September 15, 2017

Call for Proposals: Open Engagement 2018—SUSTAINABILITY

Open Engagement

Robert Smithson, Glue Pour, 1970. Robert Smithson, Duane Lunden and Lucy Lippard. Photo: Christos Dikeakos.

More information, including our Curatorial Statement, at

2018 will mark the tenth Open Engagement (OE) conference. OE is dedicated to expanding the dialogue around, and creating a site of care for, the field of socially engaged art. OE supports radical imagination, nourishes partnerships, and illuminates pathways to creative change. This grassroots, artist-led conference has evolved into an unparalleled hub for practitioners and audiences to assemble. As the conference embarks on exploring the theme of SUSTAINABILITY in 2018, we are announcing that this will be the final year of the conference in its current form.

We are currently accepting proposals for Open Engagement 2018. Local, national, and international artists, activists, academics, cultural producers, administrators, curators, educators, writers, thinkers, doers, and makers of all ages with a vested interest in art and social practice are encouraged to propose programming through our free call.

Open Engagement 2018—SUSTAINABILITY will take place May 11 to 13 at the Queens Museum and a constellation of sites throughout New York City. This year’s conference will feature presenters Lucy Lippard and Mel Chin. Both of their longstanding, diverse practices have touched on themes of sustainability ranging from micro to global scales, and have covered issues of equality, place, justice, health, and access.

OE supports emerging and established artists and organizers, highlights the voices of students alongside professionals, and posits large-scale public institutions in conversation with DIY initiatives. Proposals can address this year’s theme of SUSTAINABILITY, or the field of socially engaged art more broadly. We invite you to share your works-in-progress, failures, and successes. We are also accepting site-specific proposals that take place inside of Queen Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York or Relief Map of the New York City Watershed. Proposals are reviewed by volunteer committees comprised of local and national partners, artists, activists, students, community members, and scholars.

The Open Engagement team works to honor and support multiple methods of discourse and dialogue, myriad forms of knowledge and knowledge-sharing. We embrace non-traditional conference forms. We prioritize marginal and radical perspectives. Open Engagement aspires to maximize accessibility for all. Conference presenters are not charged to present or attend.

Open Engagement 2018—SUSTAINABILITY marks the final chapter of a three-year narrative, beginning with POWER in Oakland in 2016, and followed by 2017's JUSTICE in Chicago.

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