Artist in Residence Program

DEADLINE: April 2, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST

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City Artist Part Time Salary: up to $25,000 non exempt/temporary (one year with option to renew position for up to one year)

Community Engagement Project Funding: up to $25,000 (upon project approval)

Placemaking Project Funding: TBD based on project proposal


Public Art Chattanooga (PAC) is delighted to launch our City Artist Program. Partnering with the Chattanooga Department of Transportation (CDOT), we are seeking artist applications to join City staff and City partners as the inaugural City Artist, an artist-in-residence embedded within the City of Chattanooga to incorporate artistic vision and the creative process in the early planning stages of City projects and systems. In its pilot year, the City Artist position is a one-year, part time position with the option to renew for up to one additional year. The City Artist will work 20 hours per week within PAC,  CDOT, in studio, and in the field; engaging the community with a specific geographic focus on the Southside Gardens area of Chattanooga.

The City Artist program is intended to expand the skill set of our local and regional artists by providing next level opportunities for early to mid-career artists with a desire to stretch and challenge their artistic practice and work closely with the community.


Artists must possess experience with and/or a background in any of the following areas: public art, fine arts, mixed media, theater, music, urban design, architecture, sociology, anthropology, urban studies, community development or other arts-related disciplines will be strongly considered. Chattanooga local and regional artists are strongly encouraged to apply, though there is no preference given based on location.

In addition, one must present demonstrated artistic excellence and professional experience, to include community engagement experience; experience with collaborating effectively in various disciplines (e.g., visual art, music, dance, theater, or storytelling); experience with and expressed desire to work collaboratively with a team to develop, propose, and create artworks within the public realm; and experience managing projects involving community partners and budgets exceeding $15,000. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.

City Artist Recruitment Process Timeline:

April 2, 2019: Application period closes

Week of April 8, 2019: Semi-finalist portfolio images due

Week of April 15, 2019: Semi-finalist phone interviews scheduled

Week of April 22, 2019: Interview committee interviews finalists in person

May 6, 2019: Tentative City Artist start date



“Chattanooga is a city of creators. It is at the core of who we are and who we want to be... After all, creativity isn’t an entitlement, and it isn’t handed to you when you’ve got all the resources in the world. To the contrary -- and as people in this city know all too well -- creativity is revealed in the wisdom and in the work ethic of people who feel a responsibility to do big things -- no matter what...Because when we think of ourselves as creators, we understand we possess the power to change our lives and our city.

-Mayor Andy Berke, 2018 State of the City Address


The City Artist program builds on the legacy of Chattanooga as a City of Creators, and it will demonstrate the power that every Chattanoogan has in shaping the future of our city. We believe that incorporating artists and artistry into City projects and processes will inspire the City, and its partners to think differently about their work and the community in which they work --transforming the way the City shapes itself and responds to the needs of Chattanoogans.

The City Artist program will include immersion with City and partner project planning and design teams and creative engagement with Southside Gardens residents, students, workers, and visitors. Using their own creative process, the artist will work with the community to inform the vision for future artworks and placemaking projects in the area. The primary focus of the first year will be artist-led community engagement which may include creative projects and temporary artworks intended to inform future projects and/or articulate the community’s vision for public spaces in the Southside Gardens area. The City Artist will work within PAC and CDOT; however, specific duties and working locations may vary based on project needs as identified by the City Artist Team (the Artist and representatives from PAC, CDOT, and other project partners working within Southside Gardens).

The artist will serve a 12 month term through May 30, 2020. A wide range of artistic methods, media, and outcomes are possible, including art installations, performances, publications, video, or storytelling.


The pilot year of the City Artist program will be structured in four phases:


Year 1 (City Artist Pilot Year: May 2019 - May 2020):

  • Immersion: a research phase including job shadowing, meetings, site visits, getting to know the community, city, city employees and processes


  • Mentorship: a learning phase that pairs the City Artist with a mentor to assist in expanding their artistic practice and community engagement skills


  • Community Engagement & Small Scale Projects: an engagement phase with the Southside Gardens community involving small scale creative projects


  • Placemaking (Large Scale) Project Planning: a planning phase to develop a creative proposal which will be approved for future implementation


Year 2 (Option to renew position for up to one year through May 2021):

  • Large Scale Project Implementation: a production phase to realize the project


  • City Artist Documentation: a wrap-up phase to document the year's activities and recommendations for future residencies


  • Mentorship: a transition phase between the outgoing City Artist and the incoming City Artist to share learnings, provide continuity between residencies and mentor the incoming artist



The City Artist will receive a part-time salary of up to $25,000 per year. Small-scale creative engagement project implementation funds of $25,000 will be available during the first year upon project approval. Additional project implementation funds will be sought based upon the placemaking project concepts developed and proposed by the City Artist. Funding for the first year of the City Artist has been secured. CDOT and PAC are actively fundraising for the second year of the program.


The City Artist’s responsibilities shall  include but not be limited to:


  • Conduct research to understand City projects and process, the Southside Gardens community, and the multiple projects happening within that area


  • Meet regularly with the City Artist Team


  • Creatively engage the residents,  workers, and visitors of Southside Gardens


  • Collaborate with City staff and partners to identify opportunities for artworks and/or creative projects


  • Implement artworks and creative projects as approved by the Public Art Commission


  • Provide feedback on and recommendations about the City Artist position and program


  • Assist with documentation and reporting on the City Artist position and artwork creation


  • Propose future opportunities for artists beyond the scope or time of the City Artist position or beyond the City Artist’s skill set


  • Participate in presentations to the community and community events


  • Provide written assessments, recommendations and reports


All temporary and/or permanent artworks developed as a part of the City Artist program must be approved by and meet the budget, safety standards, and material specifications determined by project partners and the Public Art Commission.

As a part-time employee, the City Artist, it is not eligible for City of Chattanooga benefits.



The City Artist program is intended to expand the skill set of our local and regional artists by providing next level opportunities for early to mid-career artists with a desire to stretch and challenge their artistic practice and work closely with the community. PAC will work with the City Artist to contract with a mid to late-career, established artist with significant experience in artist led engagement, social practice and/or creative placemaking. The selected mentor should meet the needs of the City Artist by fostering specific skills, broadening their artistic practice, and/or expanding their community engagement tactics.


The City Artist Mentor’s scope of work will include:


  • Establish goals of the mentorship with the City Artist, PAC, and CDOT


  • Meet with City Artist in person at least four times per year


  • Schedule regular phone calls with City Artist


  • Participate in a collaborative public event/ workshop or community engagement activity with the City Artist


  • Offer advice as needed to support the City Artist


The City Artist will work within the Southside Gardens footprint - the area south of downtown Chattanooga bounded on the north by Interstate 24, the west by the Tennessee River, and the east and south by a heavy rail line and Chattanooga Creek. View map here.

This is the area described in more detail in the South Broad District Study, led by the Chattanooga Design Studio. The South Broad District Study can be found at:

The area has undergone significant changes throughout its history from a home to native peoples to the site of US Pipe and Wheland Foundry for over 100 years. Today, it is a mix of residential and commercial uses surrounded by large industrial sites, barriers such as the rail line and interstate, and sprinkled with significant civic anchors such as churches, Howard High School, Harris Johnson and Pringle Parks, and the Tennessee Riverwalk. As identified in the South Broad District Study, the area is on the cusp of further, significant change in the coming years.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Southside Gardens is within the 37408 zip code in Hamilton County, Tennessee, which has a zip code population of 1,586. This population identifies as 64% White, 32% African American, 3% Hispanic, 2% Asian. The median age is 35.2 years with a median income of $40,375.00 a year. Howard High School is reflective of a much more diverse community. Of the 735 students, 68% are African American and 27% are Hispanic. The school is eligible for Title 1 funding and maintains a 68% graduation rate.

Large scale public art opportunities are recommended as one component of the South Broad District Study. There are, however, multiple ways in which an artist working with the community can help realize and bring forward the goals, hopes, and visions for the area in significant ways.

There are multiple projects identified in and arising from the South Broad District Study that are currently in progress or are scheduled to start in the next year, including:

  • Improvements to 26th St. connecting US Pipe and the Howard campus


  • Construction of the new football stadium and track at Howard High School


  • Reconstruction of the I-24 interchanges and construction of a new frontage road


  • Planning process and improvements to Harris Johnson Park


  • Future improvements to S. Market Street


The focus of the City Artist on this area capitalizes on the synergy of the South Broad District Study, and prioritizes the community as an important voice in planning the future of this area. Multiple partners are willing to work together and collaborate with the City Artist as a key member of project teams, including:

City of Chattanooga
Public Art Chattanooga
Chattanooga Department of Transportation
Open Spaces
Economic and Community Development
Chattanooga Design Studio
Hamilton County Department of Education

Building on the community engagement process that informed the creation of the South Broad District Study, the City Artist will work with project partners to further engage the community through the creative process and develop potential artworks within the project area.



The City Artist program arises from PAC and CDOT’s long-term collaboration and strategic initiatives to incorporate art and creativity into CDOT projects. Inspired by the transformative projects realized through artist-in-residence programs in other cities (e.g. Boston, St. Paul, Seattle, etc.), PAC and CDOT hosted a series of workshops and listening sessions with the local community and City staff to share the possibilities of city artist-in-residence programs, explore opportunities within the City of Chattanooga and listen to what is needed to support a successful City Artist program. We have incorporated the feedback from our workshops into the City Artist position description and work plan.

Advancing a key recommendation of the 2019 City of Chattanooga Public Art Strategic Plan, the City Artist program was developed to initiate artist-led community engagement strategies to help guide neighborhood empowerment through public art. The new City Artist program aligns with the guiding principles which articulate our community’s belief that public art in Chattanooga has the power to:


    • Express Chattanooga’s identity through the built environment


    • Elevate the role the artist and the creative process plays in connecting people and place


    • Provide equitable access to a diversity of artists and artistic experiences


    • Encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration in the public and private sector to create vibrant public spaces


    • Celebrate our communities’ cultural assets, highlighting the unique character of our neighborhoods, honoring their histories, and preserving quality of place.



Up to three artists may be selected as semi-finalists by the interview committee. Following in person interviews, one artist will be selected for the City Artist position with the City for a one year term, optionally renewable for an additional year.

Interview Committee

The Committee may include, but is not limited to, one artist, one landscape architect, one Public Art Commission representative, a representative of the Southside Gardens community, and staff members from Chattanooga Design Studio and the City of Chattanooga.

Evaluation Criteria

Artist’s proposal narrative, professional work history and portfolio will be evaluated by the interview committee. The committee will review applicants on the basis of:

    • Artistic excellence and professional experience of the artist.


    • Community engagement experience of the artist.


    • Experience collaborating effectively in various disciplines, e.g., visual art, music, dance, theatre, storytelling;


    • Experience with and expressed desire to work collaboratively with a team to develop, propose, and create artworks within the public realm.


    • Experience managing projects involving community partners and budgets exceeding $15,000;


    • Knowledge of issues such as arts and cultural planning, arts and land use planning, creative mapping and data presentation, transportation, sustainability, resiliency, public safety, social equity, or public health;


    • Willingness to participate in municipal processes pertaining to arts and cultural activities in public places;


    • Demonstrated interpersonal communication and public presentation skills; and/or


    • A collaborative, friendly, self-motivated and adventurous attitude.


    • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically and economically diverse community. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.


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