The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Artist Calls and Opportunities: Editor/Editorial Team Engagement Designed to Encourage and Mentor Critical Art Writers in the Kansas City Region

Call for Proposals: Editor/Editorial team engagement designed to encourage and
mentor critical art writers in the Kansas City region.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rocket Grants – a program of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s Regional Regranting Initiative, which awards annual grants to support unconventional artistLdriven projects in the Kansas City region, seeks to commission an editor or editorial team to actively encourage and mentor critical art writers in our region. The vision for this editorial engagement is to generate fresh, experimental written materials that explore
connections between the types of innovative, relational, placeLspecific projects being supported by Rocket Grants and broader trends in contemporary art practices. Our aim is to have the editor develop a process or program that will engage and strengthen the community of writers in our area. Assembling and disseminating the writing in a relevant and exciting format is a desirable outcome, but not required for a winning proposal.

A previous call for critical art writing resulted primarily in editorial writing and reviews
by a national online magazine, Art Practical: A welcome by”product of the research and outreach conducted by the editorial team, however, was a significant increase in the number of both local art writers and emerging, art”related publications. The goal for this second initiative is to focus on stimulating and mentoring home”grown art writers, contributing to an increasingly articulate and critically engaged arts community. Kansas City currently has no national arts publications and limited opportunities for advanced study in contemporary art critique and writing; as a result editorial voices and expertise are in short supply.

This is an opportunity for a writer/editor/critic/curator/artist to propose a programmatic approach, an ongoing structure or an event that will connect local critical art writers to relationships and opportunities that will advance their work. The structure of the outreach and the final outcome(s) should be informed by personal knowledge, experience and speculation, as well as by on”site research. The winning proposal will
receive significant support on the ground from the Rocket Grants program coordinator to set up research, contacts, schedules and programming. This writing will form an integral part of the character and identity of the Rocket Grants Program as it continues to develop, as well as contributing to the dynamic growth of our regional arts community.

Format & Platform:
Emerging voices and alternative media are welcomed. If a proposed outcome is to publish writings that emerge from this engagement, this could be achieved in any format ” limited only by budgetary considerations. Proposals should include a vision of how the work will be presented and dispersed to relevant audiences. Innovative approaches to audience engagement are encouraged.

Rather than a direct focus on the various Rocket Grants projects that have been
completed, or are in process, we are interested in a critical analysis of the kinds of issues, processes, venues and opportunities our awardees are addressing, and how they reflect the contemporary social, political and cultural circumstances that artists inhabit. We hope that the broader perspective of the writing might simultaneously transcend regional specificity and consider how local conditions may influence the idiosyncratic character of expression in this genre.

There will be a fee of $3,000 paid for the editorial engagement, which should include any design and publication costs. Travel to Kansas City (up to $500) andaccommodations via hotel or home”stay will be provided by Rocket Grants, and we will also provide contacts that will assist you in establishing connections with other area institutions.

Applicants should be actively engaged in critical writing at the editorial level, with a strong working knowledge of contemporary art practice on a national and international level. You should also be able to draw on a selection of thoughtful, provocative and accessible writings that have been published by some means (through blogs, online journals, print, podcasts etc.).

Please send an outline of your proposed approach, not to exceed 500 words, formatted as a Word document. The proposal should discuss strategies for inviting and engaging with current and potential critical arts writers in the Kansas City region. It should also describe your program/philosophy for identifying and refining thoughtful, innovative writing that addresses the concerns described in this call. Please include a brief description of your ideal publication strategy (if any), and a sense of the scope that you envision.

Please also attach a .pdf document that contains: examples of, or direct links to, two other concise pieces of completed writing in which you have had a primary editorial role, and a résumé (4 pages max.). The native .pdf file should be 5 MB or less, uncompressed. Materials should be emailed to

Deadline and timeline:
All materials must be received by midnight on October 7, 2014 to be considered for this opportunity. Selection will be made and notifications sent by November 4, 2014, and the writing project should be the completed by March 1, 2015.

About the Program:
Rocket Grants receive support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
, and are developed and implemented though a
partnership between the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO and the KU Spencer Museum of
in Lawrence, KS. The program encourages artists
to take new risks with their work, push the scope and scale of their activities and
develop and pursue collaborative relationships of all kinds. The ten or so projects
selected each year invest a diverse regional culture characterized by unconventional
and expansive forms of interaction, exchange, provocation, and surprise.

Rocket Grants fund projects that:
• happen in surprising places
• challenge mainstream methods of thinking, making or presentation
• add energy and diversity to the regional art ecology
• encourage the development of new kinds of audiences
• address and provide opportunities for creative growth to either the artist community,
or the general public (projects could address both)

The Rocket Grants program provides cash awards of up to $6,000 each to regional
artists, writers, curators, collectives, collaboratives, partnerships, and artist”run spaces.
Supported projects may include visual art, performance, film screenings, publications,
video, new media, social practice and interdisciplinary projects, all with a strong visual

Rocket Grants are currently in the fifth cycle of funding, and are part of a growing
national program initiated by the Warhol Foundation that includes similar, independent
ventures in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Portland, OR, Miami and Portland, ME.
The Foundation aims to support the independent creative activity of artists by
partnering with leading artist”centered, visual arts organizations across the country.

Further information about the Rocket Grants program and the projects that have been
funded so far can be found at”grants”projects/.

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