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Indiana Humanities, in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, seeks to commission an Indiana-based poet to write an original poem inspired by the life, career, and legacy of Marshall “Major” Taylor. The poem will accompany a new mural of the famous cyclist that will be installed during the summer of 2021 as part of the Arts Council’s Bicentennial Legends mural project.
COMMISSION: $1,000 (plus appearance/reading fees)
ELIGIBILITY: Any poet age 18 or over and living in Indiana at the time of application
DEADLINE: Apply by March 31, 2021. If commissioned, poem must be completed by June 15.
In 1899 Marshall “Major” Taylor, who was born and raised in Indianapolis, became the first African American world-champion professional cyclist and only the second African American world champion in any sport. He was also the U.S. sprint championship in 1899 and 1900, and became a pioneering role model for other athletes facing racial discrimination.
The commissioned poem should aim to bring further context and understanding to the life of Major Taylor, allowing readers to experience the struggles and triumphs of Taylor’s remarkable life. The poem will be posted alongside the mural, with hopes that visitors to the mural will read and reflect, finding connection and inspiration in Taylor’s life through the written word.
About the Mural
The Arts Council identified Major Taylor as the first Bicentennial Legends portrait mural subject, and is commissioning the mural in partnership with the Major Taylor Coalition, an informal group of central Indiana residents who are passionate about seeing Taylor honored in his hometown.
The mural will be installed in 2021 on the east wall of the Barnes & Thornburg building, 11 S. Meridian St. Lead funding support is provided by the City of Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission, Barnes & Thornburg, Glick Philanthropies, the CIBA Foundation Inc., and public donations to the Major Taylor Coalition, which will be matched by SRAM Corporation.
The Major Taylor Coalition has articulated the following goals for the mural, which are the goals of the commissioned poem as well:
For more information about Taylor’s life and work, please review these collected resources.
This commission carries a fee of $1,000. In addition to the fee, there may be opportunities for performances and readings of the poem at programs related to the mural. Additional compensation for readings and performances will be offered as those programs are developed.
WHAT TO PROVIDE
To be considered for this commission, please provide the following materials:
HOW TO APPLY
Please complete this application form. You may attach your writing samples as a single PDF or Word document, or attach multiple documents. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision in mid-April. The poem must be completed by June 15, 2021 and will be unveiled alongside the mural at a ceremony during the summer of 2021.
Questions? Contact Megan Telligman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.616.9409.
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