City of Alexandria Mobile Art Lab: Artist Residencies

By East City Art Editorial Team on August 21, 2023

Deadline: Fri, September 1 2023

The Mobile Art Lab courtesy of the Office of the Arts.

Mobile Art Lab: Artist Residencies
Request for Qualifications
Submission Deadline: Friday, September 1, 2023 by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts is seeking six artists to each develop and execute two public workshops through the Mobile Art Lab. These site-specific workshops are opportunities to collaborate with the Office of the Arts to engage the public in various settings throughout Alexandria in new ways.

Each selected artists will be commissioned to create new artist engagements, implemented two times in different locations in the city. Potential locations include but are not limited to parks, senior centers, and other hubs where community members gather.

Background and Context

About the Mobile Art Lab
Launched in 2014 by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts and equipped with artist-grade traditional and innovative art supplies and equipment, the Mobile Art Lab (MAL) employs artists to engage the community through the visual and performing arts and gives artists a platform to expand their artistry. One of the Mobile Art Lab’s guiding principles is equity and ensuring that all residents of Alexandria have equitable access to arts and culture. A second guiding principle is creating meaningful relationships with the community. Therefore, the primary focus is serving communities in Alexandria where there are less arts and culture programs as part of larger outdoor public space activations. Using these guiding principles, the Mobile Art Lab provides opportunities for artists to connect directly with community members.

Goals and Process
Each year, The Office of the Arts develops a schedule of Mobile Art Lab activations throughout the City of Alexandria with a diverse roster of artists. This year with grant funding contributed by the National Endowment of the Arts for the 2023 Artists Residencies Program, the Office of the Arts aim to further expand its support of various communities within Alexandria.

Residency Goals
Workshops created through each Residency should:

  • Explore the creative process in a community-focused way;
  • Consider best locations for type of workshop and how to effectively engage various groups (children, adults, teens);
  • Capture the public’s imagination;
  • Highlight and activate various sites within the city;
  • Attract new and repeat visitors to Mobile Art Lab events.

Process
Once the selected artists are under contract they will begin a period of site research and exploration, which will include access to Office of the Arts staff. The artist will then propose to Office of the Arts staff a workshop plan they will create and lead. Once this proposal is approved by staff, the artist will develop the workshop according to the agreed-upon schedule/timeline. The artist will work with Office of the Arts staff to schedule at least two engagements to take place during the period from September to December 2023.

Artist or Artist Group/Organization Responsibilities
The artist selected for each residency will:

  • Collaborate with the Office of the Arts to create an original workshop project that aims to engage the public in the artmaking process.
  • Provide a brief written description of the workshop.
  • Work with the Office of the Arts to schedule two engagements in various locations within the City of Alexandria from September to December 2023. Workshops should be a minimum of 2 hours in length and must include use of the Mobile Art Lab.
  • Work with the Office of the Arts to document and archive the workshops and the process.
  • Provide any additional equipment needed.
  • Help promote the workshops.

Office of the Arts Responsibilities
The Office of the Arts and its City partners will provide access to the scheduled locations, necessary permits, marketing and communications, and project management support.

The Office of the Arts will also:

  • Approve the direction for the workshop series before the artist embarks on further development of the idea.
  • Work with the selected artist to develop and schedule the workshops in chosen city locations.
  • Provide photography of the workshops for documentation and media purposes.
  • Promote the workshops.

Selection Process
A review panel organized by the Office of the Arts will review submissions and select six artists. The jury or staff may choose to interview candidates before making a final selection.

Budget
The artist selected for each residency will receive a stipend of $500 per workshop ($1,000 total) to develop the original workshop series and provide two scheduled occurrences at sites throughout the City of Alexandria within the period of September to December 2023. Payment will be issued after each workshop. Checks may take up to 4-6 weeks for processing through City Accounting.

Eligibility
This residency is open to all contemporary artists, age 18 and older, based in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia who work in the arts fields, including but not limited to visual artists, performing artists, musicians, and interdisciplinary artists.

Anticipated Schedule
Deadline for Submission: Friday September 1, 2023 by 11:59 PM
Artists Selected: Tuesday, September 12
Artists Contracts: Finalized by Monday September 18
Artist Research Period: Monday September 18 – Friday September 22 Artists Submit Proposals for Review: Monday, September 25
Schedule of Performances: Wednesday September 27 – Friday December 29

To Submit
Please submit the following in a single PDF file to arts@alexandriava.gov by Friday, September 1, 11:59 PM EST:

  1. Cover Sheet with name, address, phone number, website and e-mail address of the artist applying.
  2. Letter of Interest of no more than 2 pages indicating your experience developing community workshops and your preliminary approach to the residency and how you wish to engage the public through the Mobile Art Lab. Please include what types of art supplies you are considering using and any initial locations you are considering.
  3. Resume/CV of no more than 3 pages.
  4. Web links to documentation of any previous community workshops or classes taught.
  5. Names and contact information for three professional references.
  6. Any information already known about your availability from September to December 2023, including weeks/months you would prefer to schedule workshops.

Questions
For questions about this opportunity, please contact arts@alexandriava.gov.

To view this opportunity on the web please visit: https://www.alexandriava.gov/rpca/calls-for-artists under the “Events & Public Space Activation” tab.