Temporary Full Time Artist-in-Residence Position in Virginia

Posted by City of Norfolk ; Posted on 
Temporary Full Time Artist-in-Residence Position in Virginia




The City of Norfolk, Virginia seeks an Artist-in-Residence to join its team of dedicated public servants for 10-12 months in 2019 to help further Norfolk’s goal of being the most creative city in the region. The position springs from the belief that art promotes social innovation, makes valuable contributions to society, and enriches a community. This is a full-time, temporary, benefits-eligible position.

Compensation: $35,000 with full city benefits, plus free housing (includes studio space), use of a city vehicle, and a $10,000 materials allowance
Eligibility: Professional designers, visual artists, or performing artists who are legal U.S. residents
Deadline:  12/1/2018 11:59 PM Eastern

Residency Description

The goal of this residence program is to infuse creativity and artistic perspectives into public service, inspire our public servants to approach problems with new mindsets, and to support artists who value community building as part of their practice. Through this residence we hope that the selected art can contribute to reimagining aspects of civic life, stimulating outside-the-box thinking, weaving artistic spirit into city government, and help write the next chapter of Norfolk’s history through significant artistic contributions.  The selected artist will have the opportunity to expand his/her own civic and social practice and expose City employees to examples of artistic practice that incorporate creative thinking and problem solving into municipal government.

Description of the Site

Norfolk is the cultural, educational, medical, and business centre of the seven city Hampton Roads area. Located in southeastern Virginia where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Norfolk is the second largest city in Virginia (246,000) and home to world-class art institutions such as the Chrysler Museum of Art and Hermitage Museum, as well as the Governor’s School for the Arts. Norfolk is thriving with culture, history, festivals, attractions, and entertainment. The emerging NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) arts district is home to galleries, public art, performance spaces, and businesses that embrace and support the arts.

Essential Functions

The artist will serve a 10-12 month term extending through calendar year 2019. A wide range of artistic methods, media, and outcomes are possible, including art installations, performances, publications, video, or storytelling.  The Residency will be structured in four phases:

  1. Immersion: a research phase including job shadowing, meetings, site visits, community engagement, getting to know the city, city employees and processes, and attending events which will result in a proposal for a creative project.
  2. Project Planning: a planning phase to develop a creative proposal which will be approved prior to implementation.
  3. Implementation: a production phase to realize the project.
  4. Documentation: a wrap-up phase to document the year’s activities and recommendations for future residencies.


Candidates must be a U.S. resident and have a minimum of 3-5 years of relevant experience in arts and culture and a professional and/or academic background in any of the following areas: public art, fine arts, mixed media, theater, music, urban design, architecture, sociology, anthropology, urban studies, community development or other arts-related disciplines.  Experience working directly with other artists, non-profit organizations, community-based groups or local government is desired.

Successful candidates will demonstrate the following:

  • Experience collaborating effectively in various disciplines, e.g., visual art, music, dance, theatre, storytelling;
  • Experience managing projects involving community partners and budgets exceeding $10,000;
  • Knowledge of issues such as arts and cultural planning, arts and land use planning, creative mapping and data presentation, transportation, sustainability, resiliency, public safety, social equity, or public health;
  • Willingness to participate in municipal processes pertaining to arts and cultural activities in public places;
  • Demonstrated interpersonal communication and public presentation skills; and/or
  • A collaborative, friendly, self-motivated and adventurous attitude.

Working Conditions

This is a full-time, temporary, benefits-eligible position. The average work week is 40 hours based on project needs. The artist will have a desk in City Hall. The pay is $35,000 salary plus accommodation of a 2-bedroom, 2 bath waterside cottage on the Norfolk Botanical Garden’s grounds, which can be used both as a residence and studio space. The selected artist may bring a spouse/companion/partner/child(ren) for the duration of the residency.  The artist is expected to imagine and conduct some artistic programming during the year at the Botanical Garden. The artist is expected to attend off site meetings and events and is responsible for personal transportation to and from City Hall. City vehicles are available for work-related travel around Norfolk. There is an additional $10,000 available for art material and production costs.

Selection Process

Selections will be made based on the criteria listed above. A selection panel comprised of members from city staff and community arts partners will review all the applications. Finalists may be selected to be interviewed by the selection panel in person or virtually.


  • Non-negotiable application deadline: December 1, 2018
  • Selection announced: To Be Determined
  • Term of the Residency February 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019 [extension negotiable]

How to Apply

Digital, online applications only through the City of Norfolk website (look for the job listing “Artist in Residence”). The online application must include a cover letter, resume, three references, and a brief artist statement.  In the cover letter, please describe some of the current issues you would be interested in engaging with during the term of your residency and the skills and approach you strive to bring.  In addition to the online application, send 5-10 PDF work samples to norfolkarts@gmail.com.  Applications that do not include work samples will not be considered.  You may include a link to a video or send video.  Enter Artist in Residency Application in the subject line of the email.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Karen Rudd, Karen.Rudd@norfolk.gov or 757-664-6883


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