Ends on April 8, 2019

DEADLINE: Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:59 PM ESt
BUDGET: Artist Fee: $25,000 + $7,500 Material Allowance/ Year Two Project Implementation Budget TBD 

The Office of Public Art is collaborating with Rethink Vets, a coalition of organizations that serve veterans in Southwestern Pennsylvania, to facilitate an artist in the public realm residency. One artist, or artist team, will be selected to work with the Rethink Vets coalition to develop a creative project in collaboration with veteran communities in Allegheny, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties over a two-year period. 

During the first year, the artist or artist team will work with Rethink Vets and its coalition members to engage several veteran communities, and will then spend the second year producing a project whose concept is generated through the first year of collaboration and engagement. Artists or artist team will be paid a fee of $25,000 for the first year of the residency; an artist fee and project implementation budget for the second year that will be determined. An allowance of $7,500 for materials and related expenses will be provided in the first year of the residency to support community engagement and other activities.

The Office of Public Art champions the belief that artists can and should be engaged as change agents who can collaborate with communities to envision their future, address community issues, and strengthen connectivity. Artists are creative and valuable community members who are often experts at creative problem-solving and encouraging interaction between groups and individuals. The residency with Rethink Vets will facilitate a creative collaboration to break down misconceptions and approaches to difficulties veterans face by deeply embedding an artist or artist team within the veteran community. 

Rethink Vets coalition members will select an artist, or artist team, to collaborate with Southwestern Pennsylvania’s veteran communities. The residency will last for two years.During the first year of the program, the artist or artist team will collaborate with the Rethink Vets coalition to engage veteran and non-veteran communities throughout the region to facilitate dialogue and challenge perspectives. The second year of the program will be dedicated toward implementing a creative project that will be generated from the first year of collaboration and engagement. 

The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity and funding for organizations and artists to develop new ideas for creative projects. It is not a funding stream to implement existing plans or concepts for specific works of art. The structure for this residency is intentionally open-ended. The goal is for deep community engagement that results in a collaborative, creative project. We are specifically seeking artists, or artist teams, that are interested in working with communities to develop projects that have a positive impact. 

This project is being supported by generous funding from The Heinz Endowments. 

About Rethink Vets
Rethink Vets is the work of a coalition of organizations committed to changing inaccurate, preconceived notions about our returning troops. Led by The Heinz Endowments, these organizations rallied together to reshape public perception through this awareness campaign. Not just because our veterans deserve the benefit of an open mind, but because these misconceptions devalue the immense asset that veterans bring to our community.

Project Phases and Budget
The artist or artist team will spend one year collaborating with Rethink Vets coalition members to develop and produce activities to engage the veteran community throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the second year producing a creative project whose concept is generated through the first year of collaboration.

The artist or artist team will receive a stipend of $25,000 to participate in the first year of the residency. A budget of $7,500 is available for the first phase of the residency to facilitate community participation, or to prototype creative projects. The artist or artist team and Rethink Vets will determine the total budget for the creative project. Funding will be raised separately to implement the project. The artists will enter into a contract with the Office of Public Art.

Project Setting and Facilities  
unique aspect of this residency program will be the project setting and studio facilities. The Office of Public Art and Rethink Vets will collaborate with regional partners to host a shipping container studio in different locations for several weeks at a time to best accommodate the dispersed veteran communities throughout the region. The selected artist will work with the Office of Public Art and Rethink Vets to determine locations and a schedule for the temporary studio during the community engagement and testing phases of the program.

The shipping container studio will provide a central workspace for the artist or artist team, and will become a highly visible destination for veterans and other community members to meet and engage with the artist or artist team. The residency structure will seek to eliminate barriers that contribute to reduced access to the arts for many populations by physically bringing the artist studio to these communities.

 The shipping container studio is ADA compliant and provides heating, cooling, and electricity. A plan for locations and engagement will be developed with the selected artist or artist team, and regional partners who are willing to host the studio on their grounds. It is intended that the shipping container studio will be located at the 2019 and 2020 Three Rivers Arts Festival for community engagement activities with the selected artist or artist team. 

Artist Responsibilities
The list below is a summary of the key responsibilities illustrating artist or artist team participation. This is not meant to be a list of every task artists will complete during the program.

  • Spend time learning about Rethink Vets, the coalition members, and the communities they serve.
  • Collaborate with Rethink Vets and other selected organizations to develop a community engagement strategy to implement during the first year of the residency.
  • Participate in monthly project team meetings with the Office of Public Art and other key project team members. 
  • Be present in the organization(s) and the community(ies) between 15-20 hours per week during the first year.
  • Collaborate with the community(ies) and organization(s) to identify a creative project to implement during the second year of the residency.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Public Art to develop a funding strategy for the implementation phase of the project.
  • Implement the creative project.

This opportunity is open to any visual, performing, film, or literary artist who is able to commit to a two-year long residency, and has experience working collaboratively with community groups. Artists must demonstrate experience of working collaboratively and in community settings. We are especially interested in artists who live in the Pittsburgh region, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties, but who are willing to travel and work in Allegheny, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. 

Artist teams, and teams including individuals working in multiple fields, are eligible to apply. Teams must include at least one artist who has experience working in community settings to be eligible.

Artists and all members of artist teams must have Act 34 Criminal Clearance and Child Abuse History Clearance, or be willing to apply for certification, before being offered a contract for the residency. This process is a standard background check used in Pennsylvania for adults working with young people. Information about Act 34 Criminal Clearance can be found on the website: https://epatch.state.pa.us. Information about Child Abuse History Clearance can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s website, http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/. You may also pick up the clearance forms in the lobby of the Pittsburgh Board of Education Administration Building at 341 S. Bellefield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, from 8 AM to 4 PM daily.

Call for Artists (RFQ) Release....................Monday, February 18, 2019

Information Session.....................................Tuesday, March 12, 6 - 7 PM, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council office, 810 Penn Ave., 7th floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

RFQ Submissions Due................................Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:59 PM 

Notification to Shortlist................................Week of April 22, 2019 

Artist Interviews............................................Week of May 7, 2019 

Contract Execution......................................May 2019 

Residency Begins........................................June 2019

Three Rivers Arts Festival 2019...............June 7 - 16, 2019

Final Project Implementation....................Begins June 2020 

Project Completion......................................To be determined

Please note that this timeline is subject to change. 

Selection Process

The Office of Public Art is facilitating the artist selection process for this project.  Qualifications submitted through this RFQ will be reviewed by a selection committee, which will include members of the Rethink Vets coalition. A limited number of artists will be invited for an interview. Only one artist or artist team will be chosen for this residency.

During the interview, artists will discuss their past work, their ability to work on the project, their interest in this particular project, and their experience collaborating with communities. The artists who are asked to interview for the project will not be asked to develop a model or proposal.

It is the intention of the residency for one artist or artist team to be selected. Should the selection committee determine that none of the artists presented are the right match for the residency, Office of Public Art and Rethink Vets may choose to select an artist via an invitational process.

How to Apply
Applications will only be accepted electronically through online application form below. If you have questions, please Contact Derek Reese of the Office of Public Art at 412.391.2060 x 233 or at dreese@pittsburghartscouncil.org.

DEADLINE: Monday, April 8, 2019 at 11:59 PM ESt
Do not contact Rethink Vets or the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust about this opportunity.