The Tempe Arts & Culture Division develops and manages the city's arts and culture programs and services. The City is dedicated to enriching the lives of the local and extended community by providing life-long engagement through accessible cultural, social, and educational experiences. The links below lead to Tempe Arts & Culture programs to help you discover and enjoy a variety of creative and cultural experiences. See a show, take a class, tour a building, peruse an exhibit… there’s much to see and do in Tempe! 

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For information about Galleries and Performing Arts visit: 


WATER: Artist Application Guidelines

Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts

Deadline: EXTENDED March 24 | 11:59 p.m. | Free Application

The Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) is seeking applications from Arizona-based artists to apply for the 2019 exhibition and/or artists-in-residence program, WATER. The exhibition will take place from May 24-Aug. 31, 2019. The artists-in-residence program will take place for 12 weeks between May 19-Aug. 9, 2019 during the run of the exhibition. Artist submissions for one or both programs will be reviewed by a jury panel for potential selection. The water theme is open-ended and is expected to include artworks that reflect a wide range of topics such as water in the desert, sustainability, mythology, history, science, beauty and more. All media will be considered. The TCA is a City of Tempe (City) facility and exhibition logistics are determined by City staff. Application to participate in the artists-in-residence program and/or the exhibition is free.

Commonly Asked Questions: 

· What hours do the residency artists have to work?
Answer: Artists may select weekly shifts during Gallery public hours: Tues.-Fri. from 10am-5pm and Sat. from 11am-5pm. Artists are required to work 6-8 hours per week at their assigned Gallery studio. Selected artists should plan to include 2-3 weekly shifts working in their studio at the Gallery in their summer schedule.

· Can the artists-in-residence take a short vacation during the 12 weeks?
Answer: Yes. We do ask artists to notify our office of a planned vacation at least one month in advance with our office and to make up the hours the week prior to the vacation.

· I don’t live in the Valley. Can I still apply for the residency?
Answer: Yes, although you must be an Arizona resident. Please note that the Gallery at TCA does not provide additional funds to cover travel, food or accommodations.

· I won’t be around this summer. Can I just apply for the exhibition?
Answer: Yes. Just fill out your application accordingly.

· I see that a personal certificate of liability is required for residency artists. Can that be waived?
Answer: No. The City requires that contractors working on site must be covered with car (if applicable) and personal liability insurance. Tempe does not provide worker’s compensation coverage for contractors. If selected for the artists-in-residence program, we encourage you to check with your current insurance provider for more information.

Artist-in-Residence Guidelines:  

· City employees and volunteers are not eligible to apply.

· Artists must be Arizona residents and at least eighteen (18) years old.

· Selected artists will receive a stipend up to $2,000. Payment will be split into multiple payments to be paid over the course of the residency.

· The artists will work as an individual contractor with the city of Tempe for a twelve-week duration. No worker’s compensation will be obtained for the individual contractor. Personal insurance and car insurance (if applicable) coverage will be required.

· The artists will work in assigned Gallery studio at least 6-8 hours per week for a total of 12 weeks (May 19-Aug 9). Studio time will start several days before the exhibition opens to the public giving artists a chance to organize and start working.

· The artists will participate in public opening reception on Fri., May 31 from 5-8pm.

· The artists will choose and schedule regular time slots to work in the Gallery studio. Availability slots to choose from include: Tues.-Fri. from 10am-5pm and Sat. from 11am-5pm. The TCA will work with individual artists to accommodate schedules and events.

· The Gallery studio will be equipped with basics such as a work table, chair, supply cabinet, power access and space to create, hang work, etc. Art supplies, tools and art making equipment are the responsibility of the artist. 

· Work on a current series and/or select a new inspiration area. The artists research must focus on an aspect of water throughout the residency period.  Visitors will be able to watch the progression of artworks through the summer. By the end of the residency, artists will be asked to share their plans, experiences, sketches and/or new artworks at a public end-of-residency reception on Fri., Aug. 9 from 5:30-7:30pm. 

· The artists will use the residency time to experiment with new work and research methods as it relates to the theme of WATER. The expectation is that the artist in residence will be actively making work during their time in the gallery studio. Work that requires specialized tools such as welding, kiln fires, and other larger power tools must be used off site however assembly may occur in the Gallery studio space.

· The artists will interact with and answer questions from visitors in the Gallery.

· The artists will create and teach three hands-on art workshops for all ages including: Saturday family workshop, Friday night workshop and one hands-on booth at DRAW-A-THON event (June 22).

· The Gallery at TCA works with families and schools. Residency artists will undergo a basic Arizona Department of Public Safety background check before residency starts. Fingerprinting and processing costs will be reimbursed up to $100 by the Gallery at TCA.

· The artists will participate in at least two group meetings or presentations with the Gallery at TCA staff and other selected artists between jury selection and the end of the exhibition.

· The artists will participate in at least two professional development experiences with other professionals such as brainstorm sessions, tours and/or presentations with local experts to enhance the residency experience. 

· The artists will participate in at least two public art sessions such as one-on-one discussions with public art staff and meetings with local artists and professionals who have worked in public art.

· The artists will display 3-5 prior theme related artworks in the exhibition (these works will be curated in conversation with the Visual Arts Curator).

· The artists will participate in 2nd public reception at the end of the residency on Fri., Aug. 9 from 5:30-7:30pm.

Exhibition Guidelines: 

· Preferred artwork for review and possible display to be completed within the past two (2) years. Only presented artwork in the application will be eligible for exhibition.

· Artists shall apply to exhibit original artwork only. 

· Artists may not exhibit work that has been previously shown in other City of Tempe galleries.

· Artists must be Arizona residents and at least eighteen (18) years old.

· City employees and volunteers are not eligible to apply.

· Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

· Acceptance into an exhibition by the City constitutes an agreement by the artist to all terms set forth in this prospectus. An exclusive license and copyright permission are hereby granted to the City to photograph and reproduce accepted artwork and/or application artwork and materials for promotional, educational and publicity purposes at the City’s sole discretion. The City is not responsible for photographs taken by the public. 

· The City reserves curatorial privilege to exclude any artwork or material that: does not meet the standards established by the exhibition agreement and/or application; is not the quality expected by the artist/lender; does not meet suitable condition requirements for display and/or insurance coverage; if the artist/lender has not met deadlines and required materials required by the City.

· Delivery and pick up dates shall be designated by the City.

· Artists are responsible for shipping or delivery travel costs to TCA. Artists are responsible for checking with shipping company regarding insurance coverage and correct packing procedures. The City will not be responsible for any damage during shipment for any reason. The City will not pack and/or return ship artwork back to artists. Accepted artwork must be shipped to or hand-delivered to the Gallery at TCA, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281.

· The City reserves curatorial discretion for placement, display, lighting and all other aspects of exhibition of works.

· All 2-dimensional (2D) artwork and/or wall hanging artwork must be ready to hang. Wall hanging artwork must be pre-wired for hanging on hooks or nails. 

· The City will provide pedestals will be provided for 3-dimensional (3D) artwork.

· If artwork or display mechanisms require assembly, artist will be required to assist in the installation.

· All applicants are encouraged to visit the Gallery at TCA before applying.

· The application materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2019. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. No extensions will be granted. 

· In no event will the City be responsible for the artist’s costs or expenses attendant to exhibiting art and/or submitting any proposal or responding to an application.

· Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

These 2019 WATER Application Guidelines do not commit the city to enter into an agreement, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of the application or in subsequent negotiations or to offer any contract for the 2019 artists-in-residence and exhibition project referenced herein. The City reserves the right to reject any or all applications, reissue the application process, revise the project terms or procure any service by other means. While reasonable care will be taken, the City is not responsible for loss or damage to materials included with applications. 

Inquiries: | 480-350-2867 | Gallery at TCA | 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway |Tempe, AZ 85281

To submit your final report you must login or create a Submittable account

Within 60 days of completing the project, a Final Report must be submitted to the City of Tempe. The report will require you to share the outcomes of your project as well images and/or video documentation of your programming. Applicants who fail to complete final reports on time will not be eligible for future arts grants funding from the City of Tempe.

Pursuant to the Grant’s terms and conditions, the City of Tempe has the rights to use any materials submitted in the Final Report for data collection and promotional purposes. 

The Vibrant Artist Cohort (VAC) is for performance-based artists who are ready to advance their creative careers, and deepen their administrative skill sets. Artists who participate in the program will develop all aspects of their career through workshops, one-on-one mentorship, artistic support, project development, and financial support. Artists in the program will work towards creating a project that supports their long-term goals and activates Tempe through the inclusion of arts and cultural participation, celebrating diversity, building community connections, and/or supporting local artists.

Arts Festival Grants support festivals that celebrate a community, neighborhood, or shared cultural interest with arts and culture programming. Festivals are regularly occurring events that build community through positive arts and culture experiences. Projects that are funded by this grant are held in public spaces and are accessible to the public. This grant supports a commitment to advancing Tempe as a vibrant and progressive community for cultural and artistic activity, and aims to fulfill the following recommendations from the Arts and Culture Plan:

  •  Support community festivals celebrating cultural diversity
  • Support community-wide festivals of the arts and creativity
  • Continue, expand and enhance informal arts programming provided in community settings

Deadline: May 13, 2019 @ 5:00pm 

Amount: Up to $10,000 - requires equally matching cash contributions

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations producing arts & culture festivals in Tempe

Community Arts Grants are available to non-profit organizations to fund projects with a primary mission of supporting a specific community such as youth, seniors, veterans, and cultural groups in Tempe. Projects should provide quality arts experiences that have a lasting impact on the intended community and project partners. The grant supports the following Public Art and Cultural Amenities Goals from the General Plan 2040:

  • Advance Tempe as a vibrant and progressive community for cultural and artistic activity
  • Collaborate with community partners and educational institutions
  • Enhance art that supports, educates and enriches the community

Deadline: May 13, 2019 @ 5:00pm 

Amount: Up to $10,000 – requires equally matching cash contributions

Eligibility: Non-Profit organizations providing arts programming in Tempe 


TCA Excellence Grants are available to non-profit organizations that develop artistically complex and rigorous programming, and provide impactful arts experiences to Tempe residents. Eligible activities include the production/presentation of artistic performances, commissioning of new works, or continued innovation of existing programming. The grant supports a commitment to advancing Tempe as a vibrant and progressive community for cultural and artistic activity, and aims to fulfill the following recommendations from the Arts and Culture Plan:

  •  Increase and promote Community-Initiated Arts projects
  • Expand co-productions, rentals and collaborations at the TCA
  • Increase culturally diverse programming at the TCA

Deadline: May 13, 2019 @ 5:00pm

Amount: Up to $10,000 - requires equally matching cash contributions

Eligibility: Non-Profit Organization programming at the Tempe Center for the Arts


Tempe Arts and Culture