March 1, 2021
Change Lab Background
The time is long overdue to reckon with systemic racism and inequities in our country’s public art policies, practices, and collections and address our collective trauma. We know from four decades as a leader in the public art field that cultural appropriation, art-washing, public art deserts, unethical community engagement practices, and systemic funding and policy barriers keep BIPOC artists and communities from fair, just and equitable representation in our country’s public art.
We also know that there are currently over 700 public art programs in the United States that have policies and funding to continue creating public art. Many of these programs and policies were instituted in the 1960’s and 70’s, and are tied to infrastructure projects and budgets. This system emphasizes permanent, object based projects, discounting public artworks that are temporary, ephemeral, and performance based.
We launched the Change Lab to place a critical eye on public art policies, funding, and processes across the country to understand their connection to and ability to challenge the most pressing issues of our time – racism as a public health crisis, indigenous invisibility, rural isolation, welcoming and belonging, collective trauma, and more.
We’ll engage Research Fellows to catalyze new thinking, test new approaches, and creatively disrupt the status quo to advance justice in the field of public art. Change Lab National Research Fellows will go deep into an area of critical importance, and utilize the findings to create public art demonstration projects that can be put into action across the country, acting as a model of change for public art programs, policies, and processes.
Our goal is to collaborate with communities to create new ways of working within the field of public art and allied fields through cross-sector partnerships, on the ground research, and deep community engagement to address inequities in all facets of public art. Through the Change Lab, we will collectively develop a national public art policy platform that is rooted in justice, health and human dignity for black, brown, and indigenous people.
About the Fellowship
The Change Lab National Research Fellowships aim to produce new research, data, reporting, and suggestions to advance justice, health, and human dignity in the field of public art in the United States. Each Fellowship is based around a specific research topic, and is open to graduate students, recent college graduates, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, artists, and public art professionals.] Fellowships are 3-month long, funded positions. A $5000 stipend will be made to each Fellow in two payments – once upon contract and once upon final delivery of and acceptance of your report. Fellows will be thought partners informing Forecast’s work conducting research and providing recommendations that will inform public art policies and practices in the United States and Native Nations that share the same geography. Fellows will work from their home base and can be located anywhere. A working knowledge of public art and some experience with research in the designated topic area will be important. Research Fellows will have access to Forecast staff and our published resources. The application for our inaugural Research Fellowship focused on racial justice in public art is open now. The application deadline is March 1, 2021.
FELLOWS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:
Commit to 200 hours over a 3 month period from their home base conducting in-depth research, analysis, and synthesis, and making suggestions on public art policies, programs, and practices as related to the research topic.
Research can take many forms, including interviews, focus groups, listening sessions, and formal surveys, to name a few
Attend regular virtual meetings with the Director of Programming [and other members of the organization as needed]
Complete administrative tasks relating to the selected research topic
Submit a print-ready report on research findings and recommendations 12 weeks after contract initiation [an example will be provided]
Agree that research will be published, fully accredited by Forecast
Share research and findings to a wide audience of constituents
Submit your application by March 1, 2021 at 11:59pm CDT on Forecast’s Submittable page: https://forecastpublicart.submittable.com
The application consists of:
Research statement [750 words]: explain how the Research Fellowship topic area [racial justice in public art] fits with your body of work and research objectives. Include the reasons for your choice, your approach to the Fellowship, what you hope to achieve from the Fellowship, and what you can contribute to Forecast and the Change Lab.
Writing/research samples: provide up to 5 samples of your work that relate to research in the topic area [racial justice in public art]. These can be writing, papers, reports, case studies, artworks, etc. but must show your ability to synthesize and present concise research findings.
Applicants will be notified of next steps by March 20, 2021.
Racial Justice Research Fellowship will begin May 3, 2021.