Engaging Artists Fellowship title text

Applications for the 2022 season are now closed.

ENGAGING ARTISTS (EA) is More Art’s 2-tiered, Fellowship and Residency program for artists and community organizers to develop and sustain their public art and socially engaged practice. The program curriculum encompasses a professional development series, public art commission opportunities, mentorship, and peer networking. 

This twelve-month Fellowship provides 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. During this program, the fellows will participate in intensive professional development workshops. These workshops address the history of socially engaged art, community organizing methods, and best practices.In addition, these sessions will connect the fellows to More Art staff, selected guest speakers, and our expanded More Art network. 

Application and Selection Timeline

RFP Launches Oct. 12, 2021
Applications Due: Nov 24, 2021 by 11:59 PM EST.
Artist Notifications: Mid-December, 2021
Duration of Fellowship: Feb 1, 2022- Jan 31, 2023
Number of Fellows to be Selected: 8

Attend an info session via Zoom.

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. In addition, we encourage applications from emerging artists; first-generation artists; immigrant artists; artists of color; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds; artists 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. 

The Engaging Artists Fellowship offers insights and strategies to collaborate with communities, rebuild and shape our society, and build sustainable careers. 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.

2022 Thematic Focus

This year special consideration will be given to artists interested in addressing concepts related to gates and borders, physical and imaginary, including, but not limited to, mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, policing, gated communities, immigration, border security, and COVID-related barriers.

Special Opportunity

For this year, we will additionally provide the fellows with the opportunity to engage with a new public art project produced by More Art. More Art is working with artist Fred Wilson to create a large-scale installation in Downtown Brooklyn on view from  June 2022 through June 2023. The project, titled Mind Forged Manacles, Manacles forged Mind, addresses issues related to gates and borders, both physical and imaginary. More Art’s project with Fred Wilson will stimulate public engagement and dialogue through multiple community programs and partnerships. For this project, we are planning workshops, educational programming, and performances between late Spring 2022 and Spring 2023. 

EA Fellows will have the opportunity and be supported to submit proposals to hold public workshops, readings, and live performances in conjunction with the project. This includes a collaboration between More Art and the Center for Court Innovation’s Brooklyn Justice Initiatives’ Young Adult Court Program. 

This programming will provide our EA Fellowship Cohort with a unique opportunity to deepen their community-engaged practices and further develop knowledge and relationships in the Justice Sector while increasing their visibility and public access. Please note, engagement with this opportunity is not a required element of the EA Fellowship, but we will be seeking deeper crossovers and links between our various projects and program offerings where possible.  

The Fellowship Includes

  • The EA Curriculum and program is offered free of charge to all participants (value of  $25,000 per participant). 
  • This program includes professional development workshops and links to a peer-to-peer network of creative support.
  • Strategic meetings with More Art to receive feedback, mentorship, and curatorial support
  • 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)
  • Studio visits and professional network building
  • Review of current trends in funding, philanthropy, and the art market
  • Introduction to international residency opportunities
  • A suggested list of events and subsequent group discussions
  • More Art curated and promoted public events featuring research, works-in-progress, and completed works inspired or generated through the Fellows’ community-based work.   
  • Marketing via the More Art network, email list, and social media
  • Stipends for leading public programs (see “Special Opportunity” section above) 
  • After completing this program, EA Fellows are encouraged to apply to our EA Residency program. The EA Residency offers additional funding in support of developing a fully realized public project.

Potential Areas of Conversation and Learning

  • 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 artists
  • Understanding networks for developing your practice

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 develop or continue their practice in collaboration with advocacy organizations, schools, coalitions, unions, groups of neighbors, or the public at large. In addition, we welcome artists and cultural organizers 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 seeking 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 supports a cohort of 8 artists developing works from the research phase to public presentation of their work accomplished throughout the year. Our fellows do not need to complete a new piece of art by the end of the Fellowship. Still, more so, we offer support in project design and incubation of ideas.

The EA Fellowship Path and Overview

Phase 1: Cohort Development (Winter 2022 – Spring 2022)

Our 2022 EA Cohort orientation will take place in February 2022—exact date TBA. During this time, we will share presentations on individual artistic practices. In addition, More Art will curate and schedule 4 evening or weekend workshops and professional development sessions with practitioners in the field. 

The tentative dates for these evening and weekend events are as follows: March 31st, 2022 (6 pm-8 pm), April 30th, 2022 (1 pm-4 pm), May 28th, 2022 (1 pm-4 pm) and June 25th, 2022 (1 pm-4 pm).

The More Art team will offer monthly one-to-one 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.

Phase 2: Research and Coaching (Spring 2022 – Summer 2022)

We expect the EA Fellows to participate in scheduled professional development sessions and strategic meetings with More Art during this phase. The Cohort will participate in learning sessions with guest critics, artists, and curators. We will offer support in developing or refining project concepts or artist statements, developing independent project timelines, grant proposals, and project budgets. As a cohort, we will learn more about best practices in cultivating community partnerships and relationships with other types of practitioners. As needed, our team will assist you through coaching sessions. If the opportunity aligns with your practice, the More Art team will offer you mentorship, critique, feedback, and a curatorial review to prepare your project proposals interacting with Fred Wilson’s installation.

Phase 3: Presentation and Post-Fellowship Convening (Fall 2022- Jan 31, 2023)

This stage of the Fellowship includes curatorial reviews and continued mentorship to develop and prepare our EA Cohort for a final public presentation or public artist talk, asan opportunity to introduce  each fellow’s work to a broader public. In the past, cohorts have presented their work at the Queens Museum, Flux Factory, CUE Art Foundation, and UnionDocs, among other locations. The program will culminate with a closing discussion regarding individual learning outcomes. Proposals for programs connected with Fred Wilson’s project will take place either during or after the end of the Fellowship time period (from fall 2022 to spring 2023). Individual arrangements will be made. 

Time Expectations of the EA Fellows

Each fellow will be required to dedicate at least 60 hours researching and working over 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. Furthermore, upon completing the Fellowship, we expect the artist to clearly articulate their work to a public audience – moving from project-based, to practice base. Therefore, EA Fellows must attend 75% of the professional development workshops and meetings to participate in this program. Please note that lack of attendance will cause dismissal from the program.

PLEASE NOTE: 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 broader public. The Fellowship is a professional development program for incubation, experimentation, collaboration, and implementation stages of early public art projects. We are more interested in supporting artists who see their socially engaged work and creative practice as a long-term commitment. As a result, many Fellowship projects become multi-year initiatives that the Fellowship supports in the early stages.

Participation in EA and COVID-19 Safety Protocols

We are currently planning for participation in the program to include both online and in-person engagement. Depending on the weather, in-person events will be held outdoors and/or indoors. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we understand that COVID-19 is not yet gone. Because of this, we have created safety protocols in accordance with city, state, and federal guidelines. Specifically, in-person events will be held at various cultural venues and spaces in NYC, many of which require proof of vaccination following New York City’s Key to NYC program. As such, all participants in the program will be expected to be vaccinated so they may participate in these events and able to show proof of vaccination when entering these spaces. When attending in-person events, everyone must also be willing to wear a mask. If you are unable to be vaccinated due to an underlying medical condition, disability, or religious belief, there will be a space to provide information about this in the application form (optional). More Art will not ask for any medical information beyond your vaccination status, and all documentation and personal information will be kept confidential.

About More Art

How do we define public art?
More Art defines public art as a process and/or method of exhibition in a public space which is accessible to a broad audience. We define a socially engaged practice as involving the public in creating art to build power and agency among participants and strive towards equity and justice. More Art identifies a range of possibilities for this approach. The 2022 EA program will focus on honing the practical skills and ethical frameworks needed to make realizable interventions in public life. 

Community Engagement and the EA Model
More Art believes art and artists are integral to 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 socially engaged public art. 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.

Our Core Principles.
In commissioning and producing socially engaged art projects in the community, More art adheres to the following principles:

Quality: While presenting and supporting many perspectives, all our projects meet the highest quality standards.

Social Engagement:  We design our projects as partnerships, maximizing engagement between artists and community participants; likewise, we design exhibitions to optimize engagement with the broader community and the general public.

Collaboration: We collaborate with organizations that are deeply rooted in their communities to help us shape projects that are culturally sensitive to those communities.

Accessibility: All our projects are free and accessible to the general public.

Relevance: Our projects address ideas and issues that are relevant to the artists and the communities involved. All projects are designed specifically for the public spaces in which they are presented.

Read: More Art’s Core Principles & Resources

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. One single PDF file ONLY. Maximum file size 20MB; 10 page max.

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 2022 EA Fellowship? (200 words)
  2. Submit the contact info for 1-2 professional references.
  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.) PDF ONLY. Maximum file size 5MB.
  4. Does your practice exist within or interface with disciplines outside the arts? (optional, 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? (optional)
  8. What are your preferred gender pronouns (optional)
  9. Are you an artist living with a disability? or do you identify as a disabled 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)

COVID-19 Safety and Participation:

  1. Are you comfortable participating in the program for in-person events?
  2. Are you willing to wear a mask at in-person events?
  3. Have you received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine?
  4. If you answered “no” above, this space is to provide further information, if you wish. More Art will not ask for any medical information or documentation beyond your vaccination status. (optional)

Complete the online application form here. Applications Due Nov 17, 2022, 11:59PM EST.

FAQs

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