Call Detail
NJ Climate Resilience Public Art Projects
Entry Deadline: 3/8/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 8
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 6
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: New Jersey

Short Description:  

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 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 professional artists, over the age of 18, who are current residents of the State of New Jersey, or who live within 100 miles of the New Jersey state border.  

This project seeks to engage 4 artistsor artist teams, to create original, site-specific artwork and related community engagement(s) that address the theme of climate resilience and coastal flooding, particularly as related to coastal communities in New Jersey. Selected artists will be paired with NJ Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in coastal areas to plan, implement, document, promote and share the artists’ work with the community.  

Submissions are due March 8, 2021 and will be submitted through (CAFE). Notification of awards will be made in late- April. Stipends of $7000 will be provided by the CBO’s to commission selected projects, with finished work expected for community events and exhibition in Summer 2021. 


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 (CBO’s) to be paired with artists 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 four artists, or artist teams, who will be paired with the CBO’s 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.  

The grants to the CBOs were 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 commissioned is to bring public awareness to the risk of flooding, either from sea-level rise or coastal storms. Each CBO was eligible for fundingof which $7,000 will be provided to the artist for reimbursement of materials and 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 borderAny 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 occurs to environmentally sensitive areas. (Please note that beaches are considered natural habitat, and therefore, art installations on beaches, dunes, etc. are considered a disturbance.) 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 $7,000 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 systemalong with a brief written description of the project idea they propose to create if selected. Artists should submit work samples and proposals 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 sensitive 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 CBO’s. The work ultimately undertaken will be developed and approved in coordination with the CBO “host” site.  

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 created from community-collected trash, public performances of new choreographysculpture, or interdisciplinary art installations or performances. CBO’s have described their preferred discipline(s), community impact, and installation locations, spaces and parameters on the “CBO Community Locations” (click on “Floor/Site Plan” in CAFÉ to view). Artists are strongly encouraged to read and consider the CBO information provided prior to submitting a proposal.  

The installations can be located on the CBO’s property, or other public spaces agreed to by the CMP and host CBO. 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, beaches, threatened and endangered species or habitats, historic preservation sites, or marine mammals. 

Submissions must be able to be realized within a project budget of $7,000, inclusive of all known costs and required resources.  The CBO's will provide a stipend to the artist of $7,000 per project, which can be used toward project costssupplies, travel, and artistic fees as needed. Some CBO's may, at their discretion, provide additional equipment and in-kind services for the project. For instance, chairs for audiences, marketing and promotional costs, installation assistance, access to a projector, speakers, podium, microphone, etc. Please be as thorough as possible when listing out resources required for the projectThere is no guarantee that submissions will be able to be implemented as described. The CBO’s may offer you alternative options or solutions to proposed resources, and we encourage you to be flexible in thinking about strategies for working with CBO's for art in public spaces.  

CBO’s and artists will begin conversations immediately after notification of selection, and it is anticipated that art installations will be installed, and public programs underway, between June and August, 2021. CBO’s will work with selected artists to schedule, plan, implement, document and promote the selected projects during the summer.  

The Goals of this Program are: 

  • Increasing 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 from 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 communities with new, stimulating art experiences in their communities that help communicate messages about coastal hazards.  

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

Evaluation Criteria 

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

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

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

Artist Selection Timeline 

Artists will be notified of the outcomes of their submission no later than May 1, 2021No appeals of the selection committee’s decision will be accepted.  

  • February 8, 2021 Call for Artists Announcement 

  • March 8, 2021: Call for Artists Submission Deadline 

  • No later than May 1, 2021: Selected Artists Notified  

  • May 1, 2021-June 1, 2021: Artist and CBO hosts development and project implementation  

  • June 1st, 2021 – September 1, 2021: Installation, community events and display of art installations 

Selected projects will be scheduled for installation and community events beginning in June 2021 and are intended to run through the early-Fall. Please keep this time frame in mind when drafting your proposal. The CBO partners will work with selected artists to schedule, plan, implement, document and promote the selected projects. Additional assistance with outreach will be provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts staff, through social media and other communications outlets.  

How to apply:  

Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, March 8th, 2021 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 “Floor/Site Plan” in CAFÉ to view) for information about the selected CBO’s and their locations.  Because CBO’s 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 CBO’s, 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 CBO’s 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 submission no later than May 1, 2021. No appeals of the selection committee’s decision will be accepted. 

Questions requiring response in CAFÉ 

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 is CAFE if it does not include your current address. Artists will be required to confirm eligibility in the CAFE application form. 

At what CBO or geographic location(s) do you anticipate your project will take place (please refer to the CBO Community Locations”)?  

  • Atlantic City Arts Foundation  

  • Monmouth Arts  

  • Passaic County  

  • Bayshore Center at Bivalve  

  • Any CBO that is appropriate  

For what period of time do you seek to have your project active?  

Single or multiple individual public events (readings, performances, etc.) 

Work will be on display the entire Summer season 

One Specific Time period (specify in your narrative the details) 

Please confirm that you are available and able to travel to the CBO site between May and August, 2021, as needed, to realize the work proposed. All travel and lodging costs must be included in the overall $7,000 project budget. During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions may be in place, and artists will still be expected  to complete the work while following COVID-19 safety precautions.  

Narrative upload #1 

Please upload a narrative project proposal, of no more than two pages (10 point font or larger, 1.5 spaced), which describes your proposed project. Please be sure to include the “who, what, when, where and how” of the project as you envision it. If you have selected a specific location, or time frame, or require access to non-public areas, specific sites, or seek access to specialized equipment or assistance, please specify in your narrative.  

Narrative input 

Please type in the provided space a brief narrative bio that highlights any previous public art projects, community engagements, exhibitions, publications, etc.  Do not upload resumes. Provide a narrative bio of no more than two paragraphs or approx. 250 words. This information will both inform the selection committee of your experience, and will be used for PR purposes for selected artists. 

Work samples, sketches, etc.  

Please provide no more than 5 samples of your previously completed art work, 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”…)  

All Applications should be submitted through (CAFÉ), a free website for artists to submit to art calls. If you do not already have an account set up in CAFE, you will need to do so, and upload work samples to your portfolio in CAFE, prior to applying to this call. CAFE technical assistance is available to artists who require help in using the system.  

You may upload images, video and audio samples in CAFEor 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 vimeoyoutube, etc. in your uploaded narrative. For instance “Please listen to linked work sample “blue velvet cake” for preliminary audio composition” HERE – with actual link embedded in pdf.  Do not use password protected files, or link 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 6 audio and/or video samples, plus an optional additional 2 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.  

The State Arts Council will hold Open Office Hours to offer technical assistance on Tuesday, February 16th at 1:00 PM, via Zoom. This meeting will focus on the guidlines and program, but not use of the CAFE system.  

here to join the Zoom meeting on the 16th.

Meeting ID: 860 4995 3211
Passcode: 26130

By telephone: 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 860 4995 3211
Passcode: 26130

Technical assistance using CAFÉ is available at: 

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.  

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

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria