become an art commissioner

Are you interested in commissioning artists to create new art works?

Apply by October 17, 2019!

Applications due by 11:59pm.
all applicants must attend an information session before applying.

See below to learn more information and to apply online.

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"Being an Art Commissioner is a really exciting experience. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to select the artists, & to build out the arts & culture matrix in Queens"

Brendez Wineglass, 2017-18 Art Commissioner

what (and who) is an art commissioner?

ACP Art Commissioners and Artists at open rehearsal at Spaceworks LIC; photo by Chris Mena

ACP Art Commissioners and Artists at open rehearsal at Spaceworks LIC; photo by Chris Mena

In the context of the Artist Commissioning Program, an Art Commissioner is a Queens-based or affiliated community member and art appreciator. Queens affiliation can include work connections or deep personal ties. As an Art Commissioner, you will become part of a cohort of arts appreciators responsible for selecting two artists to receive a $10,000 commission. Following the artists’ selection, you will work with them to support their project and creative practice. You will be a support system throughout the year long program, serving as a sound board for artistic ideas, and hosting events for them to showcase your work and provide project updates. If you are interested in evaluating and selecting art projects, supporting artists and art making, and are committed to the cultural vitality of the borough, then you would make a great Art Commissioner.

Want examples? Read about our previous Art Commissioners.

art commissioner role & responsibilities

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  • Join a diverse and dynamic cohort of art lovers representing the Queens neighborhoods of either Flushing or Maspeth/Ridgewood

  • Participate in thoughtful discussions about the gaps in American culture, and select the diverse stories you believe are not being told

  • Select two artists’ projects in a panel process, awarding $10,000 each ($20,000 total) to support new performance work

  • Support and advise the selected artists as they develop new works to premiere in Queens in the Fall of 2020

  • Participate and/or host Monthly Convenings with your fellow Art Commissioners that include professional development on commissioning art, art salons showcasing works-in-progress, and discuss project updates

  • Attend and help market the artists’ World Premieres, inviting your network to the culminating performance and assisting with the event’s production onsite

  • Become part of a new arts support culture of Queens, building art patronage and audiences, helping grow widespread recognition of Queens as a place where artists are supported to contribute works to the American canon

eligibility

Any Queens-based or affiliated community member with an interest and appreciation for the arts can participate as an Art Commissioner. Queens affiliation can include work connections or deep personal ties. You need not be an artist or otherwise currently involved in the arts. We encourage people from different fields and perspectives to apply! Preference will be given to those with a demonstrated connection to and current residency in Flushing or Maspeth/Ridgewood.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NEIGHBORHOODS: flushing & maspeth/ridgewood

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Neighborhoods: Flushing & Maspeth/Ridgewood

Every year, ACP focuses on two Queens neighborhoods to enable artists & art Commissioners to create art for their own communities. This year, the neighborhoods are Flushing and Maspeth/Ridgewood. For this reason, programming will be largely concentrated in these two areas.

Democratizing art commissioning

Queens Council on the Arts designed the role of an Art Commissioner to provide a way to engage with artists and art beyond traditional roles, such as that of a ticket buyer, consumer, or donor.  Being an Art Commissioner will enable you to become part of a new arts support culture, helping grow widespread recognition of Queens as a place where artists are supported and contribute works to the American canon.

Queens is the most diverse county in the United States. If we want performing artwork in Queens that reflects this cultural diversity, we need to support artists that create it. This is why the artists selected for this program will be those who tell untold stories, fly under the radar of the cultural mainstream, or too often go underrepresented.

details & logistics

After participating in the selection panel, you will engage with artists during the creation and presentation of the work during Monthly Convenings hosted by art producers such as project updates, open rehearsals, and professional development events. In the Fall of 2020, you will attend and participate in the artists’ final dress rehearsals and world premieres. These events will enhance Queens as a supportive ecosystem of artists, arts commissioners, and audiences.

Art producers host & participate in monthly events to engage in the creative process

Art producers host & participate in monthly events to engage in the creative process

PROGRAM TIMELINE

The Artist Commissioning Program runs from November 2019 - October 2020. Artists are expected to be present and engaged for a variety of program dates, including a kickoff party, and monthly convenings with the cohort(s) of arts commissioners dedicated to supporting their project. All Art Commissioners must be present for their group’s panel to select the artists. Because the success of this program hinges on participant engagement, we ask that Art Commissioners do not miss more than two program events. Artists are not expected or required to attend the other group's Monthly Convenings.

The program calendar is as follows:

  • artist selection panel

    • FLUSHING PANEL: Tuesday, December 17 from 10am - 4pm

    • MASPETH/RIDGEWOOD PANEL: Wednesday, December 18th from 10am - 4pm

  • **All Art Commissioners must participate in their cohort’s panel. This is a requirement for participating in the program.**

  • ORIENTATION AND KICKOFF PARTY

    • Friday, January 3 from 6 - 8pm

  • MONTHLY CONVENINGS (January – July 2020): Artists and Art Commissioners participate in and host monthly Art Salons, Studio Visits, Artist Talks, Project Update & Professional Development Events

    • FLUSHING GROUP MONTHLY CONVENINGS

      • Thursday, January 16th from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, February 20th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, March 19th from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, April 16th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, May 14th from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, June 18th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, August 13th from 6 - 8pm

    • MASPETH/RIDGEWOOD GROUP MONTHLY CONVENINGS

      • Thursday, January 23rd from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, February 20th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, March 26th from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, April 16th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, May 21 from 6 - 8pm

      • Thursday, June 18th from 6 - 8pm [all ACP]

      • Thursday, August 20th from 6 - 8pm

  • WORLD PREMIERES

    • August - September 2020 (exact dates TBD)

  • DELIVERABLES

    • September 30, 2020: Deadline for Commission Deliverables to be send to QCA

  • FINAL PARTY & REFLECTION

    • Friday, October 9th, 2020

selection criteria

Art Commissioners will be selected based on: 

  • Demonstrated connection to the neighborhood of either Flushing or Maspeth/Ridgewood

  • Demonstrated capacity to serve as a resource and support system for Queens-based artists

  • Rationale for participation

  • Passion for cultivating the unique stories and cultural influences characteristic of Flushing or Maspeth/Ridgewood

  • Commitment to the program, as demonstrated by the candidate's willingness to 1) consistently designate their time over the course of the year-long program and 2) contribute a one-time participation fee in the amount of a $100

  • Interest in developing an arts infrastructure in Queens by commissioning art both during and after the Artist Commissioning Program

All applications are due by 11:59 pm on October 17, 2019.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? attend an information session (required for all applicants) and CHECK OUT OUR FAQs.

For additional questions, please contact Artist Commissioning Program Manager Kelly Olshan at kolshan@queenscouncilarts.org or (347) 505-3016.