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Artist & Public Life Residency Now Taking Applications

Posted by Big Car ; Posted on 
Artist & Public Life Residency Now Taking Applications



Big Car Collaborative is an arts organization working in partnership with a nonprofit community development corporation to support the neighborhood where they are based and where multiple staff members live.  The goal of this program is to allow artists enjoyable and equitable home ownership while they work, in part, to collaborate with other neighbors and boost the culture, creativity, diversity, livability, safety, health, and economy of the local and greater community.

Located in the Garfield Park neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana, this long-term ownership residency program is an innovative approach to supporting artists who use their talents and skills to help drive positive change in the community.  The program works like a land bank of sorts for artist housing. The idea is to keep the houses outside of market forces and maintain an affordable place for artists to be able to be homeowners in the community. The houses used in this program were previously vacant, some for a long time. No existing residents were displaced. 

Ultimately, Big Car will be teaming up with resident artists who see their work with the public — and their work for the benefit of the community — as at the core of their practice and their production as artists.

Budget:  This is a home ownership program for artists; artists do not receive a fee or budget, but they will be able to build the equity that comes with home ownership.  ***note:  there is a $25 fee to apply to the program***

Eligibility:  Applicants must be artists.  Applicants may come from anywhere in the U.S. or abroad.  The label of “artist” is viewed broadly, to include creatives, makers, designers — anyone who considers themselves an artist. Fields may include — and are not limited to — architecture, culinary art, curation, visual art, public art, furniture, fashion, craft, design, film and video, creative writing and journalism, performing arts, music, theater, placemaking, socially engaged art, etc.

Program details:  The selected residency artists will co-own the homes with Big Car’s partnership at a reduced price particular to each home. Just over half of the cost of the home is owned by the partnership (51%). The artist will own the other half of the home (49%) while also committing to building participation and strengthening community through art, along with Big Car. Should the artist decide to leave the program and the home, the partnership will purchase the artist homeowner’s investment in the home based on a fixed purchase price. That means the artist homeowner will be able to get what they paid into the house back out should they decide to sell. But, as artists participating in the program, they are not required to sell or move unless they choose to do so.

Resident artists will receive research and training support from Big Car staff and others as they’ll be representing the partnership in the community. In return for receiving a discount on homeownership, artists agree to the following:

  • Artists will open their home and/or grounds for some form of public engagement during neighborhood-wide open house or art walks events 4-6 times per year — usually on the First Friday of the month.
  • Artists will dedicate 16+ hours per month to working with the public in the community. This time can include time on their own public projects, training and meetings, and time supporting other Big Car or neighborhood programs.
  • Artists will have opportunities to participate in Big Car-organized exhibition and collaboration opportunities. Partnerships between resident artists, visiting artists, other local artists, and staff artists are encouraged.
  • Artists will engage in the program, focusing on the Garfield Park neighborhood for their first three years. They then may have a sabbatical from public work if they desire. In the next three years, the artist can propose work for the community more broadly (beyond the neighborhood) if they desire. So the commitment to public work is for seven years with one year off in the middle. This plan and timeframe is negotiable and can be adjusted with each artist resident.

Selection criteria:  Qualifying artists will be selected by a panel of experts on community-focused art and housing (some from other cities) and neighbors.

How to apply

Houses are open in multiple phases. Applications for the first round of (2) homes available for occupancy are being accepted on a rolling basis between March 1, 2017 – April 14, 2017.  Applicants will be notified by May 31, 2017 via the email listed in the application.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Read the more detailed Terms & Agreements
  2. Complete the Pre-Qualification Survey (Check your email within 24 hours after completion of the survey for the link to the full Artist Application)
  3. Complete the full Artist Application after receiving email link (required $25 fee for full applications)

There is an information session at the Tube Factory Artspace on April 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. for interested artists.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Danicia Monet,, for more information.