Encore! Mt. Morris
Artist-in-Residence Application: Deadline April 1, 2021
Thank you for your interest in applying for Encore! Mt. Morris’ artist-in-residence program. This document will provide you with basic information about our region, the Encore! Mt. Morris initiative, the artist-in-residency program itself and the application. If you have any questions, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org Please allow up to 48 hours for a response.
Description of Mt. Morris and the Region
Mt. Morris is a rural community (~3000) in northern Illinois, two hours west of Chicago and five miles west of Oregon, the Ogle County seat. For over 100 years, our community was best known for education (Mt. Morris College and excellent schools), printing (Kable Printing Co), publishing (Kable News, Watt Publishing) and agriculture. In recent years, the digital and global commerce world has fueled company mergers and big changes in the printing and publishing world. As a result, Mt. Morris is in the position of re-defining itself for the future. The historic college campus and uptown, summer concerts, the annual Let Freedom Ring festival, and community pride, as well as the area’s state parks and the Rock River still exist to build upon! See photos and more information at http://www.mtmorrisil.net and https://www.facebook.com/MMCommunityEvents
Encore! Mt. Morris
n the spring of 2016, the Mt. Morris Economic Development Group (EDG) hosted 80 area residents and experts for a 3-day retreat to establish a plan for building on Mt. Morris’ strengths and assets to spur new economic development through the arts. The vision of “Encore! Mt. Morris” was born; six committees with specific goals were formed. Since that time, the committees have worked hard to create the Old Sandstone Gallery and host 15+ art shows and the Sandstone Art Market, evaluate uptown and campus properties for potential businesses or art venues, raise funds through donations and grant writing, invent new annual festivals (PorchFest and the U.S. National Straw Sculpting Competition), offer art classes and a celebratory interactive program on famous artists, host a bus trip to the Art Institute and other Chicago art venues, develop online art programming for children (2020 during COVID), and sponsor this artist-in-residence program for several summers. Mt. Morris is on its way to being an arts destination! See photos and more information at http://www.encoremtmorris.com and http://www.strawusa.com
Encore! Mt. Morris is seeking artists with a particular interest in community-based artwork (broadly defined) for the Artist-in-Residence program. Specifically, the program will give preference to artists with an interest in:
• Integrating your community development ideas through the arts with Encore’s vision and goals.
• Designing hands-on art experiences for all ages, including younger citizens and families, the retired and all ages in between.
• Contributing to arts-oriented community festivals, events and public art initiatives already on the summer Encore schedule.
• Strengthening the “Color Me a Memory” initiative and other arts activities at Pinecrest Community (a multi-level residential community for senior citizens) (if COVID mitigation guidelines allow).
• Assisting Encore’s Steering Committee in structuring future artist-in-residence opportunities.
The A-I-R program provides a full-time internship-like experience between early June and early August, 2021 (exact dates are flexible). Some advance planning will begin via email/phone in April in order for Encore to do adequate publicizing of June activities and to order needed art supplies. On-site summer work hours may vary week to week, depending on the number and types of events going on, but will almost always include Friday commitments. Compensation includes a $750 stipend, as well as mileage. A modest budget will be provided for supplies and resources needed for the summer projects. A supply of extra materials from recent summers is also available. Retired art teachers on the Encore committee can assist with acquisition of additional art supplies at good prices, as needed. Bringing your own laptop computer would be helpful, but not required. The position requires some tech-based marketing and offerings.
Encore! Mt. Morris leaders will provide orientation to Mt. Morris, the Encore project, area resources for arts-oriented activities, and specific goals for this summer. Expectations for the A-i-R include creating art in our community with the community, such as informal children’s art activities at summer concerts, art classes or hands-on, interactive art-building activities for all ages, research and design ideas for a community mural, partnering with other area artists, contributing to planning and brainstorming sessions with the Encore! Mt. Morris Steering Committee or Arts and Art Education Committee AND your ideas! Your personal interests, skills and summer goals will be taken into account when developing activity plans and targeted outcomes. The Encore leaders will also provide supervision, support and feedback on progress toward those outcomes. A final evaluation of the experience, as well as accomplishments and recommendations will be completed near the end of the summer.
Artists who successfully complete a full application will be invited for an in-person interview, or if unable to attend due to distance or cost, may use Skype or Facetime. Final selection is expected to be made by April 10.
Requirements/Criteria for Selection
Requirements/Criteria for Selection
This community-oriented experience for artists is looking for someone with:
• At least 18 years of age.
• Demonstrated interest in the visual arts and art education.
• The ability to work collaboratively, independently and with good organizational skills.
• Experience with innovative group/community projects.
• Consent to and passage of a criminal background check.
Other preferred criteria include:
• Experience with digital marketing.
• 2 years of undergraduate study or professional experience as an artist using a variety of media.
• Demonstrated interest in community development, organizational development or long-range planning.
• Demonstrated additional interests in the performing arts or culinary arts.