Organization: Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning


Location: Jamaica, Queens, NY

Opportunity Type:  Open Call 

Opportunity Discipline: All Visual Arts

Application Deadline: March 28, 2020, 11:59PM

Selected Artists announced by May 2020


Jamaica Flux: Workspaces & Windows 2021 organized by the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) seeks proposals from artists to research the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, in 2020 for the presentation, and possible creation, of new, site-specific, public art projects that engage the local community in 2021. 

Artists will receive $500 for their research that involves dialogue and collaboration with local businesses, sites, and/or social organizations around Jamaica Avenue. Research outputs (drawings, renderings, photographs, video, text, interviews, maquettes, mark-ups et. al) will be exhibited in the Jamaica Arts Center Miller Gallery, from May 14 through July 10th 2021

Depending on available funding, the artists will receive additional support of up to $2,500 to materialize their visions of creating new, site-specific, public artworks, and present their project to the public in the physical site proposed, along with related programming in 2021. A published print catalog will be produced and distributed both on- and offline following the exhibition in 2021. 

With dedicated support for under-recognized artists and disenfranchised arts communities, a total of 15 artist research projects that meaningfully explore the themes of Jamaica Flux will be selected by the Curatorial Team, with support from an Art Advisory and Community Committee. Selected artists will be required to attend three meetings with the Jamaica Flux team and a variety of community members for research guidance from June to December 2020.

About Jamaica Flux

With the intent to build equity and expand cultural inclusion throughout Southeast Queens, Jamaica Flux strives to commission and present art that involves the local community and creates changes in behavior and policy while also documenting the developments and contradictions that arise in the process. Informed by the local economy, history, cultural traditions, community stakeholders, and participating artists, Jamaica Flux 2021 is dedicated to advancing research and visual and performative actions that foster social change, critical public discourse on advocacy, policy change, economic growth, collective civic action, and community engagement. The project aims to bring artists, local residents, curators, scholars, community leaders, developers, and politicians together to catalyze the transformative power of the visual arts, building on the cultural legacy of Jamaica while addressing the challenges of a quickly growing local economy. 

Jamaica is a formerly dis-invested community that is on the cusp of dramatic change. The de Blasio administration’s Jamaica Planning Initiative aims to make the downtown area a showplace for its place-based, community-oriented housing and economic development policies. The Jamaica Rezoning Plan, approved in 2017, has further stimulated the private investment and the rise of several global chain hotels and businesses that are gearing up to open in the next few years. These developments have precipitated a critical time of rapid change in Jamaica as a neighborhood. 

Success from past editions of Jamaica Flux includes raising dialogues within the local community on urban development, wellness, education, traditional or interdisciplinary art forms, fair trade issues, and small business development. Throughout the past four iterations, artists have undertaken diverse projects, from large-scale public installations, including an environmental oasis in a former litter depot; to interactive projects, including workshops on potato ecology, SAT tutoring, CGI/AR videos, walking audio tours, and mobile paper-making on the street; to paintings acquired by restaurants after the exhibition’s run. Participating artists and collectives from previous iterations of Jamaica Flux (2004, 2007, 2010, 2016) include Alicia Grullón, Lily & Honglei, Christopher K. Ho, Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer, Center for Urban Pedagogy, John Locke & Joaquin Reyes, Olu Oguibe, Michael Rakowitz, Hank Willis Thomas, Juana Valdes to Saya Woolfalk, among many others.   

Selection Criteria

  • Conceptual rigor, artistic quality, and potential impact
  • Feasibility of the proposed research and creation of the final artwork 
  • The ability of the artist to conduct the proposed research in the set timeline
  • Ability and availability of the artist to attend three research meetings (starting June to December 2020) & engage/collaborate with the site, community, and audience
  • Significance of the work for the community and contemporary art, especially as an agent for social change
  • Potential benefits of participating in this commission for the artist
  • Potential contributions of the artist’s proposed activity to the project as a whole

Potential Sites for collaboration

  • King Manor Museum lawn 
  • King Manor Museum period room
  • Jamaica Performing Art Center
  • Jamaica Market and storefronts
  • The 165th Street Mall and other public spaces
  • Queens Public Library


All artists living in New York City are eligible – regardless of age, gender, or nationality. All media is welcomed. 

Application Instructions / Contact Information

Proposals must include:

• 1-page condensed resume with current contact information

• 1-page statement describing the artist’s work in general

• Project proposal (no more than 2 pages)

  • A detailed description of the research to be undertaken, answering the following questions 
  1. What topic(s) of research do you plan to undertake?
  2. What is the relationship between the research, site, and Jamaica, Queens as a neighborhood? 
  3. What impacts does your realized project hope to achieve? 
  4. In what visual and physical forms will your research manifest? 
  5. How will you use the funds allotted to you in the undertaking of this research?
  • Proposed supplemental program(s) or event(s) 

• 6 images of previous work supporting your proposal; each image should be labeled.

All materials must be received by Saturday, March 28th, 2020, 11:59PM. For more information, please email  

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) requests proposals to design and execute a billboard-style institutional branding campaign, called the JCAL Mural Project, to be affixed to the fence of Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC). JCAL will review complete, qualified proposals from artists, graphic designers, architects, fabricators, copywriters and/or marketing firms, working singly or in combination. The winning proposal will represent an engaging, dynamic, unified vision for the JCAL Mural Project and will persuasively demonstrate the capability of handling all project aspects. Queens-based applicants will receive priority for this RFP. (Please see the JCAL Mural Project diagram, attached.)

$20,000 -- inclusive of artist fee, design, fabrication, printing and installation. Depending on the winning design and scope of the selected proposal, we estimate materials cost not to exceed $6,500.


Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is the only multidisciplinary urban arts center located in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. A member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group, it was created in 1972 as part of an effort to revitalize Downtown Jamaica. JCAL has earned a reputation for showcasing both legendary and up-and-coming local artists and performers, for inspiring youth to take an interest in the arts, and for creating dynamic multicultural programs that engage all generations and local residents. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities pass through our doors to explore our classes and workshops, view art exhibitions, attend performances, utilize our resources.

JCAL operates out of two landmark buildings: the 45,000-square-foot Jamaica Arts Center (JAC), with an array of art galleries, dance spaces, music studios, visual arts classrooms, a ceramic studio, digital art lab, and 99-seat proscenium theater; and the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) a state-of-the-art, multi-functional, 400-seat performance space. Our URL is

Summary of Project
Considered the crown jewel of bustling Downtown Jamaica and housed in a landmark 1858 First Dutch Reformed Church, JPAC is located on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 153rd Street. Operated by JCAL, the structure features a gabled brick facade with brownstone trim, arched entryways, asymmetrical towers and stained glass windows, and is a striking figure at night.

The JCAL Mural Project will reflect, represent and celebrate the depth and breadth of JCAL’s programming and initiatives, audiences and community, and our mission:

“ offer quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to provide accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts.”

The JCAL Mural Project will be affixed to a fence area that is approximately 170 feet long and 2.8 feet high (see JCAL Mural Project diagram, attached); certain fence sections sit at different grades. The fence itself is divided by fence posts into sections that range between 63 and 84 inches each. The JPAC Mural Project will not be affixed to a gate on 153rd street, a section containing a sign for handicapped accessibility, or a section featuring part of a fire suppression system.

The billboard-style mural will be sturdy and creatively securable to the JPAC fence without altering the design or the integrity of the fence. The JCAL Mural Project must be weather-, scratch-, and graffiti-resistant, and it must be durable enough to remain in the elements for at least 12 months. Rigid materials such as plywood, wood panels, plexiglass, sheet metal and ceramics are encouraged; vinyl banners will not be considered. As JPAC has received landmark status, no digging, drilling, spikes or landscape alterations will be allowed.

The winner of the competition will be responsible for all design, construction, maintenance, and installation of the JCAL Mural Project. Credit to the artist(s) will be visible on the final work.

All legal rights associated with the ownership of this commissioned work -- including, but not limited to, copyright and the right to reproduce, reprint and display images from the JCAL Mural Project, in whole or in part, as part of a marketing campaign or other promotional effort -- shall at all times remain with JCAL.

All proposals should be submitted through The following will be considered elements of a complete proposal:
1) A statement of no more than 300 words that articulates the basic concept for the JCAL Mural Project.
2) A resume or CV from all individuals associated with the proposal.
3) A list of all necessary dimensions and expected materials.
4) A proposed budget.
5) Up to eight JPEGs of the proposed JCAL Mural Project, including a detail of the mural structure and at least one rendering (JPEGs should be labeled: lastname_01, etc.).
6) Up to eight samples of previous work (JPEGs should be labeled: lastname_title_01, etc.), with a list of details for the work (title, year, medium, dimensions). Previous large-scale work samples are preferred.
7) The names and contact information for two professional references.

Deadline for Submission:   Friday, March 20, 2020
Winner Announced:    Friday, April 3, 2020
Design Approval:    Friday, April 24, 2020
Installation Complete:    No later than Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Selection Process
A panel comprised of JCAL administrators, local artists, and community members will choose the final proposal, based on a theme and design that best represents JCAL’s mission and role in the community.

JPAC General Manager Courtney Ffrench shall be the contact person for the JCAL Mural Project. Email inquiries are preferred ( Site visits are encouraged. 

The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) invites NYC-based dance companies and choreographers to apply via open call for the 11th Annual Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 ~ Switchin’ It Up (MMDF2020). 

 Jamaica, Queens, NYC -- The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) invites NYC-based dance companies and choreographers to apply via open call for the 11th Annual Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 ~ Switchin’ It Up (MMDF2020). 

MMDF2020 offers paid performance opportunities for 11 choreographers on both the indoor and outdoor stages of the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 and Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. 

MMDF2020 will not only showcase new, emerging and underrepresented professional choreographers, but we’re Switchin’ It Up by providing an additional way for creative choreographers and dance artists to represent the diversity that is Queens and NYC: an open-style, live-juried, audience-participating Community Dance Battle set for Thursday, Sept. 24, including a pot of money and prizes to the winner. The Dance Battle, followed by our season kick-off Dance Party, is free and open to the public.

Applicants for the MMDF2020 open call are determined through a formal juried process. Jurors are cultural leaders representing the diversity of NYC and selected from the dance and performing arts communities. JCAL’s commitment is to showcasing the diversity of NYC culture, especially through its Building Equity platform, which emphasizes inclusiveness and tapping into the often underrepresented immigrant and indigenous artists within the African, LatinX, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities. 

Choreographers working in all dance genres are encouraged to apply for MMDF2020. April 15, 2020 is the deadline; early submission is encouraged.  

To further celebrate all that is dance, MMDF2020 features a series of dance-inspired conversations, workshops, and community engagement programs throughout September across JCAL's campus: The Jamaica Arts Center (JAC), at 161-04 Jamaica Avenue; and The Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue.

MMDF2020 offers four opportunities for choreographers and dance companies:

  • Major Commission: One choreographer will be commissioned to create a 30 to 45-minute work to be presented on the indoor stage at evening performances on Sept. 25 and 26. The commissioned choreographer will receive a stipend of $4,000 to create the work, and receive up to 80 hours of free rehearsal space at JCAL. The commissioned choreographer will also receive a $500 fee to deliver a public program developed over a residency period to support full development of the commissioned work. This public program may be a workshop, master class, free public performance or other community-based activity taking place in a JCAL studio. The commissioned choreographer will provide dancers, costumes, lighting, props, etc., out of commissioned funds.
  • Emerging Artists: Up to four emerging and/or underrepresented professional choreographers and groups will receive a stipend of $800 to present a 15 to 25-minute piece on the indoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26. The choreographers and/or groups will be able to demonstrate a track record of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts.
  • Early-Career Artists: Up to four early-career professional choreographers and/or groups will receive a $500 stipend to present a 15 to 25-minute piece on the outdoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26 (presenting existing work is encouraged). The choreographers and/or groups will be able to demonstrate a track record of public performances, commit time to the choreographic process, and highlight their creative concepts.
  • New Artists: Two new choreographers and/or groups will receive a stipend of $350 to present a 12 to 15-minute piece on the outdoor stage on Sept. 25 and 26 (presenting existing work is encouraged).

All choreographers, dance artists and companies -- including, but not limited to modern/contemporary, physical theater, ballet, jazz, hip hop, musical theater and folk traditional/inspired -- are invited to apply. Applications will be viewed by a jury of leading professionals and added to the archives of JCAL for future curatorial consideration. Each group can request to be considered for more than one opportunity, but each selected group will only be awarded one opportunity. Please make sure you select all areas for which you'd like to be considered. All groups will be provided with 3 to 6 hours of rehearsal space the week prior to MMDF2020 and access to JPAC stages for one dress rehearsal and one tech rehearsal prior to the day of the event. 

Program Timeline: The open-call application portal will be active as of Feb. 10; the deadline for applications is April 15, 2020. The jury will meet in May 2020. Selected groups will be notified by early June 2020. Calls of inquiry regarding the status of an application will not be returned.

Eligibility: MMDF2020 is open to emerging and underrepresented NYC-based choreographers and companies with bold ideas and a progressive/contemporary nature. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have presented work previously in a public format; students may apply only for the Community Dance Battle when sign-ups are made available in August 2020. Applicants must be NYC residents as of the application deadline or can demonstrate a significant, documented track record of artistic activity in NYC. Queens residents receive preference for all opportunities.

Selection Criteria: Applicants will be chosen based on the strength of their submitted work; quality samples are important. MMDF2020 jurors and JCAL's Director of Programs and Artist Services will base choices on clarity of choreographic vision and artist statement; ability of the artist (through visual aid, written or another form of communication) to share the choreographer's commitment to purpose, aesthetic and technique; a performing company of quality that is trained to represent the work of the choreographer; and a demonstrated desire and ability to share their work and vision.

Pre-Deadline Application Workshops: We will offer two application workshops, on Wednesday, March 25, 6:30pm, and Wednesday, April 8, 6:30pm; both are open to the public. We’ll review the application process and answer any questions that might arise. Requests for feedback on applications will be offered after selections are made. Please contact Director of Programs and Artist Services Catherine Peila at with any pre-deadline questions.

Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 ~ Switchin’ It Up is supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and New York Community Trust -- Building Equity. Additional general operating and program support from the Booth Ferris Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Rose Badgeley Charitable Trust, and the Colgate Palmolive Charitable Foundation; corporate support from Morgan Stanley, Con Edison, Resort World Casino NYC, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation; and ongoing government support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Office of the Queens Borough President, the Queens Delegation of the New York City Council, and NYC Council Members I. Daneek Miller, Barry Grodenchik, Rory Lancman, Donavan Richards, and Adrienne Adams.

Visit for more information. 

Submit your information to JCAL's Artists Registry for future opportunities announcement. Your registration will become view-able on JCAL's website for public search. The Registry is not curated, and costs nothing to join or use. Curators, musicians, choreographers, visual artists, collectors, and other arts professionals or organizations, all are welcome to participate. The Registry provides a direct outside link to your page to help promote your art.   
Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning