Residency Opportunity: ACLU SoCal Inaugural

ACLU of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Program Overview

The ACLU of Southern California inaugural Artist-in-Residence program will embed an artist into the ACLU SoCal for a year-long collaboration. This unique opportunity will create a platform for the artist to work closely with the ACLU SoCal in developing, implementing, and promoting creative strategies through the lens of the artist’s practice.


The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) will work with the ACLU SoCal to develop creative and contemporary strategies for highlighting both the ACLU SoCal’s current activities as well as its history, which could include:


- Marketing collateral

- Special edition artwork and prints

- Booth / tabling installation for outreach events

- Mural

- Social media takeovers

- Site-specific artworks/projects at special ACLU SoCal events

These are just examples of the kinds of initiatives the AIR could become involved in.


More broadly, the AIR can aid in developing in an artistic approach for any aspect of the ACLU SoCal’s activities. Using art as a framework and material, this partnership will allow the ACLU SoCal to conceptualize its work and activities from an empowered position of change through creation. It is through this spirit of productive, creative energy that the AIR and the ACLU SoCal will engage allies and build awareness.


ACLU SoCal 2019-2020

The ACLU SoCal’s priorities this year will include critical reforms to police use of force and discipline; district attorney and sheriff accountability; the rights of trans and non-binary people; immigrants’ rights; and the voting rights of people on parole. Artists with particular interest in these issues are strongly encouraged to apply.


Program Outcomes

The AIR will attend a monthly meeting with ACLU SoCal staff to be kept informed of current, ongoing, and upcoming initiatives.


The AIR will produce at least one major project with the ACLU SoCal, to be determined in collaboration with staff. This could take the form of an installation to be used at ACLU SoCal tabling events, a mural, or a special edition artwork.


The AIR is encouraged to develop creative approaches, experiences, or artworks that further the goals of the ACLU SoCal. Of particular interest is how the ACLU SoCal can improve onsite initiatives and interventions, and use space in a creative and engaging way.


American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California

For over 95 years, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has worked tirelessly in the defense and advancement of civil rights and civil liberties for all Californians. The ACLU SoCal does this through community education and activist engagement, media advocacy, policy research and advocacy, and litigation across a whole host of social justice issues.



The AIR will be given an honorarium of $15,000 as an artist fee. Costs associated with the execution, production, and installation of engagement and activations will be negotiated with the ACLU SoCal.



This residency is open to established and emerging professional artists who live or work in Southern California. The AIR must be available to participate in onsite meetings with ACLU SoCal staff members in their office in Los Angeles during the duration of the residency.


Criteria for Selection

This project requires commitment and passion for community engagement and civil liberties. Artists with significant interest in one or more of the ACLU SoCal’s engagements for the upcoming year will be prioritized. Artists must be driven by collaborative work and a commitment to community engagement. They must have a portfolio which demonstrates their ability to align creative practice with social and public need.  


To assure that the goals of the project are met, artists will be required to participate in a competitive selection process. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of stakeholders and evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit and professional qualifications demonstrated in a dynamic portfolio of past work;
  • Experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders;
  • A broad range of creative skills that are applicable to the development and execution of the residency program, including but not limited to: social practice, happenings, permanent and temporary artworks, pop-ups, etc.;
  • Basic knowledge of the diverse services provided by the ACLU


Submission Instructions

Please prepare in a single PDF the following materials:

  1. CV
  2. Statement of interest
  3. Up to ten images or video documentation of your work
  4. Three references


Send PDF to [email protected] by 11:59pm PST, May 31, 2019


Selection Process

Five finalists will be invited to interview based on their qualifications and the criteria listed above. The interview will be held in the ACLU SoCal’s offices and delve into the finalists’ specific interests and how they align with the ethos and activities of the ACLU SoCal. Finalists are invited to prepare a short presentation.


Tentative Schedule

April 29 - RFQ released

May 31 - Deadline to apply

June 2019 - Finalists interview

July 2019 - Finalist selected and Residency begins



Do NOT contact the ACLU SoCal with questions regarding the RFQ.

Please direct any inquiries to LeBasse Projects, the consulting firm for the AIR program.

LeBasse Projects

[email protected]

Become a Supporter