Request for proposals: Southwest MN Housing Partnership Resident Artist


REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS  Southwest MN Housing Partnership Resident Artist

Full Proposals due by: Monday, November 6th at NOON

Info session (webinar) date: Wednesday, October 4th 11:30am-12:30pm

For questions and/or to sign-up for the webinar:  Please contact Chelsea Alger at 507-836-1622 or at
To view this RFP as a pdf (printable) file, click here.


Organizational Background: The Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) is a non-profit community development corporation serving thirty counties in Southwest and South Central Minnesota. The Mission of SWMHP is to “Create thriving places to live, grow and work through partnerships with communities.”  For more information about SWMHP, visit:

Residency Description: This RFP is soliciting speculative proposals for a resident artist to apply their creative practices to the work of the SWMHP. We are interested in an artist who will work with staff to identify and design projects across departments that integrate the arts into SWMHP organizational practices. Responsibilities include:

-Provide input, insight and creative thinking for organizational processes, issues, activities and meetings of the Partnership;

-Design, develop, and implement creative placemaking project(s) and/or strategies based on institutional priorities that enhances overall program and organizational effectiveness;

-Advance and integrate creative practice for SWMHP staff.

-Attend workshops, events, and convenings scheduled as a part of the initiative.

-Participate fully in activities designed to document and assess Partnership Art’s impact and effectiveness.

Terms: Approximately 20-30 hours/week. Residencies may be proposed for a period of time between two and six months in length, which includes an initial up to 4 weeks of intentional research time, during which you will get to know our staff and work, with the remainder of the residency intended to be dedicated to development of arts-based strategies that help Staff engage more intentionally in the work we do with each other.  Resident Artist will be expected to attend the monthly full-staff meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at the Slayton, MN office.

Compensation: A $4,000 salary stipend will be provided per month of residency. Limited travel and lodging funds are available, which will be determined in the contracting process. Up to $20,000 will be provided to support project development and implementation, for expenses such as artist/collaborator(s) compensation and materials. This is a contract position without employment benefits.

Proposal Submittal: Speculative proposals are due by November 6th, 2017 at NOON. Please send all required components of your proposal in a single pdf document to If you are not on the Partnership Art Artist Roster, you will also need to complete an artist roster proposal in addition to the following proposal. Artist Roster applications can be found HERE.


Residency Background: We believe that art and creative processes can add value to our work; helping to advance collaboration amongst and across departments, SWMHP sites, and communities. The goal of the Residency is to embed a paid resident artist within the SWMHP organization. Primary functions include spending research time getting to know the work and people of SWMHP; and working collaboratively with staff to design and deliver creative projects, tools, and/or strategies that advance new ways of thinking, exploring and implementing ideas within the organization and the communities we serve. Ultimately, SWMHP desires to achieve new ways of looking at and engaging with our coworkers, and community partners and residents to advance our Mission; with staff/departments more easily able to identify opportunities to intersect and work more closely together.

Request for Proposal: This RFP is soliciting speculative proposals for a resident artist to apply their creative practices to the work of the SWMHP. The artist will work with staff to develop projects and/or strategies across departments that integrate arts into organizational practices. The length of the residency is flexible, between two and six months, dependent upon the time frame and process the artist feels is appropriate to accomplish the proposed work. Projects that emerge may include but are not limited to:

1. Creative meeting, training or workshop facilitation within the organization and its breadth of work

2. On site engagement with staff and potential partners in the SWMHP offices in Slayton, MN and Mankato, MN

3. Community engagement on existing SWMHP projects

Proposals should include:

-Speculative Residency Vision description (500 words max), which addresses the following: Please describe what your approach might be using your creative practices in an organizational setting. Why are you interested in this residency? What processes you may propose for collaborating with the organization? What is your ideal timeline for the residency? (Minimum length: two-months, Maximum length: six-month) Include a brief outline of the steps you might perform during the residency timeline. Please anticipate/include an initial up to 4 weeks of intentional research time, during which you will get to know our staff and work. The residency needs to be completed by August 31, 2018. What is your experience in engaging a diverse representation of communities in processes?

-An example of previous transformative work you have done in an organizational space or community based art practices you have completed. Up to three examples may be included with your proposal.

-List of additional artists/creative place-makers involved in the execution of the residency, if any.

Residency Selection Criteria:
1. Connections to the Community  · Demonstrated experience or knowledge of and connection to community assets that can advance the work of an organization.  · Knowledge of rural, diverse communities; specific knowledge of the Southwest and South Central Minnesota region is preferred. Ability to articulate the ways in which past and future practices connect to the region and professional sector is preferred. · Cultural competency and demonstrated ability to constructively work with traditionally underrepresented and/or new American communities in the region.

2. Established Artistic or Creative Practice  · Demonstrated experience as a practicing, working artist. Demonstrated experience exploring art practices as part of engagement with a diverse representation of community is preferred.  · Demonstrated experience with a practice that parallels the social/professional direction of the SWMHP is desired. The SWMHP is focused on addressing the social, economic and cultural opportunities surrounding affordable housing and empowerment opportunities for a diverse representation of communities in southwest and South Central Minnesota.

3. Experience working in community organizing, community building or community development.  · Strong interest in the intersection of art and organizational processes, and/or community engagement activities.  · Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively in a team-based environment.  · Knowledge of societal and systemic issues related to housing affecting youth and adults in a community.

4. Personal Capacity  · Strong ability to communicate, and pursue equity-focused creative practice.  · Willingness and ability to learn and grow while meeting the changing requirements of the work. · Ability to explore complex community focused concepts through creative processes. · Ability to work independently and take leadership on projects, while also thriving in a collaborative environment. · Regular availability during the Residency timeline.

Residency Timeline:  October 4, 2017: Info session webinar (please email Chelsea Alger at if interested in attending)

November 6, 2017: Proposals due by NOON. (If you are also submitting for the Partnership Art Artist Roster that application must be submitted by this date as well)

Week of Nov 13, 2017:  Artist Interviews*

November 20, 2017: Artist(s) Selected (more than one artist may be selected for this opportunity)

December, 2017-  August 2018:  Residency Dates (variable within the parameters, depending on scope of selected proposals)

August 31st, 2018: Residencies Completion

* A stipend of $250 will be made available to those artists who are invited to interview for this residency.

Working Environment: SWMHP is open to an arrangement of office time and tele-commuting depending on the scope of proposal submitted, however during the staff engagement phase of the residency it would be expected that the Resident Artist spend more time in the Slayton, MN office than off-site due to the importance of relationship building in this effort. Additional travel may include the Mankato, MN office, and partner communities as needed.  The effort may include some evening and weekend commitments.

Partnership Art Background

Partnership Art is funded by ArtPlace America. In September 2015, SWMHP was the recipient of a three year award from ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments (CDI) program to assist in incorporating arts and cultural strategies into our ongoing work with communities in the region.  The focus of the CDI is to engage arts and cultural strategies in comprehensive community planning and development to help strengthen the social, physical and economic fabric of communities. SWMHP seeks creative collaborators to engage art and culture with community development efforts, particularly as it relates to engaging new American voices in the process and outcome.

Goals of Partnership Art:

– to engage arts and cultural strategies in community planning efforts that provide outcomes representative of the diverse demographics of SW Minnesota

– to help strengthen the social, physical and economic fabric of rural, diverse communities

– to engage the diverse cultural groups of the southwest Minnesota region

– To broaden the capacity for and network of community placemakers in the region who can develop and lead creative strategies as a way to approach community planning, development and engagement.

For more information about Partnership Art, visit: For more information about the ArtPlace CDI, visit:

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