Art for a New Future: National Convening 2021

Call for Proposals

Now accepting proposals for the Justice Arts Coalition’s 2021 National Convening: Art for a New Future! (June 24-26, 2021; online)

Art for a New Future will bring together artists impacted by criminal legal systems, teaching artists, arts advocates, and allies to build community around our shared commitment to reimagining justice through the arts. Through interactive and embodied art experiences, skillsharing, and conversation, participants will learn, create, and connect to harness the liberatory power of art. 

To submit a proposal for the convening, please read the convening description and application instructions carefully, and complete and submit the form below no later than May 15, 2021. 

Art for a New Future envisions a world in which opportunities for creative expression abound, and the arts are widely used as a practice for transformative justice. To this end, we are seeking proposals for interactive and/or performance-based sessions that facilitate community-building and collaborative exploration of this vision through creativity, movement, and conversation. We particularly welcome proposals from systems-impacted community members, people targeted by racism, low-income people, people with disabilities, queer-identified,transgender, and/or gender-non-conforming people, and youth.

We encourage proposals to respond to the convening’s central themes and core values:

  • Art as Abolition: the arts as a pathway for communities to imagine and build worlds beyond policing and incarceration; art as a tool for advocacy, nurturing community.
  • Art for All: increasing access to creative opportunities within carceral institutions; pedagogy; funding; trauma-informed arts education.
  • Solidarity and Community: building and nourishing connections and resilient relationships across our network, spanning a diverse range of local, creative, and political communities.
  • Participatory learning: learning through community, through embodiment, through creative practice; artistic practice as a tool for healing and transformation.

Sessions will be 60 minutes in length and be followed by a brief transition.  In your proposal, please select one (or more) of the following session types:

  • Panel: 3-4 presenters engaged in a facilitated discussion. When you submit your proposal you will be asked how you would like the discussion to be facilitated and if you have panelists committed to participation.
  • Workshop/Skill Sharing:Participants practice a skill or set of skills with the instruction and guidance of a facilitator, and work together or individually on a creative endeavor in any artistic medium. The facilitator of the session primarily serves to help the group develop their work by providing a framework and methodologies, but does not necessarily contribute to the work product. When you submit your proposal you will be asked what materials participants will ideally have access to.
  • Performance: A live or recorded performance by one or more performers is the main component of this session, and may stand on its own, be preceded or followed by, a discussion or other types of engagement.

We also welcome proposals for 10-15 minute interactive interludes to take place in between sessions. These could be guided meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other embodied activities – they could be quick creative writing activities – they could be rhythm-making sessions – feel free to propose creative ideas that you could confidently lead a group through as we try to create mindful ways to process, reflect, unwind, or let loose in between sessions.

Proposal Requirements

If your session is a presentation, workshop, skill share, and/or performance, please submit the following information:

  • Session Title
  • Session Description: 150-300 words. How does this session connect to the themes and goals of the convening?
  • Facilitator Biography: 50-100 words
  • Session Timeline: Please provide an overview of how you will use the time – 15 or 60 minutes – and what planning, logistical, or technical needs you have for the session (breakout rooms, screen sharing, chat, etc).

If your session is a panel, please submit the following information:

  • Topic 
  • Contribution: What you wish to contribute to the panel discussion, including what experience and/or expertise will you be drawing from.
  • Names and biographies of potential or committed panelists
  • How you intend for the panel to be facilitated
  • Focus: What questions and/or themes you would like to be included in the discussion agenda.

Our Commitments

Inspired by our belief in the interdependence of our community’s work to reimagine justice and our core values of accessibility and equity, Art for a New Future is committed to lowering barriers to access for the convening’s attendees, presenters, and facilitators. This includes both incarcerated and free members of our community. Our payment, funding, and programming models seek to: 

  • Provide equitable financial compensation to sustainably support the needs of each person who shares their time, expertise, and talents as a presenter/facilitator. Each will receive at least a $150 honorarium if offering an hour-long session. As additional funds come in through sliding scale registrations, we will prioritize increasing honoraria for presenters/facilitators directly impacted by carceral systems.
  • Prioritize access for marginalized members of our community, including those who are systems-impacted, targeted by racism, low-income, queer-identified, of transgender and/or gender-non-conforming experience, and youth. For example: we will make space for people who do not have access to a personal computer; we will actively seek out youth attendees and young people who will facilitate; we will make recordings available to anyone who is not able to participate synchronously.
  • Reduce financial barriers to attendance through a sliding scale model.
  • Support access for currently incarcerated community members to participate in the convening. We are actively exploring various ways of making this possible. We will make any resources generated by conference contributors available to currently incarcerated artists. 
  • Allow for ongoing conversation with all participants about how the convening can most sustainably meet their needs.

Please submit your application and proposal here.  The deadline for submission is May 15, 2021. You will be notified if your session is accepted by the end of May, 2021. Thank you!

For further information or questions, please contact artfornewfuture@thejusticeartscoalition.org.