CALL FOR ARTISTS: Dakota Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR)


Press Contact: Ashley Hanson
Department of Public Transformation


For Immediate Release: 

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Dakota Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR)

Supporting Artist-Led Solutions to COVID-19 Related Challenges


Open to Dakota artists and culture bearers based in Southwest Mnisota, Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) and / or Cansa’yapi (Lower Sioux Indian Community)


Application details available at: 

Applications due Wednesday, June 17th at 11:59pm CST*

*Please note updated dates & timeline from previous publications:

– Please apply by Wednesday, June 17th at 11:59pm
– New residency dates: June 26th – July 12th

The Department of Public Transformation (DoPT), Dakota Wicohan, and Racing Magpie have collaborated to co-design the Dakota Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR) program — a pilot project supporting artist-led solutions to community challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. For the pilot Dakota CAIR program, two Dakota artists based in the 18-county Southwestern Mnisota region, Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) and / or Cansa’yapi (Lower Sioux Indian Community) will be selected and supported in sharing their work in digital forums and social distance formats. The two selected CAIRs will work for two weeks “at-home” to utilize their artistic practice to design and implement a creative project that will address a need identified by their local community. Examples of the types of community challenges an artist might work on during their residency include (but are not limited to), design a creative approach to connect at a safe distance, support physical or mental health, strengthen connections between neighbors, improve food access for families in need, or amplify anti-bias / anti-racist efforts. 

Rural and tribal communities are experiencing an extreme lack of access to healthcare, childcare, healthy food, and economic relief during this pandemic; no one is better positioned to understand and address these challenges than the people who live in the communities hardest hit. Rural and Indigenous artists have the ideal skill sets, creativity, and adaptability needed to step up as leaders in this challenging time. The Dakota CAIR project will provide financial and organizational support for local Native artists and culture bearers, while also stimulating the development of innovative strategies to address the unprecedented challenges that rural and tribal communities now face. 

The Dakota CAIR Call for Artists is open to: 

  • Native artists based in the 18-county Southwestern Mnisota region, Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) and / or Cansa’yapi (Lower Sioux Indian Community) and / or enrolled members that live within 50-miles of the Upper or Lower Sioux Communities;
  • Native artists and creatives at any stage in their career or any level of experience;
  • Native artists, creatives, makers, culture bearers and heritage holders working in all genres — including traditional, contemporary, visual, performance, multimedia, and digital art forms; 
  • Native artists whose work, business, family or community has been impacted by COVID-19.  

The two selected artists will receive support and funding to work with their local community from their place of residence for two weeks (June 26th-July 12th) to: 

  1. identify a local community challenge that has been amplified as a result of COVID-19; 
  2. design a creative solution to address that community challenge (examples might include creating care packages for neighbors, handsewn masks inspired by traditional Dakota designs, baskets of healthy, Indigenous  foods for families in need, a bilingual infographic promoting cross-cultural exchange or anti-racist efforts, an animated short film to help connect residents to local resources); 
  3. implement or produce their project / creative solution, and 
  4. work with project partners to document and share their project with the region. 

Each artist will be provided with a stipend of $1000 ($500 per week) and a project budget of $400 to support their work. Representatives from Dakota Wicohan, Racing Magpie, and DoPT will act as the outreach and selection committee. Throughout the residency, the Dakota CAIR artists will meet with each other, and with the project partners, for ongoing project support and to share insights.

Interested applicants, please visit to complete a brief online application by Wednesday, June 17th at 11:59pm.

This project was co-designed by Dakota Wicohan, Racing Magpie, and the Department of Public Transformation, with support from the Southwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SWRSDP) and with a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

Questions? Contact or call 952-486-0533. Thank you! 


With support from: 

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