Engaging Artists is More Art’s fellowship program for NYC artists seeking to both develop and sustain their socially-engaged public art practice.
Along with professional development, mentorship, community engagement, and peer networking programs, fellows have the opportunity to apply for project support and funding for research, workshops, and staging public works.
The program takes place over the span of two years and is designed for emerging artists seeking to develop their practice through opportunities and partnerships with advocacy and social service organizations, schools, coalitions, unions, and groups of neighbors throughout the five boroughs. We also greatly encourage applications from artists whose work is participatory or follow traditions of interventionism but does not involve partnerships or elements of community organizing or pedagogy. In 2017, the fellowship was geared towards artists interested in addressing the intersecting issues of labor, immigration, globalization, and economic justice. Past fellowships have focused on homelessness (2014), housing justice (2016) and the intersection of aging and immigration (2015). The 2018-19 program will move from a thematic approach to a methods-based approach to professional development.
the ‘artists-in-residence’ model.
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 from diverse perspectives. Each fellow is required to spend at least 100 hours at partnering organizations and immersed contexts over the first 6 months of the program, situating their status as artists-in-residence, while at times getting hands-on with the day-to-day work of social activism which may not directly involve the arts. Artists will have the opportunity to propose their own art-based project, if they so choose
Each year 2-4 project proposals are selected by a guest panel of artists and leaders in the arts. Two categories of project support are granted to aide individual fellows and collectives in varying stages of developing rigorous public art and community-based projects. Up to $1000 is awarded for selected projects that could use support while developing community collaborations, researching, building participation, and fine-tuning workshop design. Up to $4000 is awarded for selected projects gearing up to stage a culminating exhibition in public space, event, series, collaboration, or engagement, within the year.
In addition to funding, awardees also receive project development consultation from More Art Staff, commissioned artists, and advisory network, as well as outreach support and access to Materials for the Arts, and off-site event space at partnering venues.
2018 project support.
Bryan Rodriguez Cambana
Public Art — $4000
Through Creative Arts Team programming initiatives at Rikers Island, Bryan Rodriguez Cambana will work with incarcerated youth awaiting trial. Utilizing what is available in their facilities, Rodriguez and the youth will write, direct and perform an audio play. They will compose sonic-landscapes and fictions reflective of the surreal circumstances of being confined, watched, and waiting. The play will be split into four acts, later pressed onto translucent vinyls packaged in custom-made, collectively-designed box sets.
The play, will be dispersed (as vinyls) among four DJs who would be mixing each act into trademark Afro-diasporic sounds live. These sets will be performed at separate times; for the youth during “in-house” sessions, for their family members as well as for a curated audience of cultural producers of color. The practice of these cultural producers is particularly relevant to the project’s objective of materializing a dialogue about freedom in/and fantasy.
This work is a continuation of arts program about hip-hop culture that Rodriguez is currently teaching at Rikers to youth (18-21) who are stuck in the criminal justice system. During weekly sessions, they speak about the evolution of hip-hop and its politics, indulging in its music, fashion, and iconography.
Vanessa Teran Collantes
Research & Development in Social Practice — $1000
The project, titled, Runa Ñawi (Runa Eye) will be a collective-driven laboratory in the Andean diaspora communities of New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Together participants will use photography to explore themes of Andean indigenous cosmology and the endangered Kichwa language as a tool for storytelling about life here in the US—that include personal stories and documentation of the community´s Raymis (celebrations).
Teran and the collective will work in collaboration with the Taytas (the elders) to learn about various cosmological traditions. The collective welcomes a diverse group in regards to age, gender, and knowledge on photography, language, and cosmology—to share stories and skills. To reach a larger public, the project will circulate via an Instagram account where the Kichwa language is activated through hashtags and social media as a learning device. Over the next year, the collective will hold 8-10 workshops, most of them in the Bronx, New York, but also satellite weekend workshops in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
past project support.
Bridget Bartolini and Priscilla Stadler,
Almost Home (2015-2016)
Soi Park, Funeral Portrait Service
Research & Development in Social Practice
Ligaiya Romero (2016-2017)
Jonathan Gardenhire (2016-2017)
Hidemi Takagi, Hello, It’s Me (2015-2016)
Sue Jeong Ka, ID Shop (2014-2015)
CAAAV – Chinatown Art Brigade
Eviction Intervention Services
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality
GOLES – Good Old Lower East Side
New York Cares
Queens Neighborhoods United
2017 Exhibition at Flux Factory
Building Stories was an exhibition of recent work by Engaging Artists was shown at Flux Factory during October 2017.
The 2016 Engaging Artists residency program focuses on issues of housing inequality in New York City. The goal of the 4 month residency is to prepare artists for long-term activist work with housing advocacy organizations, homeless services, and/or anti-displacement efforts in their respective communities.
The Engaging Artists exhibition features the work of 8 NYC-based first generation and foreign born artists.
In 2015, the residency program was open exclusively to foreign-born and first generation American artists. Throughout the summer, the cohort of 14 artists volunteered and created arts and activism projects in collaboration with in partnership with nursing homes, hospitals, and, community centers—providing both multilingual, one-on-one cultural and social services to more than 150 elderly immigrants in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
In 2014, the program focused on homelessness and 15 artists were selected to volunteer in homeless shelters at partnering organizations all across the city. It is estimated that 3000 New Yorkers were served during the run of the program.