1. What is Open Engagement (OE)?
Open Engagement (OE) is an annual, three-day, artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. Founded in 2007, OE has evolved into an unparalleled hub for practitioners and audiences of socially engaged art to assemble. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time. OE has presented seven conferences in two countries and six cities, hosting over 1,100 presenters and over 5,000 attendees.
2. Who is Open Engagement (OE)?
Open Engagement is organized each year by a core team of dedicated individuals. To find out more about the Team, please visit our OE Team Page. Open Engagement is supported and guided by a national consortium of devoted institutions. To find out more about the Consortium, please visit our Consortium page.
3. Where does OE take place?
Open Engagement is an itinerant conference taking place in a different city each year, allowing the programming to become site and context-specific while at the same time addressing the wide breadth of the work taking place in the socially engaged art field internationally. The current three-year cycle begun with the Bay Area in 2016 in partnership with the Oakland Museum of California and the California College of the Arts, will take place in Chicago in 2017 in partnership with University of Illinois Chicago, and will culminate in New York in partnership with the Queens Museum in 2018. To find out more, please visit our press release.
4. When does OE happen?
Open Engagement generally happens in the late spring of each year. 2018 marks our last conference for the foreseeable future as we will embark on an exploratory year to gauge the needs of the field of socially-engaged art. For this year’s info, please see our About page.
5. How does one become involved with OE?
a. Call for Proposals: Present at the conference through the Call for Proposals process. OE is the only conference on this subject of this scale that operates on an inclusive open call model that supports emerging and established artists and collaborates closely with national institutions to further the networks of support for socially engaged art. To find out more, please visit our Call for Proposals page.
b. Internships: OE has limited internship positions available to assist in the areas of administration, programming, and curation. To find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. Volunteer: Every year, OE depends on various levels of volunteer efforts to make the conference an accessible and attendee-friendly gathering. To find out more, please contact email@example.com.
d. Consortium: Open Engagement is excited to announce the next phase of growth: a national consortium that will situate the conference in the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York over the next three years (2016-2018). The national consortium is comprised of a dedicated group of invested institutions to help guide, shape, and support OE and the communities that it serves. To find out more about the consortium, please click HERE. To find out how your institution could become involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Is OE just an annual conference?
Open Engagement (OE) is an annual, three-day artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. Open Engagement also launched a publishing arm, OE in Print, in 2014. OE In Print is dedicated to publishing work that contributes to the conversation surrounding socially engaged art practices and will feature edited volumes, artist conversation series, and publications that highlight the work of Open Engagement presenters. OE in Print can be found here. Open Engagement also runs programming via our Blog to further dialogue around the support and care of socially engaged art year around. Open Engagement also partners with local funding bodies, such as Sprout Fund, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the CCA Center for Art and Public Life, to provide catalytic grants for artists to realize new projects during the conference.
7. Does OE provide funding for artists and presenters?
OE does not currently pay artist fees or fund expenses, and as such participants are strongly encouraged to apply for outside grants and funding if necessary. We suggest you check resources like your local regional arts councils and universities, and professional arts travel grants.
8. Who can attend OE?
Anyone can attend! No one will be turned away for lack of funds. See information on the website about our scholarship program and volunteer opportunities.