Engaging Artists Residency 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 seeking to both 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 nine-month Residency provides an infrastructure and laboratory for NYC-based early career and underrepresented artists to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the field of public art. The Residency is focused on the incubation and commissioning of a public art project. The Residency carries an $8000 award to realize the project. 

The call for the EA (AIR) opportunity is an open call to all qualified artists and collectives. We are open to projects that can exist in physical and/or digital space, however, we give preference to projects that take place (at least partly) in New York City and are accessible to the general public. For digital projects, we are particularly interested in applications from artists who explore the potential of digital space as a public space. This includes research, digital models, web design, and remote learning.

Application and Selection Timeline

RFP Launches: Oct 14, 2021
Applications Due: Nov 24, 2021, by 11:59 PM, EST
Artist Notification: December 2021
Duration of Residency: Feb 1. 2022 to Oct. 31, 2022.  
Number of Residents to be Selected: 1

Attend an info session via Zoom.

The Residency Includes

  • A $8,000 Residency commission to realize a public art project
  • Optional professional development workshops and peer network support (concurrent with Fellowship programing, valued at $25,000 per participant offered free of charge to all EA participants)
  • Strategic meetings with More Art to receive feedback, mentorship, and curatorial support
  • Feedback sessions with More Art Fellows, 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
  • Suggested list of events and subsequent group discussions
  • Public events curated and promoted by More Art, featuring research, works-in-progress, and completed works inspired or generated through the Fellows and Residents community-based work
  • Marketing via the More Art network, email list, and social media
  • Access to Materials for the Arts
  • Residency is project and curriculum based, we do not provide housing or studio space

EA Curriculum Description

The EA AIR has the option to participate in intensive professional development workshops concurrent with the Fellowship curriculum. The curriculum addresses the history of socially engaged art, community organizing methods, and best practices for establishing and sustaining community partnerships. Individual Critiques and group feedback sessions to support EA participants in the development and creation of new and continued work are also available. Sessions are led by More Art staff and guest facilitators. These workshops are meant to support the EA AIR  in the development of a public project.

2022 Program Timeline

The EA Residency is a nine-month program: Feb 1. 2022 to Oct. 31, 2022.  

This timeline illustrates the arc of the program. This is a suggested timeline which can be adapted to fit the needs of the proposed project and should be articulated in the project narrative. More Art focuses on supporting Residents in the varying stages of long-term work. Each phase (I-III) denotes the focus of professional development programs and support.

  1. Design (Winter 2022) 

During this phase, the Residents will be expected to participate in bi-monthly professional development sessions and strategic meetings with More Art. During this time frame, the Residents will be mentored in developing the following:

  • Residency orientation and intensive 2-day workshop and retreat on Feb. 5 and 6, 2022
  • Monthly check-in sessions to be scheduled in advance with More Art staff
  • Reviewing project proposal and timeline 
  • Workshopping project budgets and concept statement
  • Critique and feedback on proposal
  • Discussions on how to bring funders to the table and changes in philanthropy landscape
  • Identifying the site or Ideating mode of presentation and circulation (digital or physical)
  • Cultivating community partnerships
  1. Development (Spring – Summer) 
  • Continuation of community engagement and project design
  • Project development consultations with public art practitioners, producers, as well as vendors
  • Preparation for public presentation
  • Curatorial Review
  1. Presentation (Summer – Fall 2022)

During this phase artists will focus on culminating a formal sited presentation in a public space in New York City, including a formal opening, media outreach, public programming and events.

Time Expectations of the EA AIR

The EA AIR (or Collective) will be required to dedicate a set number of hours, to be determined at the onset of the program. This time will be used to engage with the EA Fellowship Curriculum and/or collaborate with More Art staff on developing the final public art project. Working with(in) partnering organizations or contexts over the course of the first 6 months of the program will situate each artist into their status as Artists-in-Residence. Often Residents get hands-on with the day-to-day work of activism and advocacy, which at times may not directly involve the arts.  

Upon completion of the Residency the artist will be expected to have their first public art commission fully realized.

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.

Project Support

This year $8000 will be awarded to a selected project, to support the realization of the artists’ vision within a public space in New York City. More Art will facilitate the development of community collaborations, research, and building participation. The selected project must culminate in an exhibition in a public space, event, series, collaboration, or engagement within the 9-month Residency period.

Additionally the Residents are offered the opportunity to follow the Fellowship curriculum, in which they may participate in intensive professional development workshops. These will address 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 Residents in the development and creation of new and continued work. Sessions are led by More Art staff and guest facilitators.

Funding will be contingent on the completion of agreed upon benchmarks. The inability to complete these requirements will jeopardize eligibility for continued project support and public presentation.

Resource Allocation 

This is a suggested budget breakdown which can be adapted to fit the needs of the proposed project and should be articulated in the project narrative and budget.

45% Exhibition Production
15% Research & Outreach
10% Artist Fee
10% Public Relations
10% Video Documentation & Printed Materials
5% Public Programs/workshops
5% Public Relations

Eligibility Requirements

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

Applicants should be early career artists who have an established practice as an artist (record of exhibitions, talks, reviews, publications, or public presentations) with demonstrated history of work in social or community-based practice, but who have yet to exhibit a project in a public space. Applicants must be able to articulate vision, rough timeline and budget. Project support is granted to aid artists in varying stages of developing rigorous public art and community-based projects. 

We encourage applications from 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.

Residency Methodology

This year will be the third year in which the EA program is extending its reach into a Residency format. This grows from the EA Fellowship model that supports the professional development of emerging public artists working in social engagement. The Residency continues this work by providing a platform for early career artists to present their work in a public space. 

We intend to offer each incoming Resident a unique pathway to be able to 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 whose work is participatory or follow traditions of interventionism and partnerships or elements of community organizing and pedagogy.  

We welcome artists who are looking to use the space of the Residency to develop a new project, build on a current project in its early stages, or develop a new phase of an existing project

More Art will provide support surrounding financial and fundraising, curatorial vision, strategic project management, research, community engagement, production, and curation of final installations, performances, and educational programs, situating the organization as an unparalleled producer of socially-engaged art.

What kind of artists participate in the EA AIR?

The Residency is designed to support 1 artist or an artist collective working on developing works from the proposal phase to a formal sited public presentation, to be accomplished throughout the nine months.

This Residency is best suited for artists who 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.

More Art identifies a range of possibilities for this approach, and the 2022 professional development program will focus on honing the practical skills and ethical frameworks needed to make realizable interventions in public life.

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 2022 EA program will focus on honing the practical skills and ethical frameworks needed to make realizable interventions in public life. 

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 participants in establishing and/or sustaining crucial partnerships with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, agencies, neighborhoods, places, individuals or groups of New Yorkers.

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 Resident will also have an opportunity to engage and collaborate with a diverse network of past EA participants 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 EA alumni work in collaboration with others they have met during their time in the program.

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 current, new or ongoing project that you are looking to develop into a public art work. How will this work be situated within the EA Residency? (200 words max) 
  2. Describe your work and artistic career up to this point. How do you see this project fit into your oeuvre and larger career objectives? (200 words max) 
  3. Outline the proposal of the project – describe any relevant information about the project’s medium, form, location, duration, project timeline/phases, community engagement strategies, content and/or function. (700 words)
  4. Detailed budget/resource allocation. If applicable, please include other forms of financial support, projected or received. EXCEL spreadsheet or PDF. 5MB max.
  5. If this project can happen in public space, More Art partners with the NYC Parks Department to activate projects in their spaces within the five boroughs. If applicable, please list your top three locations from the from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation website. <https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks>. Alternatively, we encourage projects that do not fit this format that could take place in an expanded public space, digital or otherwise. Please detail how this Public Art Commission would be integrated in the public sphere and how you plan to do so.
  6. Provide up to 10 supporting media depicting the project that you are looking to develop, including renderings of the proposed project in various stages of development and/or in its final form situated in the chosen public setting, in addition to images of previously completed projects. If you have worked with performance or time-based media, please explain and provide 1-3 videos of your past work (no longer than 4 minutes in length). Upload one single PDF file ONLY. Maximum file size 20MB; 10 page max.
  7. Who do you envision as your intended audience for this project? How will you reach this audience? What are the challenges in doing so? (200 words)
  8. Who do you envision as collaborators on this project, if any? Describe the roles they may play. (200 words)
  9. How do you see community organizing, advocacy, volunteer work, pedagogy, or activism intersecting with this project, if at all? (optional)
  10. Outside of monetary resources provided by the Residency, what are some tools that you would like to have facilitated for the development of the Commission?

General Questions:

  1. Submit the contact info for 1-2 professional references.
  2. 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; 3 page max.
  3. Does your practice exist within or interface with disciplines outside the arts? (100 words)
  4. Do you live and/or work in NYC or at an easy commuting distance?
  5. How would you describe your cultural identity, race or ethnicity? (optional)
  6. Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community? (optional)
  7. What are your preferred gender pronouns (optional)
  8. 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 Residency? (optional)
  9. 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, 2021 11:59PM.


How many applicants are accepted?
1 Resident/collective will be selected and notified.

Will there be access to studio space as part of the Residency?
No, this Residency is research and curriculum based; we do not provide housing or studio space.

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 Residency year?
Yes. Your project must culminate in a final public presentation. We require that you develop and present your project to a wider public during the course of the year. The Residency 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.

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. The Residency would give the “Early career artists”  an opportunity to work with More Art to realize a project in a public space. 

We encourage 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 Residency. However, the Residency 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. Additionally, if your project involves the installation of a physical piece in a public place (eg. sculpture in a park), it will be necessary for the artist to visit the piece at least once a week for upkeep and maintenance, and be available in case of emergency 24/7. We cannot currently provide funds to assist with travel or living expenses.

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