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Artist Residency in the Public Realm in Pittsburgh

Posted by Pittsburgh Office of Public Art ; Posted on 
Artist Residency in the Public Realm in Pittsburgh




The Office of Public Art is working with Welcoming Pittsburgh, the Department of City Planning, and organizations that serve immigrant communities in Pittsburgh to host four artist residencies in the public realm. Four artists will collaborate with four organizations during the two-year residency.

Each artist will receive a fee of $25,000 per year for two years to participate in the residency. A budget of $5,000 is available for the first phase of the residency to facilitate community participation or to prototype creative projects. A budget for the creative project will be determined during the second phase. The anticipated budget range of the creative projects is $20,000 – $30,000 each.

This opportunity is open to any visual, performing, or literary artist who is able to commit to a two-year long residency and have experience working collaboratively with community groups. Artists must have demonstrated 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, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington, and Westmoreland working on public art projects. Artist teams, and teams including individuals working in multiple fields, are eligible to apply.

Project Description
During the first year, each artist and organization will produce activities to engage the community, and will spend the second year producing a creative project whose concept is generated through the first year of collaboration. Four organizations have been selected to participate in this program. Participating organizations are the Northern Area Multi-Service Center, United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, and Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh. The organizations have identified opportunities to collaborate with artists on specific challenges that face their organization and the people they serve.

The structure for the residencies is intentionally open-ended. The goal of these residencies is deep community engagement that results in a collaborative, creative project. We are specifically seeking artists and organizations that are interested in working together to develop projects that have a positive impact on the social and physical connectivity in the neighborhoods in which they are produced.

Artist Responsibilities

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

  • Spend time learning about the organization and the people they serve.
  • Collaborate with the organization to develop a community engagement strategy to implement during the first year of the residency.
  • Participate in monthly project team meetings with the organization, OPA, and City.
  • Be present in the organization and the community between 15-20 hours per week during the first year.
  • Collaborate with the community and organization to identify a creative project to implement during the second year of
  • the residency.
  • Implement the creative project.



  • February 2017: Application deadline
  • March 2017: Artist interviews
  • April 2017: Contracts completed, residency begins
  • April 2018: Creative projects begin implementation


Submission Information

Submit a proposal that includes:

  1. An online application form with contact information. Please visit to access application form.
  2. A letter describing why you are interested in working on this project, up to two pages in length. Please be sure to describe your experience collaborating with community members, residents, or others in the development of creative projects. Only .doc or .docx, .odt, or .rtf files are accepted.
  3. Worksamples, in images, video, or text. Up to 10 samples of your past work. Images must be in .jpg or .jpeg format, no larger than 5’’ x 7’’ and up to 300 dpi. Each image should be no larger than 1MB. Any image file not submitted as a .jpg or .jpeg will not be accepted. Videos must be in .avi or .mp4 format, and no longer than 3 minutes. DVD formats are not accepted. You may include up to three links to third party video hosting websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Literary worksamples can be in any text format, but please no more than 5 pages long. Artist teams may submit a combined total of up to 10 work samples, not 10 work samples for each artist.
  4. A script that includes a short description of each image submitted. The description for each image should include the following information as applicable: artwork title, dimensions, materials, budget, location, and a brief summary. Only .doc or .docx, .odt, or .rtf files are accepted.
  5. A copy of your artist statement. Artist teams who do not have previous experience collaborating should submit a statement for each artist, plus a statement of how the artists will collaborate. Only .doc or .docx, .odt, or .rtf files are accepted.
  6. A copy of your resume, up to three pages. Artist teams should submit one resume per artist. Any file type is accepted.


How to Apply

Apply only through Submittable.  No emailed, mailed or FAXed applications will be accepted.
Be sure to download and read the full project information.

QUESTIONS?  Contact the Office of Public Art at or via phone at 412-391-2060 x233.