WSDOT to be the first statewide agency to host an artist-in-residence

  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:17am
  • News

An artist-in-residence will spend a year working with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to help develop new ways to achieve agency goals through a first-of-its-kind program created by ArtPlace America and Transportation for America, a program of Smart Growth America.

WSDOT will be the first stage agency in the country to pilot an artist-in-residence program.

Applications are now open for artists interested in the year-long position, which will be located within WSDOT. The call for artists and application can be found at smartgrowthamerica.org.

Recognized as a tool for pioneering innovative and creative solutions, artist-in-residence programs have been piloted across the nation in municipal governmental agencies, including the Los Angeles and Seattle DOTs, but never before at a statewide agency.

Several organizations collaborated on the artist-in-residence program. ArtPlace America is providing a $125,000 grant for the program, including a $40,000 stipend for the selected artist and $25,000 for a final project(s) the artist and staff develop. Transportation for America (T4A) will administer both the funds and the overall program, including providing staff and consulting assistance. The State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) will also provide staff support. Both T4A and SSTI are programs of Smart Growth America. WSDOT will supply in-kind contributions consisting of work space for the selected artist and staff time for agency workers to collaborate on the groundbreaking new program.

“Artists can provide fresh approaches and new ways of doing things, interpret complex processes, and provide unique perspectives for existing programs,” said Ben Stone, Smart Growth America’s director of arts & culture. “While a handful of cities have embedded artists in various departments over the years, WSDOT will be the first statewide agency to embark on such a program. We’re excited to be a part of helping Washington state harness arts and creativity to create better supported and more beloved transportation projects that help accomplish the state’s goals.”

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