Call Detail
NJ Climate Resiliency Community-Based Arts Projects: 2024
Entry Deadline: 9/5/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 12
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: New Jersey
Jury Dates: 9/8/23 - 9/29/23
Budget: $12,000 per artist/artist team


The New Jersey DEP Coastal Management Program (CMP) was awarded a Project of Special Merit (PSM) grant by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through their annual Coastal Zone Management Enhancement Program. The PSM award is to support development of a risk communication campaign for coastal hazards including a Community-Based Art Grant Program (Grant Program) in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (Arts Council). The Grant Program, along with the other components of the risk communications campaign, will address the need to involve and inform the public about the coastal hazards impacts they will face and what actions they can take to reduce their risk.  

The Grant Program has selected four (4) New Jersey community-based organizations (CBOs) to be paired with artists/artist teams that specialize in environmental topics to create art installations in specific locations within New Jersey’s coastal zone. The CBOs were selected through a separate and competitive process, and this call for artists is to select the artists who will be paired with the CBOs to develop and implement an art project that is both artistically excellent and communicates to the public coastal hazards impacts, risks, and actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of climate impacts.  

Important- please see SITE DETAILS link in CaFe for details about each CBO site and what art forms they seek to commission. The Site Details link is at the top right side of this page. 

The grants to the CBOs are made with the intention that they will result in a community-based art installation in each CBO’s service region and an in-person and/or virtual community event centered around the art installation. The intent of each artwork project commissioned is to bring public awareness to the risk of flooding, either from sea-level rise or coastal storms. Each CBO was eligible for funding, of which at least $12,000 will be provided to the artist for reimbursement of materials and artist fees- including development and presentation of the art installation selected. 


New Jersey DEP and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts are pleased to present this call for artists as part of the Coastal Risk Communications Campaign. This exciting opportunity is open for submissions from artists, age 18+, who are current residents of the State of New Jersey, or who live within 100 miles of the New Jersey state border. Any art form (visual, literary, performative, new media, etc.) will be considered as long as no new environmental disturbance results from the project and no impact to environmentally sensitive areas. Each CBO has determined the appropriate art form for their location - please see SITE DETAILS link for more information about the CBOs. Artists who work collaboratively may apply as a team but will need to submit one application for the team and accept the stipend amount of $12,000 as total funds for the project, including artist fees for all team members.  

Qualified artists are encouraged to submit examples of their previously completed artwork through the CaFÉ online system, along with a brief written description of the project idea they propose to create if selected. Artists should submit work samples that are clear, concise, and considerate of the community and public nature of temporary art in public spaces. Because the CBO hosts’ spaces are comprised of a variety of public, restricted, and environmentally fragile regulated areas, some proposals may require changes in order to be approved. Artists should understand that their proposal will be a starting point, and those selected will begin conversations with the CBOs. The work ultimately undertaken will be developed and approved in coordination with the CBO “host” site, which will contract directly with the selected artist(s).  

Art installations are to be in existing public spaces located in the coastal zone and could include, but would not be limited to, murals, light displays, installations, public performances of new compositions, sculptures, or interdisciplinary art installations or performances. The installations can be located on the CBO’s property, or other public land agreed to by the CMP. The location of installations cannot result in any new environmental disturbance, and installations will not be located in, or cause impact to, environmentally sensitive areas such as, but not limited to, wetlands, sand dunes, threatened and endangered species or habitats, historic preservation sites, or marine mammals. 

Submissions must be able to be realized within a project budget of $12,000, inclusive of all known costs and required resources. The CBOs will provide a stipend to the artist of $12,000 per project, which can be used toward project costs, supplies, travel, and artistic fees as needed. Some CBOs may, at their discretion, provide additional supplies, equipment, and in-kind services for the project. For instance, chairs for audiences, marketing, and promotional costs, access to a projector, speakers, podium, microphone, etc. Please be as thorough as possible when listing out resources required for the project. There is no guarantee that submissions will be able to be implemented as described. The CBOs may offer you alternative options or solutions to proposed resources, and we encourage you to be flexible in thinking about strategies for working with CBOs for art in public spaces.  

CBOs and artists will begin conversations immediately after notification of selection, and it is anticipated that art installations and public programs will be underway between the Spring and Fall of 2024. CBOs will work with selected artists to schedule, plan, implement, document, and promote the selected projects during this time.  

The Goals of this Program are: 

  • Increase public awareness of how individuals will be impacted by coastal hazards and what they can do about it;
  • Using innovative approaches and outreach methods and materials that are tailored to the needs of local communities throughout the coastal zone;
  • Elevate awareness in New Jersey of the risks of flooding caused by sea-level rise and coastal storms;
  • Increase knowledge of local decision-makers on innovative approaches and the best ways to effectively communicate risk through available tools and resources;
  • Advance resilience planning efforts in New Jersey through effective risk communication methods, materials, and actions; and
  • Effective communications that facilitate the necessary behavior change to make New Jersey more resilient to coastal hazards such as sea-level rise and coastal storms.

These goals will be realized, in part, by connecting people with new, stimulating art experiences in their communities. 

In addition, this program will provide regional artists with both exhibition opportunities and a supportive experience in creating public art in new and different public spaces.  

Application Requirements

How to apply:  

Applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at midnight via (CaFÉ). No extensions to the deadline will be granted. 

Only one submission per artist/artist team may be submitted.  

Refer to the provided “CBO Community Locations” (click on “View Site Details” in CaFÉ to view) for information about the selected CBOs and their locations. Because CBOs’ spaces are varied in their locations, potential exhibition spaces, public access, safety concerns, etc. artist proposals for this program should utilize the locations listed on the “CBO Community Locations” to determine which CBOs, communities, and potential exhibition areas are available and appropriate for your proposed art form. You may choose “...any CBO” or you may select a specific CBO of interest to inform your proposal.  

Artist submissions should include a narrative, of no more than two pages, (10-point font or larger, 1.5 spaced) which describes the proposed project idea, its scope and the artists’ desired outcomes. Include the basic who, what, when, where, and how in this narrative. Please be clear and concise so that the Selection Committee can best determine if your project is possible, or what changes could be made to make your project feasible. For instance, if your project requires access to non-public areas, or is highly site-specific, or requires specialized equipment, knowing all the details will assist the CBOs in selecting the artist/proposal that best suits their site and community. You should also mention sketches or preliminary work samples you are providing, and how they fit into your proposal. See specifics on work samples below. 

Artists will be notified of the outcomes of their submissions no later than October 30, 2023. No appeals of the selection committee’s decision will be accepted. 

Required Work samples, sketches, etc.   

Please provide no more than 5 samples of your previously completed artwork, and up to 3 examples of sketches, diagrams, or other visual, video, or audio work that will help the panel understand your proposal. You are encouraged to mention these examples specifically in your narrative (for instance “please see uploaded sketch #1 for design idea” or “Please listen to linked work sample “blue velvet cake” for preliminary audio composition”…)     

You may upload images, video and audio samples in CaFÉ, or include links to audio and video files within your narrative proposal. You must upload your narrative as a pdf on the appropriate upload page in CaFÉ.  

If you need to provide audio or video files as work samples, you can upload up to 6 of them in CaFÉ, or you can provide links to Vimeo, YouTube, etc. in your uploaded narrative. Do not use password-protected files or links to sites requiring the review committee to have an account to open. (Dropbox, for instance, or Instagram, would not be acceptable places to link to because they require an account to use.)  

Whatever format you choose to provide your work samples, do not supply more than a total of 3 audio and/or video samples, plus an optional additional 5 still images, or up to 8 (eight) still image samples of completed work and sketches, and clearly label which samples are completed and which are sketches.   

Eligibility Criteria

Artists will be required to confirm eligibility in the CaFÉ application form. Confirmation of eligibility: Artists must be at least 18 years old, and be residents of the State of New Jersey, or live within 100 miles of the New Jersey state border. Please update your address in CaFÉ if it does not include your current address. 

Evaluation Criteria:

The Artists Selection Panel will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:  

  • Artistic excellence of the proposed project and work samples provided
  • Potential for the project to further the goals of the program
  • Potential for positive experiences or interactions with the proposed work by New Jersey communities (the intended audience of the work)
  • Artist’s experience with community-based projects, exhibitions, public performances, or other relevant experiences
  • Safety and environmental considerations of the proposed project
  • Feasibility of the project as proposed or with minor changes
  • CBO’s ability and interest in partnering with the artist(s) for the project’s implementation
  • The clarity of the proposal

Artists who create a project will retain any materials or artifacts from the installation that are not permanent. Artists are responsible for cleanup and removal within 24 hours after the exhibition or performance closes unless other arrangements have been made with the CBO host site.  

Artist Selection Timeline: 

Artists will be notified of the outcomes of their submissions no later than October 30, 2023. No appeals of the selection committee’s decision will be accepted.  

July 27, 2023: Call for Artists Announcement in CaFÉ 

View the Artist Q&A recorded on August 25, 2023, 12:30 – 1:30 PM

Q&A Meeting

September 5, 2023: Call for Artists Submission Deadline 

September 8 – September 29, 2023: Artist Selection Panel Review of Artists’ Submissions 

October 30, 2023: Selected Artists Notified 

November 2023 - March 2024: Artists and CBOs project development and planning 

Spring to Fall of 2024: Community events and installation of artwork 

Selected projects will be scheduled for installation and community events beginning in Spring 2024 and are intended to run through the early Fall. Please keep this time frame in mind when drafting your proposal. The CBO partners, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts staff will work with selected artists to schedule, plan, implement, document, and promote the selected projects. 


CaFE technical assistance is available to artists who require help in using the system.  

Please direct any other questions regarding this opportunity or the guidelines to Danielle Bursk, Director of Artist Services, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, at or 609-633-1184, or Stephanie Nerbak, Program Associate, Artist Services, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts at 

Do not contact CBOs or the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. All questions should be directed to CaFÉ for assistance with using CaFÉ, or to the State Arts Council for questions about this call for artists, as described above.