Archive for the ‘teaching artists’ Category

Historic Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


Of Note: The National Museum of African American History & Culture has opened in Washington DC.

Poets Entries are now being accepted for the New Criterion’s Poetry Prize of $3,000 and publication by St. Augustine’s Press. The prize is given annually for a poetry collection that pays close attention to form. Erica Dawson, Roger Kimball, and David Yezzi will judge. Submit a manuscript of up to 60 pages with a $25 entry fee byVisit the website for complete guidelines. Learn more.
Deadline:  September 30, 2016

Artist Business Grants MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is seeking Boston-based applicants for its Matched Savings Program, which supports creative entrepreneurs with a matching grant and artist-focused business and financial training. Eligible applicants must have a home or studio address in the City of Boston. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Poets, Fiction Writers Entries are currently being accepted for the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes. Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel or novella. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Short Fiction Entries are now being accepted for the University of Iowa Press Short Fiction Awards. Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

MCC Artist Fellowships The Massachusetts Cultural Council is currently accepting Artist Fellowship applications for Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged grants for Massachusetts artists in recognition of artistic excellence. Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000. Learn more.
Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016

STARS Residencies The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residencies Program (Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants of $500-$5,000 to schools to support creative learning residencies of three days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Learn more.
Application opens October 6, 2016 at 4pm

Videos, Animations, Computer Generated Work Proposals for the next round of Art on the Marquee are currently being accepted. Looking for work 30 second videos, animations or computer generated work, that use the entire Marquee in creative ways. Please submit a storyboard, statement, work samples, and CV to The call is limited to artists who live anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Learn more.
Deadline: October 16th, 2016 (midnight)

Boston Choreographers The Boston Foundation and The Aliad Fund have announced Next Steps for Boston Dance, a new grant program that provides multi-layered support for Boston-area choreographers creating original work in any genre. Offers 250 hours of rehearsal space; 6-10 consultations with experts in chosen areas of need/interest; $5,000 in implementation funds for the artist to take a “next step” in his/her work or career; a series of cohort meetings to connect choreographers, build relationships, and allow for co-learning. A minimum of three grants will be awarded in this pilot round/first year of Next Steps. Learn more.
Deadline: Oct 24, 2016 at 5pm

Ten-minute Plays Submissions of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights are now being accepted for the Boston Theater Marathon XIX to be held May 14, 2017, at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2016

Writing Conference Scholarships If you’re interested in attending Muse and the Marketplace, GrubStreet’s national conference for writers, in Boston Spring 2017 but could use financial support, GrubStreet is offering numerous $250 scholarships for attendees. Learn more.
Deadline: November 21, 2016

Image credit: Circa 1940s: “Miss America.” (Joe Schwartz). From the photography collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Shoegazing Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Personal Essay Contest/Publication Entries are now being accepted for a prize of $1,000 and publication in Literal Latté. Contests are held annually in a variety of categories, including personal essay. Learn more.
Deadline: September 15, 2012

“Green” Artists Artists using renewable, recycled, reclaimed, or reused materials are encouraged to submit to ReMade, a juried art exhibition at the “g” Green Design Center in Mashpee. Learn more.
Deadline: September 15, 2012

Artist Fellowships The National Endowment for the Arts is currently accepting nominations for both its 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellowships and 2014 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships.
Nomination Deadline: October 1, 2012 (5:30 p.m.)

Exhibition Proposals The Arsenal Center for the Arts is seeking proposals from Greater Boston-area artists for a site-specific installation on their main staircase, to be exhibited in the 2012-2013 Exhibition Season. Applicants are required to view the space before submitting proposal materials. Images and dimensions of the space are available upon request. Submissions must include images of past work/installations (images no larger than 300 dpi), as well as a written proposal of how you would configure your work to the space. Send all application materials via email to Aneleise Ruggles.
Deadline: October 1, 2012

Composers New Music USA (formerly American Music Center and Meet The Composer) has a Composer Assistance Program designed to help composers offset costs associated with live premieres and public readings of new or significantly revised works. Expenses include copying costs; score and part extraction and reproduction; travel and lodging; costs for obtaining copyrighted material, and so on. Learn more.
Deadline: October 15, 2012

Writers, poets, artists, photographers Whitefish Review, a semi-annual literary and arts journal, is seeking submissions. There is no entry fee to submit nonfiction, poetry, art or photography for publication. Whitefish Review publishes emergent through established artists, photographers, and writers of all ages whose works develop themes around mountain culture. The theme for their next issue is “Beneath the Surface.” The journal also offers the Rick Bass/Montana Prize for Fiction ($1000 prize, with publication). Learn more.
Deadline: October 15, 2012

Exhibition Proposals The Newton Free Library is currently accepting exhibition proposals. Questions, contact Ellen Meyers, Director of Programs and Communications, Newton Free Library, or call 617-796-1410. Learn more.
Deadline: November 9, 2012 (12 noon)

Rome Prize Early- to mid-career artists working at a high level of excellence can apply for 6-11 month residency fellowships in Rome through the Rome Prize. Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2012

Call to Teaching Artists The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is currently accepting applications for their Community Arts Initiative: The Artist Project. Artists at all stages of their careers, ranging from emerging to established, and working in any range of media are eligible to apply to the program. Artists must be experienced in working with children aged seven to twelve. Learn more.
Deadline: January 18, 2013

Image credit: Vintage photograph from public domain findings blog.


What Do You Try to Instill in Emerging Artists?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

On the blog, we’ve had the chance to exchange ideas with dozens of Massachusetts artists, exploring their work and the way they make it.

A number of these artists, along with creating their own work, also teach. What do they try to instill in emerging artists? Here, we share some of their insights into the creative life.

Melinda Lopez, playwright
Break your characters. Don’t protect them. That’s the number one thing I see — a playwright has everything lined up, beautiful words, great characters, and killer story, and then they can’t follow through because they love their characters too much. You have to break their little spines, and leave them in the dirt and see if they can get up. If they can, then it’s a comedy.

Daphne Kalotay, writer
Of course it’s possible to over-revise, but most people don’t revise enough. I know it sounds schoolmarm-ish, but it’s true. The ability to revise is probably the most underrated and necessary skill, even more important than imagination. Because your imagination will only get you so far; then you need to fix everything up – develop it fully, make sure it flows and is well-formed, that it isn’t under-baked or overly wordy or unnecessarily confusing. From what I’ve seen as a writing teacher, in most cases what stops aspiring writers from reaching their goal is an unwillingness to revise as much as is truly necessary.

Holly Lynton, photographer
A teacher of mine once told me that it was not talent but persistence that carries you through as an artist. I firmly believe she is right. There are many aspects that go into a creative practice. Determination, critical evaluation, perseverance, challenging oneself, and staying true to a vision. I was taught to work to find my own point of view and perspective, to have as a goal the ability to create photographs that would immediately be recognized as mine. If I showed you a slide show of images by truly great photographers (assuming you had a good photo history background), I bet you’d be able to name most of them. That is a lofty goal of course, so I also try to encourage artists to find balance. Happiness. Happiness for me is key, as it’s an attribute that so often seems highly unattainable. At least among several people I’ve known. I try to encourage emerging artists to find a way of living and working as an artist that gives them a happy, balanced life, because I also believe that self-esteem can be fragile when developing an art career. For me, having a family enabled me to stay grounded, that and moving to the country. It took me a while to learn an important lesson, again taught to me by a great teacher, that being an artist is a way of life, a way of seeing the world, a way of thinking, and that you are that no matter what. Having an art career is something separate.

Steven Bogart, playwright and director
Be patient and give yourself permission, lots of permission, to explore anything that stirs your heart and imagination. We hear the word “no” way too much in our lives and it puts a vice grip on our creative impulses. I see this all the time in schools. As a director and theater teacher, my mantra to them is to be invested in the success of every other person in the room with you. I don’t believe the art of theater can be achieved without this kind of commitment.

Allan Reeder, director of Writing and Publishing Program at Walnut Hill School for the Arts
I like what novelist Zadie Smith wrote in an essay a few years ago – that “[r]eading, done properly, is every bit as tough as writing.” I agree with her that good reading is not only a skill but an art, a talent. I try to cultivate this through my teaching, in part because the possibilities for development of a literary piece depend so much on a writer’s being able to see what’s already there in a draft, or potentially there, if she can read it and re-read it with imagination, with vision – to see it on the screen in the mind. Go back and look again, see again. I strive to help our writers to get better and better at finding the possibilities that are inside that scene, that moment, that line, that gesture they put there in a draft originally for no clear purpose. Once a detail on the page is picked up again for its promise or potential, then it’s time to pick up the pen again and get to work on the language, making it more specific, more precise. The possibilities open in achieving precision.

Lois Roach, playwright and director
Life is messy. I tell my students that all the time. And that’s where your scripts and your stories come from. They don’t just come from four friends sitting in a coffee shop.

Jamie Cat Callan, writer
Follow your muse. Don’t worry about where you’re going or where you’ll end up. Write from the heart and believe that there is a place in this world for your voice, your story, your style. No one else can be you. You are completely unique and amazing in your own way. And as long as you stay true to yourself, your contribution to the world will be completely true and unique. Oh, and one other thing. Be kind to your writing. It lives and breathes outside of you. It’s a gift to you from your muse, so if you are kind to your own creations, your muse will make a habit of visiting you often. I don’t believe in tough love when it comes to teaching writing. I believe in love. Kindness. Gentleness. And of course a whole lot of joie de vivre.

Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, playwright
Keep a journal, write two hours a day, read hundreds of plays, go to a play a week, get to know your local playwrights and rush to see their plays, when you have writer’s block distract yourself with a 10-minute play and submit it to the innumerable festivals in your favorite cities all over the country, have close friends (other than yourself) that you study and know inside out. Never give up, never despair – after three decades of doing what you love most, the Huntington might give you a call. (Ed. note: Alfaro will premiere her play Before I Leave You at the Huntington Theatre Company in October 2011. The above is quoted from Adam Szymkowicz’s blog.)

Justin Casinghino, composer
As a teacher, I have two primary concerns. I want my students to stay open minded about everything they hear and everything they create, keeping them unafraid to go out on a limb and try something they are unfamiliar with. At the same time, I am particularly concerned with teaching composition as a craft. In other words, it is important to me that my students be aware of and study what and how the past masters of the craft have done. I think that allowing students to explore their own path, while also keeping them in touch with the lineage of composition, is the most beneficial method of study for the young composer.

Adam Schwartz, writer
Keep writing because it brings meaning to (your) life and not because (you) have visions of fame and success.

Image: East Somerville Community School mural project led by artist David Fichter, part of MCC’s STARS Residencies.

A world of Artist Opportunities at your fingertips

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

For writers who long to be heard: A new literary magazine, The Drum, has been launched by Henriette Lazaridis Power (a 2006 Artist Fellow in Fiction/Creative Nonfiction). The Drum publishes, in audio form, short fiction, essays, and the occasional author interview. The inaugural issue comes out in May. Says Henriette, “We’re looking for work that pays close attention to language while never losing sight of the narrative drive. We want stories that really do tell a story. And essays that engage in the complexity of an idea. The Drum is a home for emerging and established writers who value the power of writing out loud.”

For filmmakers seeking composers (& vice versa): the Learning Center and the Film Scoring Department at Berklee College of Music will host the 5th Annual Music for Film networking event on Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 1:30–7 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, includes a speakers’ panel about the filmmaker/composer relationship, a presentation by film composer Mason Daring (Lone Star), a film scoring contest, and an exposition where students and professionals will have booths, exchange demos and business cards, and talk about their work. Register and find more info.

For emerging playwrights: The Princess Grace Awards Playwright Fellowship is given annually to a young American playwright, consists of a $7,500 grant and a ten-week residence, including paid travel, at New Dramatists, a playwright service organization, in New York City. The award is based primarily on the artistic quality of a submitted play and the potential of the fellowship to assist in the writer’s growth. Read the guidelines at and apply by March 31, 2010.

For artists with disabilities: VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disability, has announced the VSA Teaching Artist Fellowship Program, seeking to identify, engage, and support artists with disabilities through teaching artist fellowships in the visual and performing arts. This competitive fellowship offers a professional development retreat in Washington D.C., subscriptions/memberships within VSA’s teaching artist network, networking and teaching opportunities, enrollment in VSA Community of Practice, and the opportunity to serve as facilitators for VSA’s education programs. Fellows will also be profiled in VSA publications. Submission deadline: April 23, 2010. Find guidelines, application forms, and more information.

AND you can continue your opportunities search at these great sites for finding artist grants, residencies, calls-to-artists, etc:

  • Mira’s List (a labor-of-love blog just teeming with artist opportunities listings)
  • ArtSource (an online resource of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts)
  • NYFA Source (a search engine for artist opportunities, hosted by the New York Foundation for the Arts but with a national scope)

Image: TOWNSEND’S PATENT FOLDING GLOBE, created by Dennis Townsend (1869). From the Boston Public Library Norman B. Leventhal Map Center. / CC BY 2.0