Announcing Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas Call for Proposals

Image from the exhibition of the Ark on Noah Street by artist Christopher Blay, part of Activating Vacancy 10th Street, 2014.

Image from the exhibition of the Ark on Noah Street by artist Christopher Blay, part of Activating Vacancy 10th Street, 2014.

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]), with Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI), is excited to announce the Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas (AVDD) call for artist proposals.  Artists are invited to submit proposals that directly address issues identified by downtown stakeholders through a previous process called Community Audited Public Space (CAPS), as well as by a Community Advisory Committee.  

AVDD will utilize [bc]’s Activating Vacancy process to partner artists with community needs and interests as determined by local stakeholder. Artists selected for AVDD will make artworks that respond to and addresses the following priorities and themes identified through CAPS and by the Community Advisory Committee:

  • Walkability, including poor sidewalk conditions, and construction impeding the public realm
  • Vehicular transportation and road infrastructure, including fast street traffic, and poor bike infrastructure
  • Visions of the future
  • Crime and crime prevention / perceptions of safety
  • Historic architecture and significant sites
  • Recreation
  • Homelessness / inclusion, fostering a downtown that’s for everyone

Artists will work in collaboration with community leaders and local stakeholders throughout the imagination, construction and implementation of this two month project. Artist projects will be designed and constructed in August and September 2017 and exhibited in October of 2017.  A project stipend of $10,000 will be provided to successful artist applicants to cover their time and material costs.  

AVDD is a quick paced and highly collaborative project.  Artists will get to know residents and stakeholders, from local property owners, to City of Dallas workers, to library patrons, to office workers, and more. Artists will workshop proposals with community stakeholders and facilitate design and fabrication workshops. Throughout the process [bc] will provide communication support with committee leaders, guidance on the Activating Vacancy process and access to information and data gathered through the Community Audited Public Space programing.

Artists selected for AVDD will propose and implement an art project in collaboration with community members utilizing [bc]’s Activating Vacancy guiding principles and process. According to Activating Vacancy’s guiding principles, projects should:

  • Be driven by a set of goals defined and articulated by the neighbors and residents of a particular place
  • Elevate voices and encourage civic participation
  • Strengthen neighborhood identity and cultural history, challenging gentrification and displacement
  • Foster collaboration and creative participation between a diverse set of individuals, culminating in a work co-created by artist and community
  • Empower residents to address the future of their own neighborhood, and pursue larger outcomes related to community goals
  • Shift perceptions of challenges

More information on Activating Vacancy can be found here. The full call for artists can be found here. Interested parties can apply online here. We recommend reviewing the application scoring criteria and Activating Vacancy principles prior to submitting.

Applicants cannot save and return to their applications.  We encourage applicants to prepare your materials prior to submission.  Please call or email Lizzie MacWillie, or 214-252-2900, with any questions regarding your application.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on July 31, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to submit outside of peak website traffic time, (8:00pm-11:59pm CST on July 31st, 2017). Finalists will be notified by August 11, 2017.

This initiative is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit