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SEATTLE, September 10, 2020 ¾ Friends of Waterfront Seattle (Friends) and the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects (OWCP) have announced a call for artists to activate Pier 63 with virtual installations. The call is led by Future Forward Artist In Residence, Takiyah Ward.

With the 2012 Waterfront Arts Plan as a foundation, resident artist Takiyah Ward developed a framework to guide artistic responses designed to engage artists in a range of opportunities to activate the Seattle waterfront in the coming months. This framework focuses on creative projects that invite exploration of stories and experiences focused on insights of the past, engagement with the present, and vision for the future — PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. In this context, three distinct projects will be implemented with activities, activations, and installations to illuminate each theme. The first call for artists centered on the present and will result in light installations on Pier 62 in the Fall. This second call for artists, designed for Pier 63, seeks five youth ages 18 - 24 to explore the theme of FUTURE through the creation of 2D artworks that will be digitized for virtual reality and online viewing experiences. Artists may focus on the “future” in general and/or specifically of the waterfront location. Artists are currently being selected for installations to be placed on Pier 62, to be complemented by virtual installations on Pier 63 in October 2020. Both piers’ installations are expected to be in place through November 2020.

Of the Pier 63 Call for Artists theme FUTURE, Takiyah said, “The future is a time we all like to envision but it belongs to the youth. The future will be your moment, your movement, your revolution. The beauty of the future is our ability to imagine in the present what a potential reality can be. Right now, it is more important than ever for us to dream big. And it is equally important for adults and elders to listen to the youth and empower them. Far too long have your voices been filtered through the adults in charge; I say let the youth lead the way.” 

The budget is $2,000 per artist (with five artists total), and artists matching the following criteria are encouraged to apply, especially artists that are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color:

  • Artists who are 18-24 years old.

  • Artists residing in or with direct connections to the greater Seattle region. Direct connection to the heritage of the surrounding waterfront is desired, though not required.

  • Artists who are interested in public art and connecting with an artistic community where new norms are being created. Selected artists will have opportunities to meet virtually with other selected artists and Artist in Residence, Takiyah Ward.

The Future Forward Virtual Artist In Residence, Takiyah Ward, designed a framework for engaging artists with a range of opportunities to activate the Seattle waterfront. These activities, activations, and installations will occur throughout 2020. Multiple artist calls overseen by the residency are funded by a partnership between Friends and OWCP, and dedicate a total of $100,000 in support of the #SeattleTogether initiative, a partnership between the Office of Arts & Culture, Office of Economic Development, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle Public Library, and the Mayor’s Innovation and Performance Team, which has come together to build a city-wide COVID-19 community response plan. This project aligns across all partnerships to elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Half of these dollars derive from the City’s 1% for Art funds generated by the waterfront project.

In response to the economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to support artists, the City of Seattle, through #SeattleTogether, is assisting partner organizations to provide funding for artistic endeavors. Friends of Waterfront Seattle is supporting this effort with an artist residency and additional artist opportunities as part of its role in activating Pier 63, which is closed but viewable, adjacent to Pier 62 slated to open soon.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends and the City recognize the importance of participating in economic recovery for the arts community while leading strategies supporting the long-term vision for Seattle’s future Waterfront Park. The Artist-In-Residence Program embraces a process for employing a creative waterfront arts program that is artist-driven and audience-minded, inclusive and welcoming of a diversity of thought and approaches, and responsive and adaptable to changing public gathering norms. The program brings to life the significance that the arts play in our daily lives as well as in our ability to be “in community.” The residency is also a template for the process Friends plans to develop and deploy to create temporary waterfront art installations in Seattle’s future Waterfront Park slated to open in 2024.

Friends of Waterfront Seattle (“Friends”) is the nonprofit partner to the City of Seattle responsible for helping to fund, build, steward, and program the park – today and into the future. In addition to raising $110M by 2024 to fund park construction, Friends will provide funding and manage the programming and operations of the future Waterfront Park through a joint-delivery partnership with Seattle Parks & Recreation. Park construction has begun following the Viaduct's removal and the first piece of the park — Pier 62 — is planned to open Fall 2020.

The Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects is pleased to support a project that aligns with the City's Seattle Together program, a series of initiatives responding to communities impacted during these unusual and challenging times. Future Forward: Artist in Residency is a quick way to provide opportunities to artists and arts groups for activation of the waterfront for the benefit of everyone. Seattle Together is a partnership of city departments that includes the city's Office of Arts & Culture, which in turn collaborates with the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects to bring arts and culture to the waterfront.



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