King County Metro: Artist in Residence
Act as a creative strategist, working jointly with Metro and 4Culture, to expand their collaborative potential and identify opportunities for public art programming that reflects and elevates the future of regional transit.
1 About the Project
1 About the Project
- Budget: $85,000/year ($75,000 in compensation plus $10,000 to help offset the cost of travel and accommodations); an additional $25,000 will be made available for art plan design, production, and dissemination along with $20,000 to facilitate programming and engagement activities. All budget items are inclusive of WA Sales Use/Tax and other applicable taxes.
- Timeline: May 2023—May 2025
- Eligibility: open to professional artists and artist teams who reside in the United States and have demonstrated experience in arts-related strategic planning and community engagement. Candidates whose practice is rooted in equity and social justice are strongly encouraged to apply. Regular travel to King County, WA will be expected for office and field work. Other activities may be conducted remotely.
- Application: submission of an online application is required for this opportunity.
- Deadline: Tuesday, February 14, 2023 by 4:00 pm PDT. Please allow ample time to complete and upload your application; applications will not be accepted after the deadline.
4Culture, in partnership with King County Metro, seeks an experienced and motivated planning artist (or team of artists) to participate in a two-year residency during which time they will develop a plan for transit-related public art projects to be implemented over the coming decade.
Artists are change makers and culture bearers. They look closely, recognize connections, express shared values and histories, uncover resources, educate and inspire, challenge ideas, experiment, and create new possibilities.
Metro’s Artist in Residence (AIR) will embody these qualities and act as a creative strategist, working jointly with Metro and 4Culture to expand their collaborative potential and identify opportunities for public art programming. The AIR will receive a 2-year, ½ time contract. 4Culture will issue and oversee the contract.
Year one of the residency will be focused on getting to know Metro and connecting with community — listening, learning, and laying the groundwork for successful relationships going forward. Funding will be made available for related engagement activities.
In year two, the AIR will produce a dynamic and strategic arts plan that describes how the 1% for Art legislation and commissioning process works, introduces ways to maximize available resources, reflects the evolution of transit, embraces the diversity of King County’s histories and cultures, and incorporates project recommendations that are broad enough to allow other artists to generate innovative ideas and approaches, and explicit enough to provide a compelling conceptual framework for artwork development. In addition, the plan should consider established Metro initiatives such as Poetry on Buses and SODO Track, and dovetail with the RapidRide-specific art plan penned by Johnson|Ramirez. All design, production, and distribution costs will be covered by a separate budget.
In summary, the AIR will:
- Work alongside 4Culture and Metro staff, acting as a liaison between the two agencies and learning about their cultural and functional realities.
- Develop, promote, and implement engagement activities with Metro and community stakeholders to expand trust and collaborative potential.
- Visit and research neighborhoods and cities where Metro provides services or manages operations to analyze opportunities and constraints, including equity and social justice impact.
- Create and distribute a comprehensive 10-year system-wide art plan for Metro that considers the future of regional transit in line with “Long Game” priorities, forthcoming capital projects, anticipated 1% for Art revenue, existing public artworks, established transit initiatives, and the Johnson|Ramirez RapidRide plan.
4Culture is King County, Washington’s cultural services agency. Metro is the region’s largest public transportation agency, providing bus, paratransit, vanpool, and water taxi services as well as Seattle Streetcar, Sound Transit Link light rail, and Sound Transit Express bus service operations.
4Culture and Metro have a long history of working together on public art projects. For many years, 4Culture commissioned permanent art for integration at transit centers, park and rides, and bus bases. Between 2009-2019, focus shifted to ephemeral art experiences, including a line-specific soundscape and mobile game, a multi-lingual poetry program, Poetry on Buses, and development of a world-renowned mural corridor, SODO Track. In 2020, artist team JohnsonRamirez were commissioned to create a system-wide Art Plan that addressed all of the lines in the RapidRide Expansion program. Now, we are looking system-wide to advance the future of transit in its entirety.
Hundreds of thousands of people rely on Metro’s services every day, helping them get to their destinations. Mobility access connects people to opportunity — and a destination is often more than just a physical place. A destination might be a new job, a better education, a critical medical appointment, or a chance to start over.
Metro’s “Long Game” is the blueprint that shows how the agency will leverage the power of public transit to create a mobility system that increases equity by prioritizing underserved communities, providing new economic opportunities in those neighborhoods, and combating climate change. In order to do this, Metro will:
- Build fast, frequent, reliable all-day service that is both prioritized and co-created for those with the greatest public transit needs.
- Transition to a 100% zero-emissions fleet powered by renewable energy no later than 2040.
- Modernize systems.
- Continue to demonstrate the value of public transit to grow capacity and resources, which will result in more service and measurable outcomes.
“At Metro, we are a microcosm of what is happening across the nation. We are holding ourselves accountable for the role we played in allowing historical systemic practices that cause harm to persist. Even within Metro, marginalized and silenced minorities have been unfairly bearing the weight of an uncaring system.
As we are doing the work externally to benefit the region, we are also internally moving to an organizational culture where all are welcome, and all have the opportunity to thrive.
Going forward, we will remain focused on responding to and recovering from the pandemic, double-down on prioritizing equitable and sustainable systems, and continue to modernize how we provide services to ensure readiness for the very bright and very different mobility system of a post-pandemic world.”
—Terry White, General Manager, King County Metro Transit
2 Are You Eligible?
2 Are You Eligible?
This opportunity is open to professional artists and artist teams with a solid history of collaboration. All applicants must reside in the United States and have demonstrable experience in arts-related strategic planning and community engagement. Regular travel to King County will be expected for office and field work. Other activities may be conducted remotely.
The selected artist or artist team will be expected to abide by King County Public Health and national COVID-19 protocols.
Finalists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
- Artistic merit and professional qualifications as demonstrated in past work.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Experience developing conceptual frameworks for arts and cultural opportunities.
- Demonstrated commitment to equity and social justice.
- Proven ability to collaborate with art and design professionals as well as community stakeholders.
- Capacity to analyze opportunities, constraints, and resources.
- Experience or interest in working with Metro, which is a public transit agency.
- Availability to work on a part-time basis both remotely and in King County between May 2023 and May 2025.
The Metro AIR will be selected through an open call process. A five-person panel comprised of planning and public artists, arts and cultural leaders, community members, and Metro staff will review all submitted application materials, identify finalists for interview, and then recommend one artist or artist team for the role.
Finalists will be invited to a virtual orientation and given the opportunity to ask questions directly to Metro and 4Culture representatives prior to their interview.
The panel reserves the right to make no selection from the submitted applications or the interviews.
3 Helping You Succeed
3 Helping You Succeed
Translation and Assistance
If you anticipate a barrier to your participation due to limited English writing ability, visual impairment, or would like to request assistance to access this application, please contact us at email@example.com or 206-296-7580 or TTY 711.
Si anticipa una barrera para su participación debido a la capacidad limitada de escritura en inglés, discapacidad visual, o desea solicitar asistencia para acceder a esta aplicación, contáctenos en firstname.lastname@example.org o 206-296-7580 o TTY 711.
If you have questions about the application, please contact:
If you have questions related to the project, please contact:
Application deadline: Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Selection panel meeting: week of March 6, 2023
Finalist orientation:** week of March 13, 2023
Finalist interviews:** week of March 20, 2023
Notification of results: Monday, March 27, 2023
Contract issued: April 2023
1st residency term: May 2023 – April 2024
2nd residency term: May 2024 – April 2025
Art Plan delivery: May 2025
5 How to Apply
5 How to Apply
Artists and artist teams must submit an online application. The 4Culture application system is being used for this process. You may be required to create a new account. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. We encourage you to begin your application early.
Contact information for yourself or all members of your team.
Your application portal profile must be updated to provide demographic information for the current year. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities.
Statement of Interest
Write a statement (500 words or less) explaining why you are interested in this residency and planning opportunity and how your specific experience or understanding of public art and public transit might impact your engagement. Make note of the published selection criteria. If applying as a team, describe how members work together. Applicants are asked NOT to submit a proposal as part of their application.
Upload a two-page (maximum) current professional résumé plus one additional page with references (see instructions below). Keep the formatting as simple as possible. PDFs are preferred; text (.txt) files will also be accepted. Teams should upload one document with two-page résumés for each team member, plus one additional page of references that are reflective of your collaborative experience.
Attach one page to your résumé that lists the name, email address, and phone number of up to three references who can speak to your professional experience. Teams should include no more than three references combined.
Submit 10 work samples in total. Work samples 1-6 should be digital images (no composites); work samples 7-8 may be either digital images (no composites) or video files with a cumulative run time of up to 3 minutes; work samples 9-10 must be planning documents that evidence your ability to creatively analyze and communicate complex ideas. We encourage you to submit work samples that best illustrate your qualifications for this opportunity and emphasize past collaborative experience if applying as a team.
- Digital images: upload JPG files only; 1920 pixels on the longest side (suggested), at least 72 dpi, and less than 2 MB in size.
- Video files: submit up to 2 video samples related to your practice (i.e. to show kinetic artwork, gradations of light, sound or media-based art, community engagement activities, etc.). Video samples must be submitted via Vimeo, with the specific URL (e.g. vimeo.com/2992575) noted on the Work Sample Upload page. All submissions must be publicly accessible (password protected files will not be accepted).Timed excerpts are preferred, but longer videos may be submitted with notation of specific start and stop times in the description field for a cumulative run time of up to 3 minutes.
- Sample planning documents: in the URL field, provide a link to the entire document posted online or a link to a shared folder service such as Dropbox or Google Drive where the document can be accessed. Please ensure that visibility settings are set so that anyone with the link can view and share.
Each work sample requires a brief description (75 words or less for digital images and videos; 150 words or less for sample planning documents) that includes the following information, if applicable: project location, commissioning agency, budget, project partners, photo credit, copyright owner, summary of the project scope, intention, and outcome.
Applications must be received no later than Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 4:00 pm PDT.