LGBTQ+ Artist Residency Program – Request for Proposals!

LGBTQ+ Programming Initiative

Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and to expand their learning through the arts. Our goal is to foster the creativity of every child, and to encourage productive and caring human beings. Our music, dance, theatre, literary, media, and visual arts programs are culturally diverse, curriculum-based, and measurably effective.

As part of YA’s commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in the arts, YA is engaging in the creation of programming specifically designed to explore the historical contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals through the arts. NJ law adopted in 2019 requires Boards of Education to include instruction, and adopt instructional materials, that accurately portray political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

Seeking Teaching Artists

We are seeking experienced teaching artists connected to the LGBTQ+ community and located within commuting distance of the NJ/Eastern PA area to engage with us in the creation and creative implementation of a flexible-length residency program. Designed to serve schools with between 1 and 10 days of instruction, this residency’s goal is to impart core elements of LGBTQ+ history and political, economic, and social contributions through the arts.  YA residencies happen either in-person or virtually, and are typically 45 minutes of instruction with up to 4 sessions occurring in a day. Frequency of work is subject to school interest and/or grant funding.  While this law directly impacts middle school and high school, we are interested in supporting programs that could be adapted to also include elementary school learners. Similarly, we are interested in artists willing and able to create performance and professional development programs, though this is not a requirement for the initial contract.  Artists will work with YA as independent contractors.

The Selection Process

  1. Artists will complete this form to express interest by 1/5/2021
  2. 2 candidates will be selected from submitted interest statements to participate in the second selection round. In this stage, candidates will be provided $150 to create a 1-2 page outline of their proposed programs according to YA guidance. The $150 stipend will be paid regardless of the artist continuing to the final creation process.
  3. 1 candidate will be selected for the final creation process.

YA will Provide: 

  • Support and guidance from YA staff.
  • Guidance from an advisory group versed in varied aspects of teaching artistry, education, and LGBTQ+ advocacy.
  • $4,000 to create, rehearse, and refine the accepted programs. $3,000 will be paid upon contract signing, $1,000 upon first sharing of the work with YA.
  • Up to $1,000 in compensation for time spent in meetings with YA staff and/or Advisory Group. This will be calculated at $25/hour and paid monthly.
  • Access to marketing support, professional development opportunities, and other resources offered to roster artists with YA.
  • The opportunity to pilot the residency in at least two schools in NJ/Eastern PA during the 22-23 school year. The pilot will be paid at the YA standard rate of $350/day of up to four 45-minute workshop sessions. If safe, this will occur in-person. If not, the residencies will take place virtually.
  • The program’s inclusion in YA’s roster for further sale throughout our region.

Artists will provide:

  • Creative and thorough program design based on YA guidance.
  • Timely responses to scheduling and other administrative requests, timely being considered within 72 hours of contact unless special circumstances apply.
  • Adherence to project timeline, unless mutually shifted.
  • Presentation of the work at both a “first draft” showing with YA staff and/or consultant(s) for feedback, and a “final showing” following initial feedback and adjustments, at which feedback may also be given. The first showing will be non-performative and focus on lesson plans and communicating core content. The final showing will be closer to a real educational setting, involving a run-through of some amount of residency material for YA staff and the advisory group.
  • Necessary materials for marketing the program, including promotional images and descriptive language. YA is available to assist with creation of image assets if needed.
  • Flexibility in adapting to the unique requirements of delivering programming during COVID-19, including the possibility of virtual or outdoor settings, as well as in-person with proper precautions such as masking for teaching artists and students.
  • Availability to deliver the program for a minimum of 5 years in NJ and eastern PA schools.
  • Agreement with YA’s usual terms for contracted teaching artists. Please see the sample agreement here.

Project Timeline

1/5/2021 – adjusted application due date

1/12/2021 – two artists invited to submit treatments, paid $150

2/2/2021 – treatments due

2/9/2021 – residency artist selected, paid $2,000 upon acceptance 

February 2021 – residency artist meets with YA staff and Advisory Group, program creation begins. Artist signs the program agreement and is paid the initial $3,000

March 2021 – program creation, check-ins as needed with staff and Advisory Group

April 2021 – “first draft” showing with YA staff occurs, artist paid $1,000, feedback given

May 2021 – “final showing” with YA staff occurs, last round of feedback

June 2021 – final program development occurs, marketing materials and other related documents finalized

The proposal deadline is Wednesday, January 5, 2021. For more information on our Artist Residency, please contact Joseph Ahmed at [email protected] or Liz Winter-Kuwornu at  [email protected].