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Engaging Artists Residency – Open call 2016

Deadline: 1 Apr, 2016

Disciplines: Activism, All Disciplines, Architecture, Dance, Design, Film & Video, Music & Sound, Performance, Visual Arts, Writing.

Location: New York City, United States

Deadline: 1 Apr, 2016

Duration: 4 month residency.

Eligibility: Preference will be given to long-term New York City artists.

Costs: Free of charge for participants. Collaborative workspace


Program Description:

Engaging Artists is a residency program for artists seeking to develop their socially-engaged practice through volunteer opportunities with community organizations.

As the goal of the 4 month residency is to prepare artists for long-term activist work, ideal candidates must live in New York City and have an interest in or dedication to housing advocacy, homeless services, and/or anti-displacement efforts in their respective communities. This residency program is provided free of cost to artists. The artists receive a free professional development program, free studio space for three months, a chance to apply for a grant only available to the residents, and a final presentation / art show of work inspired by the program. The 2015 cohort's final exhibition was at the Queens Museum.

Preference will be given to long-term New York City artists; artists of color; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, those who have been excluded from the resources of the art world because of cultural, racial, and linguistic heritage and/or identity; do not have formal artistic training; or their creative practices have been historically underrepresented from mainstream exhibitions.

We welcome applications from artists of all disciplines, including but not limited to: visual artists, graphic designers, architects, writers, performers, dancers, filmmakers, and musicians.

Professional Development:

Participants have access to 3 professional arts & activism-focused guest lectures related to housing rights, policy and history. Additionally, the Engaging Artist Residency includes 3 hands-on professional development workshops with leaders in both arts and housing sectors on how to apply one’s skills as an artist to the collective pursuit of housing justice.

Topics may include: Artists’ roles in advocacy movements; the history of housing rights in NYC; the ins and outs of urban zoning policy and its effect on New York City residents; among others.

Past guest speakers have included: Andres Serrano, Pablo Helguera, Caroline Woolard, Hunter Reynolds, Leaders from Picture the Homeless and Breaking Ground, and James Macklin, Director of Outreach at The Bowery Mission,among many more.

Volunteering and the ‘Artists-in-Residence’ Model:

The Engaging Artists (-in-Residence) Program is premised on the belief that art and artists play an integral role in empowering social justice movements by creatively illuminating social issues, engaging new audiences in activism, and catalyzing new public discourse about advocacy missions from multiple perspectives.

Engaging Artists enables artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through direct action including volunteering, outreach initiatives, and public art projects. More Art will assist artists in establishing pivotal partnerships at social justice and housing advocacy, policy, and preservation organizations in their home neighborhoods.

Each participant will be required to volunteer at least 30 hours at these organizations, getting hands-on with the day-to-day work of activism, even though it may not directly involve the arts. Artists will also have the chance to propose their own volunteer project, if they so choose.

Selected artists must attend the full speaker program, professional development workshops, and studio meetings (see timeline and sample week schedule below).The full program is provided free of cost to artists. Failure to complete the volunteering, attend three housing rights meetings and/or events, or miss more than one residency meeting will risk eligibility for the grant and the exhibition. (Extenuating circumstances considered.)

Partner Organizations Include:

Picture the Homeless
Habitat for Humanity
Eviction Intervention Services
Breaking Ground
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
United States Department for Arts & Culture
Chinatown Tenants Union
New York Cares
Bridge Street Development Corp.
GOLES – Good Old Lower East Side
Artist Studio Affordability Project

Shared Studio Space, Final Group Exhibition, and Grant Opportunities:

Along with professional development, the residency program includes a collaborative workspace as well as exhibition and grant opportunities only available to Engaging Artists Residents.

Free of charge for participants, the Engaging Artists Studio Space is conveniently located in Bushwick, Brooklyn and will be accessible for at least twelve hours a day (from June 1st to August 31st, 2016.)

Engaging Artists culminates in a curated exhibition and opportunity to apply for More Art’s Public Art Seed Grant that enables recipients to expand upon a public art project conceived of within the Residency. In 2015 the Engaging Artists Exhibition was held at the Queens Museum. In 2015, the Public Art Seed Grant was awarded to Soi Park, whose work, Funeral Portrait Service, will be exhibited at the Seward Park New York Public Library Branch as well as in several public parks around the city.

Program Timeline:

Most Resident Meetings, Workshops, and Speaker Series sessions will take placeon Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm at various locations. (See below for sample week schedule.)

Week 1: 1 May – 7 May
Orientation at More Art Office
Residency commences with orientation
Artists will select their volunteer activities in consultation with More Art and Artist Volunteer Center upon acceptance into the residency

Week 2: 8 May –14 May
Workshop or Speaker Series

Week 3: 15 May – 21 May
Residents begin to volunteer
Resident Meeting 1
Workshop or Speaker Series

Week 4: 22 May – 28 May
Workshop or Speaker Series

Week 5: 29 May – 4 June
Workshop or Speaker Series
Resident Meeting 2
Studio Access Begins (June 1)

Week 6: 5 June – 11 June
Workshop or Speaker Series

Week 7: 12 June – 18 June
Final Workshop or Speaker Series
Resident Meeting 3

Week 8: 19 June – 28 June
Resident Meeting 4
Tuesday, June 21: The Social – a socializing and fundraising event

29 June – August 31
Studio Meetings with Residents and Special Programs Coordinator
August 18: Open Studio and Curatorial Review with Guest Curators
Studio Access Ends

*timeline subject to change

Sample week schedule:

Artists will be expected to volunteer at least 30 hours during the course of the program. There is flexibility for each artist to establish a schedule that works for them and the organization they are volunteering with.

In one week, artists can be expected to attend:

One 90-minute residency meeting, or two-hour workshop or guest presentation at School of Visual Arts or the Engaging Artists studio space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. (Unless otherwise announced, sessions will take place at these locations on Tuesdayevenings from 7pm to 9pm)

A community board meeting (to meet the three meeting program requirement)

Volunteer for approximately 4 hours at their partnering organization.

Apply for the residency

Applications due: April 1st, 2016 at 11:59pm
Submit portfolio and resume/cv or any questions to

More Info:

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