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Call For Artist Proposals: Temporary Public Art Installation for Seeking Sanctuary

Type: Exhibition Opportunities [View all]
Posted by: Boston Center for the Arts
Deadline: Mon, October 23rd, 2017

Call For Artist Proposals: Temporary Public Art Installation for Seeking Sanctuary | Boston Center for the Arts and Palaver Strings
Deadline for Submissions: October 23, 2017

Palaver Strings, Music Ensemble in Residence at Boston Center for the Arts, seeks a visual artist collaborator to create a participatory, temporary public art installation that prompts audiences to reflect on Boston as a sanctuary city. This public art project will be an interactive element of three community workshops to be held in late January and early February, and will be installed in the Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, during the Seeking Sanctuary program and concert, February 9-11, 2018.


At a time when immigration policy is at the forefront national politics, Palaver Strings seeks to humanize the conversation by providing an artistic platform for the stories of Boston-area immigrants, emphasizing the uniqueness of each person’s journey as well as shared connections and commonalities. This February concert in BCA’s Cyclorama, Seeking Sanctuary, showcases the experiences of Irish, Cape Verdean and Chinese communities and features new music compositions and spoken word personal narratives inspired by the incredible stories of immigrants and their descendants. As a lead-up to the concert, music and story-telling workshops will be held at Cape Verdean, Irish and Chinese community centers during the last week of January and the first week of February 2018. 

We would like our audience for Seeking Sanctuary to reflect upon their own journey, sense of home, heritage stories and experience as citizens of a sanctuary city. In conjunction with the performance of music and personal narratives, we envision a temporary, interactive art installation that begins in our community workshops and is then installed in the Cyclorama, inviting and encouraging participants and audience members to document and share these reflections. All media will be considered, however, we are particularly interested in the symbol of the circle, the circularity of the Cyclorama as a space, and an installation that invites audience members to interact and participate. We envision the performance and audience in the center of the space, and the art installation along the cyclorama walls, but we will consider all possibilities.


A ground plan of the Cyclorama is available in the application, and we encourage artist applicants to visit the Cyclorama at 539 Tremont Street in person. Artist information sessions in the Cyclorama will be held on the following dates and times:

Thursday, September 21, 12–1pm

Monday, September 25, 3:30–4:30pm

Friday, September 29, 10:30–11:30am

Friday, October 13, 10:30–11:30am

If you would like to visit during one of the above times or if you need to set up an additional time, please contact Dawn Simmons at

Artist will have approximately three days to install the work, and one day to de-install. Some installation/de-installation assistance can be provided. Artists should identify assistance needed in their application.

Use of space parameters

Projects cannot be painted directly onto the Cyclorama walls or anchored into the floor. 3-D art must be self-structured. 2-D art must be in ready-to-hang condition, and should include its own backing/frame.

 Deadline for Submission:

October 23, 2017

Important Dates

Last week of January/first week February 2018: Community workshops

February 6-9, 2018: Installation in the Cyclorama

February 9-11, 2018: Performance

February 11-12, 2018: De-install


Artists will receive a $1,000 stipend for the project, plus a materials budget of $1,000 to be received through reimbursement.

How to Apply

Please go to to apply. Only applications submitted through the link will be accepted for review.

About Palaver Strings

Palaver Strings is a musician-led string orchestra dedicated to the collaborative interpretation of classical masterworks; the performance of classical music beyond the concert hall to engage new and diverse audiences in personal and unconventional settings; and the use of music to aid the discussion of social issues, promote education and healing, and inspire community support for the arts.

About Boston Center for the Arts

Boston Center for the Arts is the nexus for the arts in Boston, fostering the development of contemporary visual and performing arts and convening artists and audiences to create, explore and celebrate all creative disciplines. An integral part of the cultural fabric of the city, BCA utilizes its historic campus in the vibrant South End to present world-class exhibitions and performances, provide affordable work space, engage cultural consumers throughout the region, and nurture artists with the resources to take risks and develop new art works.

Required Submission Materials:

Online submission form Concept proposal narrative: Describe your proposed project, its relationship to the concepts of Seeking Sanctuary, its role in the community workshops and its installation in the Cyclorama, including art elements and materials, in 500 words or less; Budget: the all-inclusive artwork budget must cover the full execution of the proposal; Estimated fabrication, installation and de-installation schedule and assistance needed (if applicable); Artist statement/bio: Describe your artistic vision in 250 words or less, in Word or PDF format, and upload; Resume: Please upload resume as Word or PDF document; Two professional references: Provide email, phone contact and relationship to you; Work samples and image list: Upload imagelList and up to six separate jpegs, including:  Two images of previous work and four concept images/sketches of the proposed concept.  Please label each image as LastName_# (for example: Smith_1).  Make sure numbers correlate to Image List, and that Image List contains full descriptive information for each image, including as relevant artist’s name, title of work, date, media, dimensions and other important descriptive information.

**NOTE: Submission form is not re-editable. Please have all documents, text, and images ready before starting submission process. Once you click "SUBMIT" application cannot be changed**


Please contact Maya French by email at or by phone at 207-930-5189 with any questions.

Posted on Fri, September 22nd, 2017
Expires on Mon, October 23rd, 2017

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