Future Forward Seattle Waterfront Virtual Arts Residency

Future Forward Seattle Waterfront Virtual Arts Residency

2020 Call For Applications: Seattle Waterfront Virtual Artist-in-Residence
Seattle’s future Waterfront Park is more than a park — it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity where the community’s values, vision, and investments align to achieve lasting economic, social and environmental value — now, and for the benefit of future generations.

In response to the economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to support artists, the City of Seattle, under #SeattleTogether, is assisting partner organizations to provide funding for artistic endeavors. Friends of Waterfront Seattle is supporting this effort with a virtual artist residency and additional artist opportunities.

Friends of Waterfront Seattle (“Friends”), in partnership with the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects, is seeking an artist, artist team, or collaborative to develop a program of art opportunities for a range of artists to activate the Seattle waterfront. The selected artist or artistic collaboration shall be in virtual residence for a 90-day period to lead a process with the aforementioned partners, that incorporates elements of the Seattle Waterfront Art Plan and guide a broader call for artist submissions for late Summer/Fall 2020 art installations, activities, and activations. The broader call is funded by a partnership between the City and Friends. The selected resident artist will work with the partners to develop a program to award $100,000 in funding made available for this program and in support of #SeattleTogether initiative, a partnership among the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Office of Arts & Culture, Office of Economic Development, Seattle Public Library and the Mayor’s Innovation and Performance Team coming together to build a city-wide Covid-19 community response plan. Guided by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture’s commitment to racial equity and upholding an anti-racist practice that centers the creativity of leadership on people of color, the Artist-in-Residence will work with Friends to ensure that this virtual opportunity engages a diverse range of artists, especially those representing communities of color and historically underrepresented communities.

Scope of Work
Since the Seattle Waterfront Art Plan was developed in 2012, much has changed yet the plan continues to offer foundational guidance. Using this information for inspiration and relevant direction, the virtual artist-in-residence will provide leadership for creating and implementing immediate opportunities for arts and cultural programming and activation, while also developing additional frameworks for future artist engagement. The selected artist or team will:

  • Be the lead in developing and implementing a creative process that results in a framework for engagement with additional artists in a range of media and disciplines.
  • Establish a theme and framework for the artist submissions and project implementation process, illuminating the value and impact of a reimagined waterfront
  • Recognize the need for rapid response in relationship to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Develop strategies and accountability procedures to ensure that artists and performers of color are engaged, and supported in participating in this program
  • Implement an artist selection process, including: development of the submission criteria, submission, selection, and implementation guidelines and processes
  • Work with Friends and City partners to explore creative and feasible solutions for adjusting to arts planning under new public gathering guidelines
  • Be opportunistic in creative and curatorial approaches to waterfront activation opportunities engaging multiple artistic disciplines and a diversity of art makers
  • Manage the available $100,000 budget for implementing selected immediate and longer-term commissions for installations, activities, and activations


Artists with an interest in helping to shape renewed civic, cultural, natural environment and economic engagement opportunities
Artists with the ability to connect and lead a creative process with a diverse group of teams and individuals
Artists with the ability to collaborate with a range of individuals and organizations.
Artists with time to dedicate to a creative process that does not necessarily include making art
Artists with the ability to and interest in looking outside of established parameters to create new norms
Artists with a desire to share their creative intellect in new and exciting ways
Artists who are comfortable working with a range of artistic mediums and a diversity of artistic makers

The initial residency is 90 days. The virtual residency does not require the full physical presence of the artist, rather, is intended to embed creative leadership as a critical team member for solutions-oriented strategy development. A vital element of the residency will be to lead development and implementation of outreach and engagement strategies that appeal to a diverse group of artistic respondents.

This residency will result in development of a creative and responsive structure for immediate and longer-term engagement with a diversity of artists and creative makers for activation of the revitalized Seattle waterfront.

The budget for the selected artist, team or collaborative will be a total of $10,000, all-inclusive, for the 90-day residency. An additional budget has been identified for subsequent artist opportunities.

Applications are due Friday, May 29, 2020.
For more information about the residency and to apply, click here