A program produced by MORE ART in partnership with the Artist Volunteer Center
Jason Maas served as the Special Programs Coordinator for More Art, and was tasked with conceiving, developing, and leading the first three years of Engaging Artists, a socially-conscious residency program. The Artist Volunteer Center was one of the partners on this incredibly meaningful More Art program that connects artists with volunteering, encourages artmaking from direct action, provides connections in the fields of fine art, activism and advocacy and offers participating artists free studio space and access to grants.
In its first year, 2014, the theme was homelessness, and 15 artists were selected to volunteer in homeless shelters in partnering organizations all across the city. It is estimated that 3000 New Yorkers were served during the run of the program. In Engaging Artists 2015 the program was open exclusively to foreign-born and first generation American artists, who volunteered with immigrant seniors. Their final exhibition for the program was held at the Queens Museum.
The 2016 Engaging Artists Residency focused on issues of housing inequality in New York City. As the goal of the 4 month residency is to prepare artists for long-term activist work, ideal candidates were to live in New York City and have an interest in or dedication to housing advocacy, homeless services, and/or anti-displacement efforts in their respective communities. This residency program was provided free of cost to artists. The artists received a free professional development program, free studio space for three months, a chance to apply for a grant only available to the residents, and a final presentation / art show of work inspired by the program. The 2015 cohort's final exhibition was at the Queens Museum.
Preference is given to long-term New York City artists; artists of color; individuals from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, those who have been excluded from the resources of the art world because of cultural, racial, and linguistic heritage and/or identity; do not have formal artistic training; or their creative practices have been historically underrepresented from mainstream exhibitions.
We welcome applications from artists of all disciplines, including but not limited to: visual artists, graphic designers, architects, writers, performers, dancers, filmmakers, and musicians.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
Engaging Artists is now a fellowship program run by More Art for artists seeking to develop their socially-engaged practice through volunteer opportunities with community organizations.
EMILY CHOW BLUCK
2016 Partner Organizations:
Bridge Street Development Corp.
CAAAV – Chinatown Tenants Union
Eviction Intervention Services
FUREE – Families United for Racial and Economic Equality
GOLES – Good Old Lower East Side
Movement for Justice en El Barrio
New York Cares
Picture the Homeless
Queens Neighborhoods United
United States Department for Arts and Culture (USDAC)
ENGAGING ARTISTS 2015
2015's program was open to foreign-born and first generation American artists and the cohort was composed of 14 artists from 14 different countries.
“There she lies, the great Melting-Pot—Listen! Can’t you hear the roaring and the bubbling? There gapes her mouth, the harbor where a thousand mammoth feeders come from the ends of the world to pour in their human freight”
-Israel Zangwill, The Melting Pot (1908)
New York City is known historically as a city of immigrants, and today it continues to be. The latest city-wide census cited over 37% of the population identifying as foreign born – the highest percentage in over 100 years.
Engaging Artists honors and supports this vital part of the community by offering a residency program open exclusively to foreign-born and first generation American artists. Participating artists will engage in long-term volunteer projects to connect with seniors and aging populations in their community and cross-culturally.
The program encourages local artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through direct action involving volunteer opportunities and interactive weekly workshops. During a six-week period, participants are required to volunteer at least a half a day per week at local cultural organizations, organizations that serve seniors, in particular immigrant seniors. Artists have the chance to propose their own volunteer project, if they so choose. More Art provides introductions to organizations and help artists establish and seek out new partnerships. Volunteering is a direct action that will also provide artists with inspiration for artmaking, which is encouraged in the artists’ collaborative workspace, this year in Industry City. The program culminated in an art show at the Queens Museum and a chance to apply for a grant to further the work created during the program. Selected artists must commit to attend the full speaker program and studio project night series (see timeline below). This program is provided free of cost to artists.
Artists are provided free professional development, a collaborative workspace, as well as art show and grant opportunities. A speaker program offers the artists context, insight, and connections with professionals in the fields of fine art and activism. Studio project nights offer the artists collaborative art projects to work together on and/ or spur new ideas for each artist’s individual practice.
Artists who are foreign born or first generation Americans were eligible for the 2015 program.
The 2015 Engaging Artists are:
Alon Nechushtan, Israel
Annie Kurz, Romania
Aurelien Grez, France
Christie Neptune, West Indies
Eugenia Malioykova, Belarus
Guido Garaycochea, Peru
Hidemi Takagi, Japan
Michelle Melo, Colombia
Andrew Nemr, Canada/Lebanon
Chee Wang Ng, Malaysia
Sara Meghdari, Iran
Soi Park, South Korea
Trokon Nagbe, Liberia
Uday K. Dhar, India/UK
Thanks to a partnership with School of Visual Arts, all workshops were held there, unless otherwise noted.
May 19: Orientation | The Moderns, 544 W 27th Street (6 floor) | 7-9pm Speaker: Cynthia Tobar, Oral Historian presents on the essential aspects of collecting oral histories
May 26: Workshop: “Working with Elders” Speakers: Keynote Presentation by Christian González-Rivera, Research Associate at the Center for Urban Future on their report "The New Face Of New York's Seniors" followed by an Age Sensitivity Training by Jennie Smith-Peers, Executive Director of Elders Share the Arts
Six week volunteering period begins
June 4: Resident Meeting at shared studio space in Industry City
June 9: Tuesday Workshop: “Immigrant & Elderly Advocate Orgs.” Speakers: Andrea Lawrence and Theresa Loong
June 18: Resident Meeting at shared studio space in Industry City
June 23: Workshop: “Artist As Advocate” Speakers: Pablo Helguera, Amy Wilson & Rebekah Burns discuss their work
June 30: Workshop: “Artist As Activist” Speakers: Betty Yu, and Bill Powhida discuss their work
July 16: Resident Meeting at shared studio space in Industry City
August 13: Resident Meeting at shared studio space in Industry City
September 10: Final meeting at shared studio space in Industry City
October 15: Grant applications due\
Fall 2015/Winter 2016: Final Exhibition, Location TBA
ENGAGING ARTISTS 2014
To see a selection of photos of the year's program, click here
To learn more about the program's Spring 2015 art show at the Hot Wood Arts Center in Red Hook, click here.
The theme of the 2014 Engaging Artists program was Homelessness. In summer 2014, the Engaging Artists residency encouraged 15 artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through volunteer opportunities with one of the city’s most vulnerable populations, the homeless. Presented by More Art, and developed in partnership with the Artist Volunteer Center, Judson Memorial Church, Common Ground, and The Bowery Mission. More Art has crafted a one-of-a-kind program that activates artists to become involved in art-making and mentoring homeless youth in New York City. The artists’ experience is enriched and contextualized through weekly workshops at Judson Memorial Church with professionals in the field as well as artists, curators, and activists. The six-week residency program is connected to their studio practice, encouraging the production of artwork that is informed by this unique program, which culminated in a show of the work made during this time at Hot Wood Arts Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. To learn more about the show, click here. Artists submitted proposals to More Art for a project at the end of their residency, and selected projects were awarded to a group of residents: Anna Adler, Corinne Cappelletti, and Julia Rooney for their project REMAP. Sue Jeong Ka was also awarded a development grant. These funds allowed the artists to continue his or her work with this population.
Our Engaging Artists 2014 session:
Christina Sukhgian Houle
Sue jeong Ka
Anthony Heinz May
Jamie Marie Rose Grove
Julia A. Rooney
NY CARES: Mobilizing almost 60,000 volunteers a year to serve 400,000 New Yorkers in need, NY Cares is the largest volunteer organization in the city. There are approximately 50 volunteer opportunities available now with homeless populations. http://www.newyorkcares.org/
COMMON GROUND: Their mission is to strengthen individuals, families and communities by developing and sustaining exceptional supportive and affordable housing as well as programs for homeless and other vulnerable New Yorkers. Common Ground volunteers will create and lead art classes with residents of The Domenech in Brooklyn.
THE BOWERY MISSION: has served homeless and hungry New Yorkers since 1879, when its neighborhood came to define the term “skid row.” The Bowery Mission serves as a refuge to the poor and hungry in New York City, who seek care and the opportunity to transform their lives. Volunteer artists will develop and lead fine art and art history classes at The Bowery Mission Women’s Center at Heartease Home.
SYLVIA’S PLACE: is an emergency shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth. Volunteer artists will work with homeless LGBTQ young adults, aged 18-29 at the shelter, creating collaborative art projects.
ART IN THE WOODS: A week long camp for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth to experience arts and nature at a queer spiritual retreat outside Albany, NY
Below you will find an itinerary for the workshops.
Engaging Artists Weekly Workshops
June 12 – July 24, 2014
Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall
239 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012
6:30 – 8:30 pm
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
June 12th: Andres Serrano artist talk and Reception for Residents
June 19th: Keynote talk: "Art, Activism & Organizational Form" by Todd Lester.
Followed by a workshop on Art Therapy:
Learn about the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of art therapy and participate in an activity.
June 26th: Homeless Advocacy Organizations
Representatives from NYC organizations devoted to helping the homeless community break the cycle of homelessness, will speak about their organizations and how to get involved.
July 10th: Homeless Advocacy Artists
Artists whose practice involves working with homeless individuals or organizations will speak about their artistic practice and show us examples of their work with the homeless.
July 17th: Artist as Activist
Artists whose practice bridges the gap between art and activism will talk about their work.
September 4th: Curatorial consultation and portfolio review
Guest curators will provide final critiques and guidance for the resident’s projects.
ENGAGING ARTISTS IS GENEROUSLY PRODUCED BY MORE ART
APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2016 PROGRAM