Union Inside/Outside Fellowship in Omaha, NE / Deadline: August 31, 2018

Open Call: June 30–August 31, 2018
Application Deadline: August 31, 2018, midnight
Fellowship Period: January 4–November 30, 2019

The Inside/Outside Fellowship Program and overarching mission center on building relationships between people and communities through creative expression. Where in traditional residencies artists often work on their own in seclusion, The Union encourages artists of all disciplines to be active participants in the civic life of North Omaha while recognizing the potential of art and artists to spark social change. The Inside/Outside Fellowship is an opportunity for deep immersion in both studio practice and community engagement: Fellows explore materials and ideas to advance their creative careers and participate in activities to connect with neighbors and contribute positively to this place we call home.

The Inside/Outside Fellowship serves as an introductory training ground for community-engaged art, an evolving field of practice that we define as artistic activity in community settings that involves neighbors or neighborhood groups in collaborative creative processes. The fellowship curriculum consists of a series of experiences, including monthly dinner workshops where fellows break bread with and learn from visiting artists and arts leaders. Typically held on the second Wednesday or Thursday of each month, the workshops provide fellows with avenues for thinking critically about how community can nourish creative practice and how neighborhood contexts inform an artist’s work inside traditional gallery settings or outside in public space. All fellows are required to complete 60 hours of community service over the course of the program, getting out of their studios to build relationships, gain understanding of the challenges and celebrations of our community partners and the people they serve, and give back to the community. Twice quarterly critique sessions, one-on-one studio visits, open studio events, and a final project are designed to further support fellows’ creative growth. Overall, the program aspires to ready artists to lead imaginative, thoughtful, and responsible work in, for, and with communities.

In the winter and spring, fellows generally focus on the creation of new work, get to know their cohort, and begin their community service. In the summer, fellows take a field trip to explore community-engaged art in the region, seeing and hearing about a variety of projects. In the fall, each fellow presents a final project, either new work for a group exhibition or a public program such as a performance or workshop series. At the end of the program, fellows wishing to lead a significant community-engaged art project are invited to submit a formal proposal to The Union. One proposal will be selected for implementation in 2020, receiving a generous stipend and staff support.

We accept applications from artists and artist duos working in any creative discipline and at any career level. A jury will select five fellows from the open call applications. Four spaces in the Inside/Outside Fellowship program are reserved for artists living in the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area. The one remaining space is available to a fifth locally-based applicant or an artist currently living outside of Omaha who is willing to relocate for this opportunity. National artists participate by invitation only.

All fellows receive:

an $1,800 stipend,
a private studio,
free access to The Co-Op studios and workshops (materials not included), technical assistance,
and professional development opportunities.
Ideal applicants have a practice that allows them to take full advantage of the private studio, as well as genuine interest in engaging people and social issues through their work. Before applying, please read our Application Guidelines + FAQs and consider participating in our scheduled feedback sessions.

Thursdays, July 12, July 26, and August 23, 5:30–7:00pm
Register for 30-minute, one-on-one sessions to receive feedback on your fellowship applications, including your work samples. Bring your application in progress; the more you have filled out the more feedback we are able to provide. RSVP required at u-ca.eventbrite.com.

If you still have questions about the fellowship program, please contact Amanda Smith, Exhibition + Fellowship Manager, at amanda@u-ca.org or (402) 933-3161.