What is Engaging Artists?

Engaging Artists is a residency program for artists seeking to develop their socially-engaged practice through volunteer opportunities with community organizations. The thematic focus of the program changes annually. 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.

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.

Engaging Artists is premised on the belief that volunteering is a direct social action that provides artists with the opportunity to develop long-term socially-engaged art projects that make a positive impact within their communities.

Engaging Artists 2016:
Housing Justice

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.

2016 Engaging Artists Residency Program Outline


Discover more:

2015 Engaging Artists exhibition at Queen Museum

2015 Engaging Artist Residency: Aging + Immigration

2014 Engaging Artist Residency: Homelessness