Calls for Artists

Page updated on Feb 4, 2021 at 4:43 PM

Artists, performers, makers, and creators can find opportunities to share their talents with the people of Alexandria.

Current Opportunities

Artist Residency for 2021 Site See: New Views in Old Town 

Deadline: 5 p.m., Sunday, February 28, 2021

Download the Full Prospectus

The City of Alexandria is seeking individual artists or artist groups/organizations for up to two residencies to develop and perform new, site-specific work in response to the new temporary public artwork Groundswell, by commissioned artist Mark Reigelman, installed at Waterfront Park in historic Old Town Alexandria. The stipend for each residency will range from $6,000 up to $16,000, and applications from artists of all mediums will be considered.

The selected artists or artist groups/organizations will create new site-specific work beginning with a period of site research and exploration, followed by proposing a direction for the work, developing and rehearsing the performance, and culminating in presenting the work for a duration of time agreed upon with the selected artist(s) and the Office of the Arts. The selected artist(s) or artist group(s)/organization(s) should be able to adapt their concept and work to meet public health guidelines as they evolve due to the pandemic.


This residency is open to all contemporary artists and artist groups/organizations, age 18 and older, based in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia, including but not limited to directors, choreographers, designers, individual artists, arts organizations/groups, professors, and students of all artistic mediums.


The process for executing the two Performing Arts Residencies is

  • Sunday, February 28, 2021: Deadline for applications to be received
  • Wednesday, March 17, 2021: Notification of award
  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021: Deadline to return signed contract and complete necessary administrative processes if awarded
  • Thursday, March 25 – Friday, April 9, 2021: Research and initial development of work phase, including meeting with Office of the Arts staff, consultants, and artist
  • Friday, April 23, 2021: Deadline for proposals of concepts to be received
  • Week of April 26, 2021: Meeting with Office of the Arts staff to discuss proposed concepts.
  • Monday, May 3, 2021: Confirm with Office of the Arts staff dates work will be presented. Work may be presented until October 31, 2021.

Residency applications are reviewed through a competitive process by a panel of arts and culture professionals. The panel or staff may choose to interview candidates before making a final selection. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: 1) Equitable employment of artists, including women, and BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities; 2) Artistic excellence and ability to create original work as demonstrated by work samples; 3) A body of work that demonstrates the ability to meet the goals of the project, and execute projects of similar scale; 4) An understanding of how to design the work to reflect the site and the City of Alexandria demonstrated in the letter of interest.

Once the selected artists or artist groups/organizations are under contract they will begin a period of site research and exploration, which will include access to Office of the Arts staff and consultants, Mark Reigelman, and other City staff or partners for conversations. The artist or artist group/organization will then propose to Office of the Arts staff a direction/concept for the original site-specific piece they will create. Once this direction is approved by staff, the artist or artist group/organization will develop the piece. If performing artist(s)/artist group(s) or organization(s) are selected, rehearsals may be on site in Waterfront Park in public view, keeping in mind the park cannot be closed to the general public during on-site rehearsals. Each artist in residence will work with Office of the Arts staff to schedule presentation of the work through October 2021.

To Submit

Please email the following in a single PDF file to Anne O’Dell at by 5:00 p.m., Sunday, February 28, 2021:

  1. Cover Sheet with name, address, phone number, website and e-mail address of the artist or artist group/organization applying. If a group/organization, designate and name a lead artist who will be the main point of contact.
  2. Letter of Interest of no more than two pages indicating your experience developing original work and your preliminary approach to the residency. If a group/organization, also briefly describe your history of working together.
  3. Proposed budget
  4. Resume/CV of no more than three pages. If a group/organization, include the resume/CV for the designated lead artist and up to three additional resumes of no more than three pages each.
  5. Web links for up to five videos of performances by the artist or group/organization. Videos must be online and cannot be files that must be downloaded to access. For each clip, provide a one to two sentence description, including the name of the performers and/or creators.
  6. Names and contact information for three professional references.


Please submit your questions about this opportunity via email to Anne O’Dell at  

Public Art

There are currently no public art opportunities. Please visit for more information about public art in Alexandria.   


Deadline: Ongoing      

The City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts is committed to supporting visual and performing artists during the COVID-19 pandemic and is accepting applications from artists who can offer virtual live-streamed programs or concerts from their homes. These are paid opportunities, and each applicant must be able to stream live the program or concert from their home. 

There are currently no virtual arts opportunities. If you would like to propose a creative project for consideration, contact Kayla Redman at

Events and Public Space Activations

Deadline: Ongoing

Events and Public Space Activations creates equitable access to the arts by bringing visual and performing arts to neighborhoods throughout Alexandria.

Proposals are being accepted from emerging and established visual and performing artists who are interested in engaging directly with the community through their work. All opportunities are paid and will be scheduled between April and October of each year. Artists will have access to the Mobile Art Lab, which is a mobile studio with supplies and equipment to facilitate outdoor activations. Proposals should indicate if work will be done in one day or over a series of two or three weeks. 

Proposals are reviewed by staff with the following criteria: 

  • High artistic quality
  • Unique work
  • Weather-sustainable art (can be outside for extended periods, or be projected, performed, or facilitated out of doors)
  • Equitably accessible for the community to engage with and/or participate in making the art

Interested artists should submit a proposal. For more information, contact Kayla Redman at


Deadline: Ongoing

The Mobile Art Lab activates public spaces and connects art with people. Paid opportunities are available for local artists, makers, performers, and creatives who lead participatory activities for residents and visitors of all ages. Past projects have included video projections, screenprinting, silent discos, jewelry making, 'zine making, drum circles, and henna designs. If you would like to propose a creative project for consideration, contact Kayla Redman at


Program and Operating Grants

Deadline: Annually in the spring

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities' Arts Division stewards the City of Alexandria's Arts Grants program with the intent of reaching these goals: 

  • To strengthen Alexandria's creative capacity by providing its residents with diverse opportunities to meaningfully engage with the arts
  • To improve the capacity and stability of Alexandria-based arts organizations to create, perform, and present works of artistic excellence and innovation through organizational support and program funding
  • To create a vibrant urban environment by supporting diverse individual artists, organizations, and other entities in the creation, performance, and presentation of high-quality works of art across the City of Alexandria

Learn more about Alexandria's Arts Program Grants.

Torpedo Factory Art Center

Studio Artists at Torpedo Factory Art Center

Torpedo Factory Art Center encourages artists and artist groups to apply for available studios.

At the present time, there are no available studios. 

Visit for more opportunities to show work at Torpedo Factory Art Center. Many calls are national and international.