Call for Entry: National Children’s Museum Artist-in-Residence Program

By Editorial Team on December 7, 2020
Courtesy of the National Children’s Museum.
Deadline: December 14, 2020

National Children’s Museum, a Congressionally designated institution with a mission to inspire children to care about and change the world through STEAM initiatives, is launching an Artist-in-Residence program in 2021. Funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the program will take place from mid-December 2020 to June 2021.

The Museum seeks to partner with a Washington, DC-based emerging or professional visual artist to facilitate art workshops for children and families that complement the wonder of the Museum experience, spark creativity and curiosity, and draw inspiration from the Museum’s STEAM exhibits. Ultimately, the residency will culminate in a crowdsourced public art project. A Request for Applications is attached. The artist will dedicate approximately 10 hours per month to the design and facilitation of workshops (both virtual and, once safe to do so, in-person), and the development of a crowd-sourced public art project. The artist will receive a stipend of $6,000. This position does not include benefits and is considered a 1099 contractor.

About National Children’s Museum
Founded as Capital Children’s Museum in 1974 and renamed with a Congressional designation in 2003, National Children’s Museum has served young learners for over 45 years. This February, the Museum opened its new home on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza in downtown Washington, DC to serve the next generation of children and families. Located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW inside an annex space connected to the Ronald Reagan Building, the modern learning environment is accessible to families across the region and steps away from the National Mall and the White House.

National Children’s Museum is a unique hybrid institution, combining learning elements found in a science center with children’s museum experiences. Through science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) focused exhibits and playful, in-person and virtual program offerings, the Museum sparks curiosity and ignites creativity for all learners. The Museum’s mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world.

While it remains closed due to COVID, the Museum has provided free, digital resources to the community including STEAM-focused videos, a children’s podcast, virtual field trips, and digital exhibits. Through this work, the Museum found a national platform and connected with nearly 700,000 people across the country.

Opportunity Overview
Generously supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Artist-In-Residence is a new program at National Children’s Museum for the 2020-21 school year. The Museum seeks to partner with a Washington, DC-based artist for approximately seven months, from December 2020 through June 2021, to facilitate art workshops for children and families that complement the wonder of the Museum experience, spark creativity and curiosity, and draw inspiration from the Museum’s STEAM exhibits. The artist’s practice will resonate with young learners and celebrate the history, culture, and diverse communities of Washington, DC.

The artist should be comfortable interacting with children from birth to age twelve, their families, and teachers as well as entertaining conversations about their practice. The Artist-in-Residence Program is open to emerging and professional artists working in a variety of visual media including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, clay, textiles, illustration and digital media.

Time Commitment
The program will take place for seven months, from December 2020 through June 2021. In December and January, the Artist-In-Residence will collaborate with the Museum’s education and external affairs teams to plan activities, schedule events, and confirm supplies. Program delivery will take place from January to June 2021. The Artist-In-Residence will spend approximately 10 hours per month on both planning and delivery of activities.

Stipend
The Artist-In-Residence will receive a stipend of $6,000, paid in two installments. This position does not include benefits, and qualifies for 1099 independent contractor status.

The expectations of the Artist-In-Residence program are as follows:

  • Develop and lead a combination of virtual and in-person art workshops with support from the Museum’s Education team. Audiences may include:
    • public school students and educators from grades PreK-fifth;
    •  member families;
    • community partners; and/or
    • children and families from the public.
      (While the Museum remains closed due to the pandemic, these activities may occur virtually, or in public spaces throughout the District.)
  • Foster connection and a sense of community by creating a crowd-sourced art project to be displayed at the Museum or in another public space during the summer of 2021.
  • Introduce young children and their caregivers to artistic expression and investigation through open-ended projects.

what we believe are important experiences + traits for this role

  • Have a demonstrated creative, ambitious practice that reflects your artistic ideals
  • Previous experience with guiding young children and their families through creative workshops in recreational settings
  • Must be eager to work with children and families and have a passion for early childhood learning
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of staff and guests
  • Must be comfortable with leading both in-person and virtual events
  • A background in theatre, improv, or performing arts a plus
  • Insatiable curiosity with an eagerness to learn, willing to ask questions, and apply feedback

To apply please submit the following to community@nationalchildrensmuseum.org by December 14, 2020:

  • Name, address, contact information, and artistic medium
  • Cover letter detailing why you are interested in working with National Children’s Museum, and your experience working with children
  • Resume
  • A maximum of 5 work samples, with preference for pieces that demonstrate experience aligned to this position
  • Social media or website pages, if applicable