management.
  • To further strengthen the connection between the project and the museum, fellows will receive a field trip to the museum for their classroom during the 2023-24 school year. Free bus transportation, student lunches, and reimbursement for substitute teachers are provided. Crystal Bridges school tours are led by trained museum educators and are designed to meet curriculum standards.
  • Are fellows required to lead a program?
    Yes. There are many opportunities to engage with staff, the public, and educators. All fellows will present their research to an internal staff audience. In addition, in consultation with museum staff, Reese Fellows will lead one program, such as a workshop, presentation, or gallery conversation.

Past Fellowship Projects


Realms of Fin and Feet and Wing
This resource offers interdisciplinary curriculum materials to integrate early American natural history documents and works of art into World History, American History, British Literature, American Literature, and Biology.
By 2014 William Reese Company Teacher Fellow, Anne Greenwood

The Intersection of Poetry and Art
All disciplines are incorporated making this a unique way to introduce art and poetry to any classroom. Every section of this site is organized for maximum usage and ease of access and features the work of more than 60 prominent and lesser-known American visual artists, as well as poems that might pair with them. All primary sourced materials to save teachers time in the classroom while maximizing the time students have to learn.
By 2017 William Reese Company Teacher Fellow, William Plaschke

American Painting, Poetry, Prose, and “Progress” in the Nineteenth Century
The intersection of art, literature, and history during the 19th century is addressed in this module that provide educators of various disciplines pedagogical ideas and a multitude of components they can use to adapt existing lesson plans or create entirely new ones as their students explore the work of the Hudson River School artists, transcendentalists, and the Knickerbocker Group. Themes addressed include westward expansion, nature, and Native Americans.
By 2018 William Reese Company Teacher Fellow, Bob Fenster

Engaging Empathy
Engaging Empathy integrates the artwork and library resources of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in lessons to strengthen empathy and literacy in secondary schools. The lessons address complex topics through important and representational material from a variety of perspectives, creating a starting point for deeper lessons and dialogue to foster greater understanding and empathy.
By 2019 William Reese Company Teacher Fellows, Julie Griggs and Heather Hooks