Sunday, February 25, 2024

ACT Public Art: Residency at City ArchivesThe City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, and the Providence Art in City Life Commission announce a CALL FOR ARTISTS for ACT Public Art’s inaugural arts residency program.

Summary  Location and Siting  Project Goals   Eligibility Qualifications  Finalists Scope of Work  Selection Method Art Selection Panel   Budget  Project Schedule





Through this CALL FOR ART, one local artist will be awarded $10,000 for a six-month residency in Providence City Archives, where they will work directly with City archival material to develop new work in response to the theme, Colonial Providence.  

The artist-in-residence will be selected through a competitive, two-tiered process. Eligible artists must submit their qualification materials no later than November 30, 2018.

The Art Selection Panel will choose no more than five finalists to be interviewed. One artist will be awarded this residency. The awarded artist will be notified by mid-January and publicly announced in February 2019.  

The Residency at City Archives will begin in April 2019 and end in October 2019. The artist-in-residence will then exhibit work for four months at the third-floor gallery at City Hall.  

This call is open to all Media.  People of Color, women, and LGBTQIA+, artists are strongly urged to apply.



The Providence City Archives are located on the fifth floor of historic City Hall.  The artist-in-residence will have full and complete access to the archival material during open business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4: 30 pm from April – October 2019. The residency’s exhibition space is on the third floor, which also houses City Council chambers. Providence City Archives will be placing the 1637 Town Charter on permanent display on the Third Floor of City Hall in October 2018.   



In October 2019 City Archives will unveil a permanent display of the 1637 Town Charter between Roger Williams and the Narragansett Tribe.  From April – October 2019, the artist-in-residence will mine the collection and create new artwork in response to Colonial Providence.   A portion of the artwork created will be dedicated to a 4-month long gallery exhibition on the 3rd floor of City Hall (Oct – Jan 2020). The artist’s work will be displayed with the 1637 Town Charter, and should facilitate dialogue with the document.



Artists must be 18 years or older and have a Rhode Island home or studio address to be eligible to apply. Artists who hold a Providence home or studio address are preferred.



Interested applicants must be able to demonstrate at least three successful humanities-related projects including but not limited to temporary artworks,  gallery exhibitions, presentations, performances, mixed media and/or digital work.



No more than five finalists will be invited for an interview with the Art Selection Panel. Those being interviewed should be prepared to speak about their previous experience and portfolio and provide the panel with a proposed area of interest to be explored during the residency.



The artist-in-residence is expected to work in the archives at a 10 hour per week minimum between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm Monday to Friday from April 1 through September 30, 2019. The exact schedule shall be determined between the artist and Archives staff.  Within the first two weeks of the residency, the artist will be required to submit a project budget including artist fee and materials for the length of their residency. The budget shall not exceed $10,000. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Propose investigative questions, review archival materials, and design new original temporary works based on learnings
  • Manage project budget
  • Submit invoices and reports in a timely and efficient manner
  • Participate in studio visits at City Archives
  • Design, fabricate and install temporary original work at City Hall, third-floor exhibition space
  • Work with City staff to ensure safety and maintenance of the installation
  • Attend and promote Gallery Opening and/or project unveiling
  • Deaccession the work at project close

Note: Applicant retains copyright and receives credit for their project; the City of Providence reserve the right to reproduce images of their project for non-commercial purposes.



The artist-in-residence will be selected through a competitive, two-tiered process. Qualified artists may submit their Artist Statement, Resume/CV, and three to five examples of relevant projects to ACT by November 30, 2018.

The Art Selection Panel will review and score complete applications, selecting no more than five finalists.  The five finalists will then be invited to an in-person interview.

Interviews will occur in mid-late December.  Finalists should be prepared to speak about their previous experiences and proposed investigative questions, research and design strategies, and project budget.

The awarded artist will be notified in mid-January and publically announced in February 2019.



The Art Selection Panel will be comprised of seven members including the following members/alternates:

  • A member of the Art in City Life Commission (Dominic Molon)
  • A staff member from City Archives (Caleb Horton)
  • A staff member from the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (Stephanie Fortunato)
  • Two local artists or arts professionals (tbd)
  • Two local humanists (tbd)


The ACT Public Art Residency at City Archives has a budget of $10,000.  ACT suggests artists budget $7500 to cover the cost of an artist fee, and $2500 for materials. The awarded artist will present a detailed budget within two weeks of the start of their residency.



  • October 12, 2018: RFQ is live
  • November 30, 2018:Deadline for Qualifications
  • December 11, 2018:  Finalists are notified
  • December 12-31 2018: Finalist Interview period
  • January 16, 2019:  Art in City Life Commission reviews recommendation for artist-in-residence
  • February 1, 2019:  Artist is engaged
  • February  (tbd) 2019:  Artist is announced in jointly by ACT and Archives departments
  • April 1 – September 30, 2019:  Residency period
  • October 1 – January 1, 2020 :  Exhibition on view
  • January 15, 2020: Final Report due
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