Beyond Alternatives Symposium Call for Proposals / Deadline February 14, 2018


Beyond Alternatives is a two-day symposium organized by Dulcee Boehm and Cory Imig, which focuses on artist-led organizing outside of large metropolitan areas.  Since beginning Say Uncle in 2015 (with Benjamin Cook) the Central Illinois area has revealed itself, welcoming Say Uncle, as a landscape full of small art communities in small cities and towns.  Through touring work and holding exhibitions at a number of spaces, threads and conversations have begun and came to the surface during the Regional Alternatives discussion Jason Judd and Sight Specific Arts (formerly the Bloomington-Normal Arts Collective) organized last spring. It was enriching to have conversations about artist led projects in the place where the work is actually happening.

Beyond Alternatives is a response to this growing energy, and is intended as another jumping point for Central Illinois to continue with its work in broader conversation.  It deliberately is not a how-to sort of symposium, instead it brings critical minds together that are already doing arts organizing in collaboration with institutions, cities, each other and those invested in going beyond a grassroots approach. Beyond Alternatives aspires to have a conversation that is open to the specificity of places outside of large metropolitan areas sustaining both the challenges and opportunities those places offer to artists and organizers.

Call for Proposals:

Within art making there is a long tradition of artists organizing to create opportunities for other people and other artists. Often, though not always, the site of these activities are urban for various practical reasons. What this means in turn is that conversations about artists doing organizational activity often are focused on or approached with the assumption that the goal is ultimately an urban audience or an urban venue. Look to to New York, look to Chicago and look to Los Angeles. However, there are lots of activities going on in between.

In light of this, we are accepting submissions for panels, discussions or talks at the Beyond Alternatives Symposium, April 6-7th 2018 from artists engaged in organizational work in non-metropolitan areas. Submissions are welcomed from both in and outside of the Central Illinois area, since the artist-led organizing in Central Illinois is a familiar example happening in lots of places. Keep in mind the symposium is not a how-to rather it is intended to be a critical moment for artists already doing or artists invested in organizing to form relationships with each other.

To submit a proposal please email the following information to by February 14, 2018

Formatted into a single PDF document:

500 word proposal (this is deliberately open to various formats)

3-4 images that support the proposed presentation

100 word biographies of participants/presenters