Engaging Artists Fellowship title text

Applications are now closed for the 2021 season, please check back in September 2021 for the 2022 open call.

ENGAGING ARTISTS (EA) is More Art’s 2-tiered, Fellowship and Residency program for artists and community organizers seeking to both develop and sustain their public art and socially-engaged practice. The program curriculum encompases a professional development series, public art commission opportunities, mentorship, and peer networking. The EA Fellowship Curriculum is valued at $25,000 per participant. 

This twelve-month Fellowship provides an infrastructure and laboratory for NYC-based emerging and underrepresented artists to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the field of socially engaged art. Providing our EA Fellows with the opportunity to incubate and develop their early-stage research and project ideas. This program will also offer insights and strategies on collaborating with communities,  rebuilding and shaping our society, and building sustainable careers. 

We highly encourage applications from artists who explore the potential of digital space as a new form of public space. This includes research, digital models, web design and remote learning.

Please Note : During the pandemic, The fellowship will adhere to state and federal safety guidelines. Our sessions will be held online until it is safe for us to meet one another again.

Application and Selection Timeline

RFP Launches Oct. 20, 2020
Applications Due Nov 20, 2020 by 11:59 PM. *Extended to Nov 27
Artist Notifications Dec. 15, 2020
Duration of Fellowship: Feb. 1 2021- Jan 31 2022
Number of Fellows to be Selected: 8

The Fellowship Includes

  1. The EA Fellowship Curriculum is valued at $25,000 per participant. 
  2. This program includes intensive professional development workshops and links to a peer-to-peer network of creative support
  3. Strategic meetings with More Art to receive feedback, mentorship, and curatorial support
  4. Monthly feedback sessions with other cohort members, More Art staff, and guest practitioners in the field (both arts and non-arts professionals, including artists, public art administrators, educators, urban planners, community organizers)
  5. Studio visits and professional network building
  6. Review of current trends in funding, philanthropy, and the art market
  7. Introduction to international residency opportunities
  8. Suggested list of events and subsequent group discussions
  9. Events curated and promoted by More Art, featuring research, works-in-progress, and completed works inspired or generated through the Fellows’ community-based work   
  10. Marketing via the More Art network, email list, and social media
  11. After successfully completing this program, EA Fellows are encouraged to apply to our newly created EA Residency program. The EA Residency offers additional funding in support of developing a fully realized public project
  12. Access to Materials for the Arts and a stipend of up to $250 to cover the costs for materials for an informal public presentation related to their artistic practice

EA Curriculum Description

EA Fellows participate in intensive professional development workshops, addressing the history of socially engaged art, community organizing methods, and best practices for establishing and sustaining community partnerships, as well as individual critiques and group feedback sessions to support Fellows in the development, articulation and creation of new and continued work. Sessions are led by More Art staff and guest facilitators.

2021-2022 Program Timeline

The EA Fellowship is a twelve-month program: Feb 1. 2021 to Jan 31, 2022.

Note: After the successful completion of the Fellowship program, 1st year Fellows have the opportunity to apply for 2022 EA Residency. The Residency program is an open call to all qualified artists.

This timeline illustrates the arc of the EA Fellowship curriculum. The development of your individual project does not need to follow the curriculum timeline. The Fellowship curriculum is tailored to support your desired learning outcomes. However, we do want the fellows to be able to present their learnings as applied to the development and growth of their individual work. More Art focuses on supporting our Fellows in the early stages of long term work. Each phase (I-III) denotes the focus of professional development programs and support.

I. Phase 1: Research (Winter 2021 – Spring 2021)

  1. Orientation 
  2. One Intensive 2 day (3 hours per day) online workshop and retreat on Feb.6 and Feb. 7 2021
  3. The EA Fellows will be supported to pursue and share outcomes of their research as it relates to their individual practice
  4. Curated schedule of 4-6 evening or weekend workshops/professional development sessions to be held with practitioners in the field
  5. Monthly reflection sessions to be scheduled in advance with More Art staff. These sessions cultivate individualized discussion time for each artist. Essentially we want to develop a dialogue with you about your practice.
  6. More Art will offer a suggested reading and events guide

II. Phase 2: Development (Spring 2021 – Summer 2021)
During this phase we will expect the EA Fellows to participate in scheduled professional development sessions and strategic meetings with More Art. 

In the Late Fall of 2021, the EA Fellows submit personal development reflections and they will participate in learning sessions with guest critics, artists and curators. During this time frame, our Fellows will be mentored in developing the following:

  1. Developing a Concept or Artist Statement which may include Artist Statements, Project Timelines, Grant Proposals and Project Budgets.
  2. Cultivating Community Partnerships and relationships with other types of practitioners
  3. Workshopping project budgets, artist statements, concept statements
  4. Project development consultations with art practitioners
  5. Preparation and mentoring for public presentations
  6. Critique and Feedback Curatorial Review 

III. Phase 3: Presentation and Post-Fellowship Convening (Winter 2021- Jan 31 2022)

The More Art team will mentor each EA Fellow to develop a unique creative practice and pathway.

  • Mentorship for the development of public presentations, artist talks, or related programs. If we are able to host a public panel we will work toward creating a public event  for our EA Fellows.
  • Closing discussion regarding individual learning outcomes

Time Expectations of the EA Fellows

Each Fellow will be required to dedicate at least 80 hours researching and working with(in) over the course of the first 6 months of the program. This time commitment is meant to offer the Fellows “one-on-one” time with mentors and curators in addition to independent research. 

The remaining 6 months will consist of independent creative research with regular scheduled check-ins, “studio” visits  and personalized discussions. This process will allow EA Fellows to focus on their own work in a supported atmosphere.

Upon completion of the Fellowship we expect the artist to be able to clearly articulate their work to a public audience – moving from project based, to practice base.  EA Fellows must attend 80% of the professional development workshops and meetings in order to participate.

Your project does not need to and in many cases should not conclude within the Fellowship year. We only require that you develop your project during the year and have at minimum one presentation of your work that reaches a wider public. The Fellowship is a professional development program for early stages of public art project incubation, experimentation, collaboration, and implementation. We are more interested in supporting artists who see their socially-engaged work and public practice as a long-term commitment. Many Fellowship projects become multi-year initiatives that the Fellowship supports in the early stages.

Final Fellowship Presentations

The EA Fellowship culminates in a public panel presentation or artist talk. This is an opportunity to introduce a wider public to each Fellow’s work conducted during the Fellowship. In the past, cohorts have presented their work at the Queens Museum, Flux Factory, CUE Art Foundation, and UnionDocs, among other locations.

Eligibility Requirements

Who does the program serve? More Art welcomes applications from underrepresented artists including emerging socially-engaged public artists based in the five boroughs of New York City and/or in easy commuting distance.

We encourage applications from emerging artists, first generation and immigrant artists; artists of color; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; artists who have been excluded from the resources of the art world because of disability, cultural, racial, and linguistic heritage and/or identity; who do not have formal artistic training; or whose creative practices have been historically underrepresented and/or marginalized. More Art welcomes applications from artists of all disciplines, including but not limited to: visual artists, performers, choreographers, musicians, designers, and new media artists. Currently enrolled undergraduate students may not apply. Collective applications are welcome.

Fellowship History & Methodology

The EA Fellowship supports the professional development of emerging public artists exploring social engagement. We want to offer each incoming Fellow a unique pathway to be able to develop or continue their practice in collaboration with advocacy organizations, schools, coalitions, unions, groups of neighbors, or the public at large. We highly encourage applications from artists that seek to explore participatory models of artmaking or follow traditions of interventionism but have not thus far been involved in partnerships or elements of community organizing and pedagogy. We welcome artists who are looking to use the space of the EA Fellowship to research and develop a new project, a current project in its early stages, or a new phase of an existing project. This Fellowship is best suited for emerging artists that seek to use research, engagement, direct experience, and interdisciplinary collaboration to intervene in systems or institutions (public or private) that have tangible effects on people’s lives, including the processes of civic and political participation itself.

This program is designed to support a cohort of 8 artists working on developing works from the research phase to a small public presentation of their work accomplished throughout the year. It is not expected to have completed a new work of art by the end of the Fellowship, but more so we offer support in project design and incubation of ideas.

How do we define public art?

More Art defines public art as a process and/or method of exhibition that takes place in public space and is accessible to a broad audience. We define a socially-engaged practice as one that involves the public in the creation of art in ways that build power and agency among participants and strive towards equity and justice. More Art identifies a range of possibilities for this approach, and the 2021 EA program will focus on honing the practical skills and ethical frameworks needed to make realizable interventions in public life. In the current moment, with the expansion of public space taking place online we are also interested in working with artists navigating virtual publics. 

Areas of Exploration:

  • Histories of socially-engaged public art
  • Best practices for collaboration, participation, contracting, and community engagement
  • Mapping the ecosystem of political issues
  • Project life-cycles and sustaining community partnerships
  • Site analysis and team management
  • Active listening, interpersonal and group facilitation
  • Participatory workshop design
  • Navigating the funding and public art commission process
  • Asset mapping and visioning project goals
  • Privilege, power, and equity in public art
  • Budgeting and funding opportunities for public artists
  • Understanding networks for developing your practice-residencies in the USA and elsewhere
  • Case studies in public art, placemaking, and community-engaged design

Community Engagement and the EA Model

More Art believes art and artists play an integral role in empowering social justice movements by creatively illuminating social issues, engaging new audiences in activism, and catalyzing public discourse. Our EA program enables artists to deepen their understanding of public art that is socially engaged through direct action including volunteering, outreach initiatives, workshops, educational programs, and public works. When applicable, More Art will assist our Fellows in establishing and/or sustaining crucial partnerships with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, agencies, neighborhoods, places, individuals or groups of New Yorkers.

Read: More Art’s Core Principles & Resources

Artist Community and Mentorship

In order to build strong artist-led coalitions, More Art believes in creating synergies between artists in various stages of their careers through dialogue and access to accomplished artists working in/with the public. There will be opportunities to connect with More Art’s commissioned public artists, that may include: Sari Carel, Shimon Attie, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Dread Scott, Ofri Cnaani, Pablo Helguera, and Mary Mattingly.

Our Fellows will also have an opportunity to engage and collaborate with a diverse network of past EA Fellows whose work addresses issues of immigrant rights and economic empowerment as well as health and human services, housing justice, and gentrification. A large number of our Fellowship alumni work in collaboration with others they have met during their time in the program.

Read: More Art’s past cohorts

Application Questions

The application form must be filled out via Jotform here.

Application Narrative:

1. Describe a new, past, ongoing or current project. Include any relevant information about the project’s medium, form, duration, project timeline/phases, community engagement strategies, content and/or function. If you are in an early research stage or envisioning a new project, please describe general concepts, frameworks, goals, strategies/plans, interests (400 words)

2. Please provide up to 10 supporting pieces of media that depict your work) in various stages or in its final form, including images of objects in public settings, or performances in addition to community engagement components. If performance or time-based media are a part of the project, please provide 1-3 videos that are no longer than 4 minutes in length.

3. If you have had a past project, who were the intended audiences for this project? Were you able to reach this audience? What were the challenges? What unexpected audiences did you reach? If are in the early stages, please describe your intended audience/s (200 words)

4. In your past work or plans for a new project describe collaborators, if any? Describe the roles they may play. (200 words)

5.How do you see community organizing, advocacy, volunteer work, pedagogy, or activism intersecting with this project, if at all? (optional)

6. Describe how the Covid-19 crisis has impacted your professional development.

General Questions:

  1. Why are you interested in participating in the 2021 EA Fellowship? (200 words)
  2. Submit the contact info for one professional reference.
  3. Provide a maximum 3-page career narrative/CV. (Please include anything that you view as integral to your practice, including exhibitions, publications, projects grants, employment, activism, volunteer service, education, and teaching that relate to your life as an artist. This may include non-arts experiences.)
  4. Does your practice exist within or interface with disciplines outside the arts? (100 words)
  5. Do you live and/or work in NYC or at an easy commuting distance?
  6.  How would you describe your cultural identity, race or ethnicity? (optional)
  7. Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community? 
  8. What are your preferred gender pronouns (optional)
  9. Are you an artist living with a disability? or do you identify as a disbled artist? If so, what type of access accommodations should More Art provide to ensure you are able to fully participate in the Fellowship? (optional)
  10. What has been the largest barrier, economic or otherwise, to pursue your career? (optional)

Complete the online application form. Applications Due Nov 20, 2021 11:59PM.


How long does the Fellowship last?

Selected Fellows will be notified by Dec. 10th, 2021 and the fellowship will begin Feb. 1, 2021 and end in Jan 2022. 

How many applicants are accepted?

8 EA Fellows will be selected and notified.

What kind of work samples should I include?

Include your strongest work samples for the past or current project described in your narrative. We encourage you to submit what you believe is the best example of your work to date. Feel free to send sketches, renderings, or mock-ups in addition to project or process documentation.

Do I have to complete a project within the Fellowship year?

No. Your project does not need to and in many cases should not conclude within the Fellowship year. We only require that you develop your project during the year and have at minimum one presentation of your work that reaches a wider public. The Fellowship is a professional development program for early stages of public art project incubation, research, experimentation, collaboration, and implementation. Upon completion of  the Fellowship we expect the artists to clearly articulate their work to a public audience. We are interested in supporting artists who see their socially-engaged work and public practice as a long-term commitment. Many Fellowship projects become multi-year initiatives that the Fellowship supports in the early stages. The Fellowship is meant to enhance the artists growth, understanding and articulation of their ideas and practice.

More Art mentions that it serves underrepresented artists that may be “emerging” or “early career” – what is the difference between those categories?

We encourage applications from emerging and early career artists. We classify “emerging artists” as professionals who have exhibited a body of studio-based work in any media but have only recently begun to develop or ideate socially-engaged projects. “Early career artists” have established a record of exhibitions, talks, reviews, publications, or public presentations, with demonstrated work in social or community-based practice, but have yet to realize projects in a public space. 

We are encouraging first generation and immigrant artists; artists of color; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; artists who have been excluded from the resources of the art world because of disability, cultural, racial, and linguistic heritage and/or identity; who do not have formal artistic training; or whose creative practices have been historically underrepresented and/or marginalized. 

Do I have to live in New York City?

You do not have to currently reside in New York City to be eligible for the Fellowship. However,  the Fellowship is designed to support artists whose work takes place (at least partly) in New York City. If you do not currently live in New York and would like to apply, we would expect you to live a short commuting distance (no more than 1-hour) to develop your project and attend regular meetings. We cannot currently provide funds to assist with travel or living expenses.

For any questions regarding the program, email info@moreart.org