For Immediate Release: February 27, 2020
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-513-9323
NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES OPEN CALL FOR THE CITY’S NEXT PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Artists can apply to embed within one of four participating agencies: Civic Engagement Commission, Department of Sanitation, Commission on Human Rights, and Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
Applications are due March 29, 2020 via nyculture.submittable.com.
New York – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs has announced an open call for the next round of its Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) program, which places artists-in-residence with New York City municipal agencies to address pressing civic and social challenges through creative practice. Artists and artist collectives are encouraged to apply to work with one of four agencies participating in the 2020 PAIR program: the NYC Civic Engagement Commission, the NYC Department of Sanitation, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Applications are due March 29, 2020, and selections will be announced later this spring.
“Our city owes so much of its extraordinary energy to the artists who live and work here, and the Public Artists in Residence program gives us a way to tap into this pool of talent and re-think our approach to public service,” said Acting Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Kathleen Hughes. “So artists: we encourage you to take a close look at these unique opportunities to embed within a City agency. Applying your creativity and collaborative spirit to one of these four agencies would bring a fresh and valued approach to addressing serious civic challenges.”
The four agencies, selected through a competitive application, are seeking to address a range of issues at the core of their public service missions:
“Mierle Ukeles’s work has left an extraordinarily impact on our agency and has changed the way that the public views our workforce,” said DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “We are excited to welcome the next generation of artists-in-residence, to continue in this tradition of shining a light on the great work of the men and women of our department.”
"Connecting the imagination of talented artists with neighborhood residents can catalyze the reshaping of spaces so communities can realize safety on their own terms," said MOCJ Director Elizabeth Glazer. "MOCJ’s Office of Neighborhood Safety is excited to support and work with the talent and vision that the Public Artists in Residence program attracts."
“The New York City Commission on Human Rights’ prior work with the PAIR program affirmed that art is a powerful tool for raising awareness about human rights and promoting dialogue that leads to change,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. “The Commission on Human Rights hosted a PAIR artist in 2018 and the results were nothing short of stunning. Artist and author Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s murals calling out street harassment, racism, and gender discrimination garnered overwhelmingly positive reactions across the city. We look forward to another year of working with PAIR to use the universal language of art to continue the human rights conversation.”
“Art has the unique ability to transform how people connect to government and think about civic engagement,” said Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair and Executive Director of the NYC Civic Engagement Commission. “In a city as diverse as ours, it is important to engage New Yorkers across language, age, and cultural backgrounds and ignite meaningful dialogue around what it means to strengthen democracy for everyone in our city. We are excited to be a part of DCLA’s PAIR Program and use art to build civic trust across the city.”
Launched in 2015, the PAIR program takes its name and inspiration from the pioneering work of artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the City’s first official artist in residence (1977), with the NYC Department of Sanitation. The CreateNYC cultural plan, released in 2017, further embraced PAIR as a strategy for increasing the presence of art in New York’s public realm.
Examples of PAIRs to date include Tania Bruguera, who collaborated with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to build trust with immigrant communities; Theater of War Productions and Bryan Doerries, who worked with the Department of Veterans Services to foster dialogue among veterans and communities traumatized by violence through Greek drama; and Rachel Barnard, who worked with the Department of Probation to strengthen relationships between probation officers and the people under their supervision. Announced in 2019, the most recent cohort of PAIRs includes four artists who will continue to work in their respective agencies through spring 2020. View a full list of PAIRs to date.
About NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/culture.