about engaging artists.

The 2017 Engaging Artists Fellowship is an artist-in-residence program for emerging NYC artists interested in addressing the intersecting issues of labor, immigration, globalization, and economic justice in their creative practice.

The goal of the 4 month fellowship is to prepare artists for long-term activist and socially-engaged work in partnership with advocacy and social service organizations, coalitions, unions, and groups of neighbors throughout the five boroughs. Ideal candidates must live in New York City and have an interest in or dedication to the interrogation of topics such as: value, wage, debt, livelihood and family life, workers rights, labor, and alternative economies as they relate to the fellow’s respective communities and the larger landscapes of migration, neoliberalism, and/or the economies of the contemporary art market(s).

professional development.

Participants will have access to 3-4 roundtables related to workers rights, alternative economies, and labor movements within the arts and at large. Additionally, the fellowship includes 2-3 hands-on professional development workshops with leaders in both the arts, political economy, and labor sectors on how to apply one’s skills as artists to the collective pursuit of labor rights and economic justice.

Past guest speakers have included: Andres Serrano, Pablo Helguera, Caroline Woolard, Hunter Reynolds, Leaders from Picture the Homeless and Breaking Ground, and James Macklin, Director of Outreach at The Bowery Mission, among many more.

Program topics include: artists’ roles in labor movements; timeline of artists and labor organizing from The Artists’ Union (1934) to the present; history of workers’ rights and labor laws and their effects on New York City residents and immigrant populations; institutional critique; and case-studies of socially engaged art.

the ‘artists-in-residence’ model.

The Fellowship is premised on the belief that 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 about advocacy missions from diverse perspectives.

Engaging Artists enables artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through direct action including volunteering, outreach initiatives, and public art projects. More Art will assist fellows in establishing crucial partnerships at community-based organizations that focus on immigrant rights, labor justice, and economic empowerment in their home neighborhoods.

Each fellow will be required to volunteer at least 30 hours at partnering organizations over the course of the 4 month program, situating their status as artists-in-residence at the organization, while getting hands-on with the day-to-day work of activism and social services, which may not directly involve the arts. Artists will also have the chance to propose their own volunteer art-based project, if they so choose.

Partner Organizations*

Hudson Guild
Turning Point Education Center
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality
Good Old Lower East Side
Queens Neighborhoods United
Center for Family Life
* fellows may work with these or new partners

group exhibition and prize opportunities.

Along with professional development programs, the Engaging Artists Fellowship includes small project support stipends for workshops as well as an exhibition staged in 2018 and  prize opportunities available only to Engaging Artists alumni.

Engaging Artists culminates in a curated exhibition and an opportunity to apply for More Art’s juried ‘Prize for Public Art’ and ‘Prize for Research in Social Practice’ that enables recipients to expand upon a collaborative project conceived during the fellowship.

Prize in Research in Social Practice (up to $1000)
This prize category is ideal for independent fellows or collectives who are still in the early stages of an art and social engagement project that could use support while developing or deepening community collaborations, researching, and workshopping.

Prize in Public and Community Arts (up to $4000)
This prize is ideal for independent fellow or collectives looking to stage a culminating exhibition or presentation of the project, event, collaboration, or engagement. Proposals must take place in a public space (broadly defined to encompass outdoor venues such as parks and the street or indoor locations such as libraries, schools, community centers, etc.) and/or in a site that is relevant to the topic explored and accessible to a defined community and/or the public at large. Proposals can be part of a larger project, or series, and seek additional support.

This year (2016-2017) the Prize for Public Art goes to Bridget Bartolini and Priscilla Stadler who will stage multiple storytelling and participatory installations in Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst, Queens with partner organization Queens Neighborhood United. Research prizes went to Ligaiya Romero to stage a performative parade in Brooklyn, and to Jonathan Gardenhire for a public photography and archive initiative in partnership with residents of NYCHA Smith Houses in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.

The 2016-2017 Final curated exhibition, Building Stories will be held at Flux Factory from October 4th to October 15th, 2017.

program timeline.

Fellowship Meetings, Workshops, and Roundtable events are expected to be scheduled on Thursday evenings 7-9pm and occasional Saturday afternoons. Download Program and Application Guidelines