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CALL FOR ARTISTS

Politics & Art will spotlight DC-based artists who use the power of their voices to inspire, entertain, and empower. We invite artists who live in the District to apply to participate and to tell us how they would like to use their voices — whether in song, spoken word, or a host of other expressive modes — to channel stories and share messages. This is a showcase format, with multiple locations that will be activated within The Wilson Building. Each act will perform a set of 15 minutes.

The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, February 22, 2019 and details for consideration are below. The cost of submitting an application has been underwritten, so applicants may apply free of charge! 


Image from Politics & Art 2018 


OVERVIEW

Now in its fifth year, Politics & Art: District Vox is an annual “Made in D.C.” performing arts showcase presented by Washington Performing Arts' Mars Urban Arts Initiative (MUAI) and Councilmember David Grosso.  Join us at The Wilson Building on June 13th for a celebration of D.C.’s vibrant arts community with performances by singers, vocal ensembles, bands, spoken word artists, and actors. Artists and ensembles are invited to apply free of charge, and will be selected by a panel of arts and community leaders.

ELIGIBILITY

This call is open to artists of all ages, residing in Washington D.C. (or, in the case of an ensemble, where a majority of the artists reside in Washington D.C.), in the following categories (all categories may not be represented in the final showcase):

Performance Categories

  • Vocal Performance With Accompaniment (with one instrument or small acoustic combo)

Solo Performer

Small Ensemble (fewer than 4)

Large Ensemble (greater than 4)

  • Vocal Performance A Cappella

Solo Performer

Small Ensemble (fewer than 4)

Large Ensemble (greater than 4)

  • Spoken Word and Vocal Percussion

Solo

Group

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES 

  1. Please make all audio and video submissions through the “Submittable” portal. Please submit a list of the Song(s) or Text you wish to perform.
  2. Video is ideal, but audio submissions will also be accepted. Live performance samples are preferred (rather than studio-produced samples).
  3. Please submit (2) song/work samples between 2-6 minutes each.
  4. The applicant (or if an ensemble, a majority of their members) must be a Washington, D.C. resident by February 8, 2019.

Each group or individual artist must complete one online application form. Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on February 8, 2019. Please Note: The first 100 applicants will be considered for the selection process.

No incomplete applications will be considered. Please note that submission of an application indicates that you will be available to perform on June 13, 2019 at Politics & Art, if your application is chosen. 

SUBMISSION STEPS

  • Review selection assessment criteria & process
  • Create an account on Submittable
  • Complete Politics & Art: District Vox application; upload video or audio
  • Review your application; submit.

SELECTION ASSESSMENT CRITERIA & PROCESS

Politics & Art artistic decisions will be made by Advisory Panel Adjudicators convened by Washington Performing Arts and Councilmember Grosso.

Politics & Art Advisory Panel Adjudicators will consider the following questions: 

  • Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to artistic rigor and discipline?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate technical proficiency within their self-identified genre?
  • What is the applicant’s creative vision for their work?
  • Is there a message the applicant hopes their art will convey to the DC City Council?

ARTIST HONORARIA

(Based on a 15-minute performance; Fees listed are a one-time payment for artists/ensembles who are selected by the Politics & Art Advisory Panel)

  • Solo: $125
  • Group: $250

TIMELINE 

EXTENDED DEADLINE: February 22, 2019 - Applications due by 11:59pm

February 25- March 15, 2019 - Politics & Art: District Vox Advisory Panel reviews applications, selects performers

March 18-29, 2019 - Participants notified, contracts issued & due back

April 1, 2019 - Politics & Art: District Vox event lineup announced

June 13, 2019 - Politics & Art: District Vox Event

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What is Politics & Art? Politics & Art is an annual showcase of local artists that celebrates Washington’s rich artistic legacy and current culture and its intersections with political life. Politics & Art is also a networking event for artists, the community-at-large, and politicians and features amateur and professional musicians, dancers, poets, and visual artists. 

When and where is Politics & Art? The 2019 edition of Politics & Art: District Vox will be held on June 13, 2019 from 5:30 pm-8 pm at the John A. Wilson Building located at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004.

Who is presenting this event? Washington Performing Arts and Councilmember David Grosso

How will the showcase participants be decided? Panelists from the Politics & Art: District Vox Advisory Panel will review the first 100 submissions based on criteria stated.

Who is on the Politics & Art Advisory Panel? The panel is made up of professionals from the performing arts community and the civil service community (local government officials) in Washington, D.C.

About Washington Performing Arts and the Mars Urban Arts Initiative

Throughout its 51 year history Washington Performing Arts has showcased some of the world’s most celebrated performers including many who are revered vocalists and vocal ensembles, spanning opera, gospel, folk, jazz, art song, and spoken word. Embedded in our history is the presentation of our first board chair, the formidable American operatic baritone Todd Duncan and our beloved Men and Women of the Gospel/Children of the Gospel choirs (formed in the 1990’s). Politics & Art continues and extends this history, with a lens on amplifying local voices and providing a platform for them in one of the most important spaces in the District: the Wilson Building, our City Hall. 

The Mars Urban Arts Initiative (MUAI) is a creative platform for Washington Performing Arts and the D.C. community to celebrate and empower local artists through performances, unique educational programs, and interdisciplinary grassroots collaborations that showcase the diversity and vitality of our city. Reflective of our founder Patrick Hayes’ motto, “Everybody in, nobody out,” the Mars Urban Arts Initiative amplifies the role of local artists throughout Washington Performing Arts’ productions, educational opportunities, and special events. The Mars Urban Arts Initiative is anchored by residencies for leading artists and ensembles, curated performances across all eight wards, and artistic happenings that reflect what it means to call D.C. home. 

Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Urban Arts Initiative is generously supported by Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated. 

Please Note: The first 100 applicants will be considered for the selection process.

No incomplete applications will be considered. Please note that submission of an application indicates that you will be available to perform on June 13, 2019 at Politics & Art, if your application is chosen.