American Arts Incubator
Request for Qualifications for Artists
American Arts Incubator (AAI) is a creative exchange program that utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to instigate dialogue, build communities, bolster local economies, and further social innovation. Each incubator addresses a relevant social or environmental challenge such as economic equity, youth empowerment, gender equality, and environmental health.
American Arts Incubator is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs developed in partnership with ZERO1.
APPLICATION PERIOD HAS CLOSED: next cycle opens November 2019
Dates of Participation
Program duration is June 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020.
Core dates for in-person participation include:
- Fall 2019 — 1 week orientation in the San Francisco Bay Area in October or November.
- Spring 2020 — 4 consecutive weeks of overseas exchange to be scheduled between February and May.
Some deliverables are expected in the months leading up to and immediately following overseas travel (e.g., project proposals, documentation, evaluation, etc.).
- Emerging, mid-career, or established artists working with new media and/or digital art
- Experience with teaching, facilitation, group collaboration and/or social practice
- U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. that are at least 18 years of age
American Arts Incubator Program Basics
AAI sends U.S. artists abroad to lead collaborations with local communities that address a relevant social or environmental challenge using digital and/or new media art. Each exchange is supported by the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate and a host partner organization. There are four main activities that occur during the month-long incubator:
- Artist talk — Artist gives a public talk about the incubator and their artistic work to a local audience.
- Workshop series — Artist facilitates workshops to transfer skills in art, science, technology, and entrepreneurship to participants while facilitating dialogue and explorations around the given social challenge.
- Project development — Artist guides participant teams to build creative project prototypes which apply workshop skills to the social challenge.
- Open house — The incubator culminates in an open house that showcases the teams’ prototypes and solicits public feedback through a panel review.
After the international incubators are complete, ZERO1 will host one visiting international participant from each exchange country for 10-day professional development workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area to further build participant skills.
PLEASE NOTE: AAI is NOT an artist residency or commissioning program, nor does it support the development of the selected artists’ individual work. Participation in the program is an opportunity to serve as a cultural envoy and group facilitator by leading the exchange of knowledge and skills in art, science, technology while learning about the given social challenge in each exchange location.
Who We’re Looking For
ZERO1 is calling innovative digital and new media artists who have a record of:
Artist has shown a commitment to their communities and
Experience facilitating dialogue and leading diverse groups towards collective goals through teaching, workshops, social practice, artistic collaboration, or other outreach activities.
Cultural Sensitivity & Adaptability
Experience working in international contexts and comfortable “rolling with it” when conditions change on the ground.
Strong Project Management & Communication Skills
Artists are independent self-starters, familiar with virtual collaboration tools, and responsive to the needs of multiple stakeholders.
A strong record of artistic accomplishments that demonstrate innovative use of digital and new media.
The program covers airfare, accommodations, and basic travel costs
AAI artist selection will be a two-step process. Initial submissions received via the online form will be reviewed by ZERO1 and ECA. Finalists will be asked to submit a full application with more detailed responses to
Upon acceptance of
ZERO1 is committed to diversity and encourages applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of new media disciplines and methods.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. The Bureau seeks and encourages the involvement of people from traditionally underrepresented audiences in all its grants, programs