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ARTIST AS ACTIVIST: Two-Year Fellowships


The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is seeking to support accomplished,
independent artists and art collectives with a demonstrated commitment to
applying their creative work to the public sphere. The creative practice can be in
any technical discipline as long as the proposed project entails addressing a
pressing social challenge.

More specifically:

The Artist as Activist program defines the word artist in broad terms to
include architects, culture bearers, designers, master craftsmen, musicians,
performers, photographers, storytellers, cultural organizers, etc.

Artists and creative professionals may be at any stage of their career but
must provide evidence of a demonstrated capacity to fulfill the project they
propose (most likely through a body of work that includes similar projects).

Applicants cannot be enrolled as full-time students during the period for which
they are applying for support, nor can they hold full-time appointments at a
school or university.

Applicants must be based in the U.S. however the work of the project can be
located anywhere in the world. In future rounds we hope to extend eligibility
to international artists as well.

Each applicant can submit only one proposal to the program. Please choose
whether to apply to the Fellowship or the Travel Grant.

Creative projects at the intersection of art and activism may take many forms.
There are projects that generate thought leadership, where an artist brings
new insight to cultural phenomena. There are projects that result in new or
improved products or processes that directly address a specific problem.
There may be projects that serve a connecting function, where creative acts
produce the conditions necessary to galvanize stakeholders and move them
to action. And there will be projects that are some combination of these
forms. We invite artists engaged in any of these practices to pursue support
through this program.

Additionally, we encourage applications from artists typically underrepresented in
creative professions visual and performing. Underrepresented backgrounds

might include artists from communities of color or disability communities, artists
working in rural areas, or artists working in vernacular art forms.

Grant Amount and Purpose
Artist as Activist Fellows will be selected to receive up to $100,000 over a
two-year period in order to pursue an ambitious creative project applied to
critical local and/or global challenges

The project may be at the point of proof of concept, advancement, or in its
final stage. By proof of concept we mean that this is not an opportunity to
explore an idea that is not yet formed fully. This is an opportunity to rev up
something you have already begun working on, whether that has been over
the last six months or for the past six years.

Additionally, Artist as Activist Fellows will be eligible to attend foundation-
sponsored events, access technical assistance, and be included in
foundation publications.

Eligible Grant Expenses
In order to remove some of the barriers for independent artists to effectively
pursue creative projects applied to global challenges, eligible expenses are
broad. Fellowship project budgets might include:

Fellow stipends
Production expenses
Travel or related costs to support being embedded in community where
project is taking place if it is other than artists own neighborhood
Professional development related to the proposed project (For ex: public
speaking coaching, attending a storytelling workshop, or in some other way
strengthening capacity to achieve or share outcomes of this work.)

Selection Criteria
A compelling project that reflects a bold vision and a demonstrated
commitment to working at this intersection of art and activism.
Artistic excellence, which in this context reflects both aesthetic quality and
social relevance.
Strong work samples, where past projects reflect well considered, clear
intentions that have in turn been well executed.
Evidence of ability to successfully execute the projects stated goals.
Demonstrated commitment to the communities and/or issues that would be
served by this project.

Grant Reporting Requirements

Fellows will be asked to report on the ways in which they spent foundation
dollars. While eligible expenses are broad, they must be consistent with the
project budget put forward in the full proposal. Additionally, fellows will be asked
to report on what they accomplished through the fellowship.

Specific reporting requirements will be provided within the grant contract, but let
us offer some general guidance. The foundation recognizes that assuring
immediate and/or long-term impact through a creative project is not guaranteed.
The purpose of the fellowship is to provide space for committed artists working at
the intersection of art and activism to advance the agenda they put forward in
their proposal. This could look like deeper relationships required to mobilize a
community towards action, incremental gains in a political campaign,
successfully testing a pilot program, prototyping, or something else altogether.
Given the variances in this way of working, we expect the process for measuring
grant progress will be a collaborative act. Applicants who are invited to submit a
full proposal will be asked to identify some initial benchmarks of progress and
project success.