ArtCorps Artists use theater, storytelling, music, digital media and other creative facilitation techniques to educate and inspire people to participate actively in improving the environmental, health and social conditions in their communities.
The arts have been used to express social concerns and educate people about important issues for centuries. Diverse approaches are all rooted in the arts' unique ability to establish trust, develop critical thinking skills and to cultivate expression and initiative. ArtCorps' unique model integrates the arts into our partner organizations' programs as a tool to improve community engagement and participation.
Collaboration with Partner Organizations
Each ArtCorps Artist works directly with a local development organization that is an expert in its field, training both community members and organization staff in our field-tested Art for Social Action methodology. Through participatory art, ArtCorps Artists strengthen dialogue between community members and the organization, improve community education and empower local leadership. Partners include organizations such as Oxfam America, CARE and Wildlife Conservation Society.
Your mission is to inspire community members to work actively with the partner organization to shape the future of their communities. To achieve sustainable development, partner organizations and local communities must collaborate. Communities need the access to knowledge and resources that the partner organizations can provide, and the partner organizations depend on the experience, knowledge and participation of local people to help design appropriate solutions.
As the ArtCorps Artist, your primary role is to guide the employees of the partner organization to incorporate the artistic process into their activities. You will train the staff and community leaders to use the arts and creative facilitation to connect community members more personally with the issues and help them express their views and imagine new solutions.
By using the arts in this way, you help communities and partner organizations solve specific environmental, health and human rights problems more effectively. Furthermore, communities and partner organizations learn valuable skills that empower them to work together in the future no matter what issue may arise.
Only one ArtCorps Artist is assigned to each partner organization, so you will need to be a strong leader. You will need to coordinate logistical aspects of the projects as well as the artistic aspects. You may be asked to work in one or more communities.
You will have a main contact within the partner organization to help guide you, and you will work with your partner organization to design the projects you will implement during the year. Oftentimes, the partner organization's staff has an enormous workload, and you will need to act independently after developing a thorough understanding of the partner organization's objectives. However, you should not work in isolation. Arts-based projects should be integrated closely into the partner organization's regular programs.
We want organizations and communities to gain the ability to use Art for Social Action without relying on ArtCorps Artists. It takes time for this to happen, so ArtCorps commits to sending different ArtCorps Artists to transfer skills to the partner organization over a three- to five-year period.
You will play a vital role in achieving this. You will be a mentor for local artists and teach them to work with the partner organization after ArtCorps leaves. You will also identify the partner organization's staff members who educate the community and train them to incorporate art into their presentations. You will use materials that are available locally, including natural or recycled materials.
The communities where our artists work do not always have access to the technology or materials required for some art forms. If you practice hi-tech art forms, you are still welcome to apply, but you would need to adapt your work to low-tech realities. We want the communities to be able to replicate and build upon the work of ArtCorps Artists.
ArtCorps and your partner organization provide:
- Basic room and board
- Medical insurance
- A personal stipend of $1,000 USD
- A budget for art project materials
- Training in Art for Social Action (orientation in January, a mid-year retreat and other training as needed)
- Technical assistance and support from ArtCorps staff in the region
Once accepted as an ArtCorps artist, your financial responsibilities include:*
- Your roundtrip travel
- A refundable deposit to reserve your place in the program. The amount is calculated based upon your country of origin:
- For artists from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, the deposit is $1,000 USD.
- For artists from Latin America, the deposit is $500 USD.
- For artists from Central America, the deposit is $250 USD.
- Personal expenses ($1,500 minimum) during the program such as:
- Communication with your friends and family at home
- A residence permit or trips out of the country every three months to renew the stamp in your passport
- Food to supplement basic meals
- An emergency reserve
*ArtCorps provides fundraising materials to help ArtCorps Artists cover the costs for which they are responsible.
Your host partner organization will provide room and board, and both of these will probably be much more basic than what you are accustomed to. Some artists live with host families and others live on their own, depending upon what accomodations are available.
Health and Security
Since you will be living in a developing country, we cannot guarantee your safety 100%. Artists assume all health and safety risks. We do provide medical insurance as well as safety guidelines. There is an established emergency and illness procedure, and the partner organization is responsible for taking you to the nearest hospital in case of emergency.
Application Instructions and Deadlines