Public Artists in Residence (PAIR)

2020 PAIR OPEN CALL

Cultural Affairs is currently seeking Public Artists in Residence for:

  • NYC Commission on Human Rights
  • NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice
  • NYC Civic Engagement Commission

The selected artists will have demonstrated experience and excellence in socially engaged art or collaborative art practice addressing social and political issues relevant to the host City agency. Artists working in all media welcome to apply.

Artists may apply to multiple open calls, but can only be selected for one position. A separate application must be submitted for each agency.

View the PAIR application page for more information, guidelines, and eligibility. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm on Sunday, April 26th 2020.

If you still have questions after reviewing the open call and guidelines, read the PAIR FAQs.

Still have questions? Email PAIR@culture.nyc.gov

 

About PAIR

Public Artists in Residence (PAIR) is a municipal residency program that embeds artists in city government to propose and implement creative solutions to pressing civic challenges. Launched in the fall of 2015, PAIR takes its inspiration and its name from the pioneering work of artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the first official (unsalaried) artist-in-residence with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), 1977 – present.

PAIR is based on the premise that artists are creative problem-solvers. They are able to create long-term and lasting impact by working collaboratively and in open-ended processes to build community bonds, open channels for two-way dialogue, and reimagine realities to create new possibilities for those who experience and participate in the work.

Through a series of conversations, DCLA and a partner City Agency decide on a broad population, challenge, and/or goal the partner agency wishes to focus on. With Commissioner-level support, DCLA issues an open call for artists or recommends artists based on artistic excellence and demonstrated knowledge of the particular social issues addressed in the residency. The final artist selection is made in partnership with both agencies.

Each PAIR is a minimum of one year. The residency begins with a research phase, during which the artist spends time at the agency meeting staff and learning about its operations and initiatives while also introducing their art practice and process to agency staff. The research phase concludes with a proposal from the artist outlining one or more public-facing participatory projects that will be implemented in partnership with the agency. Artists receive a fee, as well as in-kind resources such as desk space with the partner agency, an access to DCLA’s Materials for the Arts.

The PAIR program is made possible by funds from the City of New York with occasional, residency-specific support provided by private philanthropic sources. 

 

Current Public Artists in Residence (PAIRs) - 2019


Taja Lindley

Taja Lindley is an artist, healer, and activist based in New York City. She is currently in residence with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Through iterative and interdisciplinary practices, she creates socially engaged artwork that transforms audiences, shifts culture, and moves people to action. She uses movement, text, installation, ritual, burlesque, and multi-media to create immersive works that are concerned with freedom, healing, and pleasure. Her performances, films, and installations have been featured at Brooklyn Museum; La Mama Theater; New York Live Arts; the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University; the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Carver Museum in Austin, Texas; the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California; and more. She is the founder of Colored Girls Hustle and a member of Echoing Ida and Harriet’s Apothecary. In addition to being an artist, Lindley is actively engaged in social movements as a writer, consultant, and facilitator. Most recently, she served as a Sexual and Reproductive Justice Consultant at DOHMH, facilitating a community-driven process that created The New York City Standards for Respectful Care at Birth.

As a PAIR at DOHMH’s Center for Health Equity, Lindley uses community engagement strategies that deepens the collective understanding of how racism and gender oppression affect birth outcomes. Working out of the Tremont Neighborhood Health Action Center, she is exploring how the voices of pregnant and parenting Black people in the Bronx can advance reproductive justice and inform changes in medical practices and government policies.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: April 5, 2019
Read more


Artists as ‘Creative Problem-Solvers’ at City Agencies
Published: The New York Times, April 5, 2019
Read more

Laura Nova

PAIR Laura Nova’s (right) “Spiels on Wheel” performance at Art in Odd Places, as part of her residency with Department for the Aging, 2019.

Artist, athlete, and activator Laura Nova generates site-specific action-oriented projects which invite participatory energies of neighbors and strangers alike, particularly within the urban landscapes of older adult and migrant communities. She is currently in residence with the Department for the Aging (DFTA). Novauses cardio, comedy and cooking to create activ/ist audiences who, in turn, reveal and preserve stories of both people and places. Recent commissions have included multi-year social engagement projects such as Silver Sirens, an older adult cheerleading squad championing healthcare, gender equity, and anti-ageism; and Moving Stories, a senior-led storytelling and walking tour. Nova has shown her work at national and international venues, including the New Museum's IdeasCity Festival, the River to River Festival, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Real Art Ways, Substation Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa and the National Arts Center in Tokyo, Japan. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Arts and Technology at Bloomfield College.

Nova’s PAIR collaboration with the Department for the Aging (DFTA) is deepening the City’s understanding of ageism and its impact on older New Yorkers. She is challenging societal misconceptions around age and discrimination embedded in language, social practices, policies, and institutions. Her creative solutions seek to help DFTA further its mission of eliminating ageism and ensuring the dignity and quality of life of NYC’s diverse older adults, beginning with its own agency staff.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: April 5, 2019
Read more

“Artists as ‘Creative Problem-Solvers’ at City Agencies”
Published: The New York Times, April 5, 2019
Read more

“This Performance Invites You to Send Postcards to Older New Yorkers
Published: Hyperallergic, October 18, 2019
Read more. Additional images and media here and here

Julia Weist

Julia Weist is currently in residence with the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS). Since pursuing her MLIS degree, New York-based artist Julia Weist’s artistic practice has centered around archives, collections, and information resources. She uses them to explore the relationship between media production and cultural context, and to understand how the velocity of information originates in its accessibility. Her work has recently been exhibited at the Queens Museum (New York City), the Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), the Shed (New York City) and the Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, South Korea) among other venues. 

For her PAIR with DORIS, Weist is presenting New York City’s Municipal Archives as a form of public space. To start, she is researching the municipal government’s relationship to art and artists as documented in the city’s Archives, looking particularly at records featuring criteria for evaluating art, surveillance of individual artists, and notes on artists’ role in civic life. Weist will use these findings as the foundation for a series of photographic prints, and will then leverage the City’s records retention procedures to ensure that these artworks become official government records and are made accessible in perpetuity. The public may view the works either by submitting a Freedom of Information request through NYC's Open Records Portal or by waiting until the physical prints have passed through the City’s archiving process, into the publicly accessible collection of the Municipal Archives, which may take many years. In the end, Weist's project rethinks the possibilities of site by treating the conceptual and tangible space of “the public record” as a location for intervention and display.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: April 5, 2019
Read more

“Artists as ‘Creative Problem-Solvers’ at City Agencies”
Published: The New York Times, April 5, 2019
Read more

Janet Zweig

Janet Zweig is a New York based artist working primarily in the public realm. She is currently in residence with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS). Nature and sustainability have played a critical part in her recent projects. These include working with a San Diego climate scientist to create a kinetic sculpture at a new library that visualizes climate change data and the vanishing of natural resources in a direct way for the community. She also worked with engineers to create a large-scale installation on the Sacramento River that orients viewers to drought and flood conditions. Her public works are installed around the country, and her sculpture and books have been shown widely. A Rome Prize recipient, she teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.

In all of her work, Janet attempts to speak to viewers both as communities and as individuals, sometimes tapping into their talents and energy to develop content. At MOS, she is using these and other art strategies to support the office’s efforts to convey to New Yorkers how they, personally and collectively, can make a positive difference in issues around sustainability. She hopes to use the opportunity to reach New Yorkers in a way that empowers them to drive change on a local level and understand the collective impact of their actions on a global level.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: April 5, 2019
Read more

“Artists as ‘Creative Problem-Solvers’ at City Agencies”
Published: The New York Times, April 5, 2019
Read more

 

Past Public Artists in Residence (PAIRs)


Listed alphabetically by artists’ last name.

 

Rachel Barnard

Rachel Barnard is a social practice artist formally trained as an architect. She was in residence with the Department of Probation (DOP) in 2018.In 2012 she founded Young New Yorkers (YNY), an arts diversion program for teens being prosecuted as adult in criminal court. To date over 600 young people have been sentenced to make art at YNY instead of jail or other adult sanctions. Most participants have had their adult criminal cases dismissed and sealed. Barnard’s art practice brings large groups of people together from diverse, and oftentimes adversarial, communities to create new spaces of belonging. She worked with DOP to build trust, strengthen relationships, and improve communication and engagement between probation officers and the people under their supervision. DOP and Barnard sought to find ways to overcome the stigma of justice system involvement, which can damage their constituents’ relationships with family and community while also posing barriers to opportunities such as employment and housing.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: January 23, 2018
Read more

“Four New Public Artists in Residence Appointed by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs”
Published: January 23, 2018 by Artnews
Read more

Tania Bruguera

“CycleNews” featuring Mujeres en Movimiento; a project developed by Tania Bruguera for PAIR.

Tania Bruguera was in residence with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) in 2015A politically motivated performance artist, Tania Bruguera explores the relationship between art, activism, and social change in works that examine the social effects of political and economic power. By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it. Advancing the concept of arte útil (literally translated to useful art; art as a benefit and a tool), she proposes solutions to sociopolitical problems through the implementation of art, and has developed long-term projects that include a community center and a political party for immigrants, and a school for behavior art.

For her PAIR residency, Tanya asked the question: how can immigrant communities begin to trust the government and how, in turn, will the government demonstrate that it trusts immigrant communities? To address this question, Bruguera joined forces with long-time collaborators Mujeres en Movimiento, who use tactics from art and community organizing to advocate for neighborhood improvements, as well as Kollektiv Migrantas, a participatory design collective specializing in migrant rights. Together, the group created CycleNews, a two-way bike messenger service to communicate trusted, first-hand information between city agencies and immigrant communities.

For CycleNews, the Mujeres trained with MOIA to develop strategies to educate and engage immigrant residents about rights and services available to them through MOIA. Working with the Kollektiv Migrantas, Bruguera, the Mujeres, MOIA, and DCLA co-created picture-based materials outlining critical MOIA services to share with the Corona community. Every weekend for the duration of CycleNews, the Mujeres became creative bike messengers, delivering this specially-crafted information on acid yellow CycleNews bicycles. As messengers, the Mujeres served as direct points of contact between immigrant communities and government institutions and bring first-hand feedback, ideas, hopes, and fears to City officials.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS ANNOUNCE TANIA BRUGUERA AS ARTISTINRESIDENCE
Posted: July 14, 2015
Read more

NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS’ PUBLIC ARTIST IN RESIDENCE TANIA BRUGUERA LAUNCHES “CYCLENEWS”
Posted: Tuesday May 30, 2017
Read more and here

“Tania Bruguera Launches Bike-Based Project to Improve Ties Between Immigrants and NYC Government”
Published: May 30, 2017 by artnet
Read more

Onyedika Chuke

Onyedika Chuke was in residence with the Department of Correction (DOC), Rikers Island in 2018. Onyedika Chuke is a New York-based American sculptor and archivist born in Onitsha, Nigeria. His largest body of work titled The Forever Museum Archive (2011-present), is a disquieting collection of objects, text and images in which Chuke analyze social, cultural and political structures. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

During his PAIR residency with the Department of Correction (DOC), Onyedika worked with individuals on Rikers Island facing extremely challenging and traumatic circumstances to alleviate the negative impact of criminal punishment, create access to art, and open dialogue between policymakers and those in their custody.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: January 23, 2018
Read more

“Four New Public Artists in Residence Appointed by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs”
Published: January 23, 2018 by Artnews
Read more

Bryan Doerries

Bryan Doerries was in residence with the Department for Veteran’s Services from 2017 to 2018. Bryan Doerries is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, and translator. A self-described evangelist for classical literature and its relevance to our lives today, Doerries uses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. He is the co-founder of Theater of War Productions, which presents programs that address the enduring impact of war as well as broader community issues such as gun violence, mental health, addiction, prison reform, sexual assault and domestic violence.

For his PAIR residency, Doerries partnered with the Department for Veteran’s Services (DVS) and the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to engage both veterans and civilians in community-specific performances that fostered health and healing through open discussion and exchange. Between January 2017 and December 2018, the free performances took place in more than 60 venues across New York, including public libraries, homeless shelters, public schools, and cultural organizations with each tailored to the needs of different communities.

Learn more about the project here and here

“Theater of War Director Named New York City Artist in Residence”
Published: March 2, 2017 by The New York Times
Read more

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

An installation by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh during her PAIR residency, at IMPACCT Brooklyn, 1224 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216, May 2019

 

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh was in residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) from 2018 to 2019. Recognizing that culture can be a powerful tool for combating deep-seated issues like anti-Black racism, the Commission partnered with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh through the PAIR program to engage New Yorkers in a conversation about anti-Blackness and gender-based street harassment. Fazlalizadeh is a Black/Iranian visual artist and Oklahoma City native. Her project, Stop Telling Women to Smile, is a street art series that tackles gender-based street harassment around the world. Her work can be found on walls from New York to Paris, Los Angeles to Mexico City, and more, amassing international attention for tackling violence against women in public spaces. Tatyana has been profiled by the New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, the New Yorker, Time Magazine, and listed as one of Brooklyn’s most influential people by Brooklyn Magazine. Tatyana’s work can currently be seen on Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It, for which she is also the show’s Art Consultant. She is working on her first book, Stop Telling Women to Smile, with Seal Press. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Over the course of her 18-month residency with the Commission, Fazlalizadeh installed a series of large-scale murals and installations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan featuring powerful imagery of New Yorkers whom she and the agency had engaged on these issues. Both the text and the imagery featured in the murals were informed by a series of community conversations Fazlalizadeh and the Commission conducted in partnership with Bronx Defenders, Girls for Gender Equity, YWCA Brooklyn, GRIOT Circle, Weeksville Heritage Center, Jamaica NAACP, New Settlement Community Centers and others. The Commission’s 2018-2019 PAIR partnership with Fazlalizadeh represents an important effort to bring attention to human rights challenges faced by New Yorkers through the arts.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: January 23, 2018
Read more.
Past projects can be found here

“Four New Public Artists in Residence Appointed by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs”
Published: January 23, 2018 by Artnews
Read more

“New York City is Teaming Up with an Activist Artist in the Fight Against Street Harassment”
Published: March 26, 2018 by The Cut
Read more

Ebony Noelle Golden

Ebony Noelle Golden was in residence with the Mayor’s Office to End Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) in 2018. Ebony Noelle Golden is a South Bronx-based artist and cultural strategist who stages site-specific rituals and live art productions that profoundly explore the complexities of freedom in the time of now. Ebony is also the founder of Betty's Daughter Arts Collaborative, a cultural consultancy and arts accelerator serving the arts & culture sector for close to a decade. Her creative work has been presented at Judson Memorial Church, National Black Theatre, Hayti Heritage Center, DC Arts Center, and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance among others. Her curatorial projects have been presented at Brooklyn Museum, New York University, Alternate Roots, and The Brecht Forum among others.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS ANNOUNCES FOUR NEW PUBLIC ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Posted: January 23, 2018
Read more

“Four New Public Artists in Residence Appointed by NYC Department of Cultural Affairs”
Published: January 23, 2018 by Artnews
Read more

The Lost Collective

The Lost Collective was in residence with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) from 2016 to 2017. The Lost Collective is a group of four artists – Keelay Gipson, Rebeca Rad, Josh Adam Ramos, and Britton Smith – who have extensive experience in New York theater as actors, directors, writers, musicians, producers, educators, and mentors. Their practice is rooted in the intersection of art and activism, and their work is focused on the voices of underrepresented populations, including people of color and the LGBTQ community. The collective mounted two productions of a play entitled The Lost in 2014 and 2015 that used spoken word poetry and hip hop/R&B music to tell a story about youths at the margins of society and their struggle to create a space for themselves.

For their PAIR with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the Collective worked with 30 LGBTQ+ youth in five group homes across the City to create space for creative expression and creative agency. The youth delved into a range of projects, from self-portraiture, to voguing, to cooking, to martial arts, to autobiographical music videos. The Lost Collective built meaningful relationships with the youth, exposing them to artistic happenings, practices, and other artists in NYC. The residency culminated in a public exhibition of work by the youth, including performances of original music and screenings of experimental films, at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café.

NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND NYC ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN’S SERVICES ANNOUNCE SELECTION OF THE LOST COLLECTIVE FOR ARTIST RESIDENCY SERVING LGBTQ YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE FACILITIES
Posted: June 30, 2016
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“Meet the Collective That’s Connecting LGBTQ Foster Youth With the Arts”
Published: June 30, 2016 by The Observer
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Mary Miss

Mary Miss was in residence with the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) in 2016. Mary Miss has reshaped the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, landscape design and installation art by articulating a vision of the public sphere where it is possible for an artist to address the issues of our time. Her installations focus on social, cultural and environmental sustainability to reveal history, ecology or aspects of sites that have gone unnoticed. In addition to the ongoing initiative BROADWAY: 1000 Steps, she recently completed a project for the Indianapolis Museum of Art focusing on a 6-mile stretch of the White River. Miss was one of four artists who developed concepts for envisioning the future of Long Island City as part of the exhibition, Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City at the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park. She has received grants from the NEA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation. In 2012 she was awarded NYC Design Commission’s Award for Excellence in Design for The Passage: A Moving Memorial on Staten Island.

Miss worked within the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) in an advisory capacity, to identify “as many routes as possible to engage artists in reimagining cities for the 21st century.” She held several public discussions and workshops with DDC staff to brainstorm entry points for artists to create temporary works throughout the design and construction process.

Mary Miss Named First New York City Department of Design and Construction Artist-in-Residence
Exploring the intersection of art, architecture and public design
Posted: June 13, 2016
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“Decoding the City: An interview with Mary Miss, DDC artist-in-residence”
Published: May 26, 2017 by NYC x Design
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Social Design Collective and Christine Tinsley

Social Design Collective (SDC) and Christine Tinsley were in residence with the Department of Veteran’s Services in 2015. Social Design Collective (SDC) is an art and design collaborative founded and led by Jules Rochielle Sievert. This residency was done in collaboration with artist and veteran Christine Tinsley. Sievert has navigated terrain between art, performance, social justice, collective art practice, and applied design for over 10 years. SDC uses a variety of art and outreach strategies to build community partnerships and networks that endure long after the artistic engagement ends.

Social Design Collective (SDC) worked with DVS to foster and engage a community of women veterans, a historically underserved population. During their year-long residency, SDC and Tinsley worked with The Harlem Vet Center to produce the first women veterans conference in New York City with over 200 participants, hosted a series of LGTBIQ-focused potlucks for veterans, and created an extensive network of veteran artist advocacy groups. Sievert led website and digital literacy classes to women veterans, and Tinsley photographed and interviewed NYC-based women veterans for her ongoing project SisterVet: Stories from Sisters, Sailors and Soldiers.

“Female Veterans to Collaborate with Artists in Harlem”
Published: November 8, 2015 by The Wall Street Journal
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