Artist in Residence • Call for Proposals

The Eliot School is launching its new annual Artist in Residence program with a call for artists’ proposals by January 31, 2018 for residencies in 2019 and 2020.

Artists in Residence will partner with the Eliot School’s Teen Bridge program, which brings a small group of passionate teens from Boston schools to its Jamaica Plain schoolhouse, where they participate in a rigorous arts program that combines skill building, mentorship, employment and intensive art enrichment opportunities.

Application details can be found below.

All residencies will include art-making with teens, larger community engagement, and a culminating event. A panel of Teen Bridge participants, Eliot School staff and board members, as well as members of the wider Eliot School community will review applications.

Each artist will receive a stipend of $10,000 along with a project budget for materials. Selections will be announced by March 31, 2018.

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About Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts

The Eliot School inspires lifelong learning in craftsmanship and creativity for all. We offer classes for all ages in our Jamaica Plain schoolhouse, and send teachers to Grades K-10 classrooms in schools and community centers throughout the city, where we serve mostly children from low income households. Last year, we launched our new Teen Bridge program, connecting our community-based programs and our schoolhouse. Teen Bridge engages a small group of teens in a rigorous arts program outside of school that combines skill building, mentorship, employment and exposure to artists and opportunities in the arts.

During the summer of 2018, we will launch our first annual Artist in Residence program, with sculptor Nora Valdez. Past stand-alone residencies have taken place with Beth Ireland and with Elisa H. Hamilton and Silvia Lopez Chavez.

About the Program

We are currently accepting proposals for two residencies, one taking place in 2019 and the other in 2020. Each will include a month-long intensive during the summer and may involve additional engagement during the school year. Artists will work closely with a small group from Teen Bridge to produce art with thoughtful community engagement at its core.

The Eliot School welcomes Boston-based individual artist of all backgrounds and stages in their career to submit project proposals that meet the following criteria:

  • Work in the fields of manual arts: 2-D arts, 3-D arts, fiber arts, book arts, architecture, woodworking and other manual art disciplines that can be produced in the Eliot School facilities, which includes a woodshop, sewing and upholstery equipment and drawing and painting studio.
  • Includes a collaborative process with 3 to 6 teens from the Teen Bridge program (entering their sophomore year) that allows them to be an integral part of the project’s planning, design, construction, documentation and evaluation.
  • Centers on a thought-provoking theme relevant to the lives of the teens and communities with whom they will work.
  • Incorporates community engagement with Eliot School’s partners (see below).
  • May take a range of forms including collaborative art making, workshops, installations or a mural. 
  • Culminates with some form of public presentation: an exhibition, interactive activity, performance and/or unveiling celebration.

Community Engagement and Outreach

Because of the Eliot School’s longstanding School & Community Partnerships Program, which reaches 2,000 children each year in dozens of schools and community settings, we maintain a strong network of close partnerships throughout Boston, especially in neighborhoods with a concentration of lower income households. Resident artists will design projects that incorporate work at these sites, which may include branches of the Boston Public Library, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, public housing developments and/or Boston public schools. The proposed project should plan to reach a range of participants who encompass Boston’s great cultural diversity.


Following each residency, the Eliot School will produce a small-format paperbound book with photographs and a narrative, documenting and celebrating the project.

Guidelines and Application Procedure

Artist Support:

  • Artist fee of $10,000 paid in 3 installments.
  • Access to classroom and shop space at the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, located at 24 Eliot Street in Jamaica Plain, as needed and coordinated with Eliot School class offerings.
  • Primary studio space will be at the Eliot School’s Teen Space, located at 253 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain.
  • Opportunity to exhibit completed or in-progress work with teens.

Artist Commitment:

  • 2-3 workshops with teens from January-June
  • 4 weeks of collaboration with teens during July or August
  • 1 Gallery show in October/November
  • 1 Artist’s Talk
  • Additional workshops, artist visits to classrooms or events as outlined in proposal, including a culminating event 

Eligible Disciplines:

This process is open to manual arts disciplines that can be produced in the Eliot School’s facilities, which includes a woodshop, sewing and upholstery equipment and a drawing and painting studio.

Review Process:

Applications will be reviewed based on:

  • Strength and relevance of the proposed project, including a theme that is relevant to the lives of the intended communities.
  • Proposed collaboration with Teen Bridge participants that provides teens with an opportunity to advance their own artistic practice and find their own voice through art.
  • Demonstration of community engagement and civic involvement to make positive change in Boston communities.
  • Evidence of prior success working with community-based arts programming from concept to completion.
  • Feasibility of the proposed project.
  • Artists must live in Boston. 

Selections will be made by a jury of Teen Bridge participants, Eliot School staff, and board members, as well as members of the wider Eliot School community.


  • December 22, 2017—Call for proposals
  • January 31, 2018—Applications due by 5pm for both the 2019 Residency and the 2020 Residency.
  • February-March 2018— Jury reviews applications.
  • February 2018 — Artists may be contacted during February if there are any questions regarding applications or supplemental materials. Responses should be submitted by February 28, 2018.
  • March 31, 2018 — Two selected artists will be notified (one artist for the 2019 residency and one for the 2020 residency).

How to Apply:

Interested parties should submit the Application materials (see below) via email to [email protected] with "Artist-Proposal" and the proposer’s name in the subject line.

In order to be considered, all materials must be received no later than January 31, 2018 by 5pm. Applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their proposal.

Only one application per artist.

Application Materials include:

  1. Applicant Information: - Full name - Address - Email Address - Phone Number
  2. Brief Bio/Artist Statement (500 words max)
  3. Brief Project Summary (100 words max)
  4. Project Description (1,000 words max) - What theme will your project focus on and why it is important? - How will you positively engage and affect Boston communities? - How will you support a cohort of 3 to 6 teens as your interns in a serious contemporary art-making practice? - How will you include teens in all aspects of the project, including decision-making processes? - What is your vision for a culminating event?
  5. Brief Project Timeline
  6. Community Engagement (150 words max) - How will the proposed project incorporate community engagement with Eliot School’s partners, including branches of the Boston Public Library, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, public housing developments and/or Boston public schools.
  7. Preliminary Project Budget - Please attach a preliminary budget that includes all additional costs such as materials, food, transportation, rentals and other expenses for the proposed project.
  8. Budget Narrative (250 words max). - Include a brief explanation for requested funds included in the budget.
  9. Up to three work samples (photos, up to 10 minutes of digital/media files, writing up to 1,000 words in PDF format) to be submitted in digital format (no 35mm slides)
  10. 3 references from people who have worked with you in a capacity related to your proposal.

 Applicants are welcome and encouraged to contact Alison Croney Moses at [email protected] with any questions about the community, partnerships and space where they would be working.