MOPD Artist-in-Residence Program Opportunity

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)


Reimagination of the Space as Accessible Arts Hub

The MOPD Artist in Residence program aims to provide space for an artist to develop and lead cultural programs for and by persons with disabilities and seniors, help inform a strategic plan for the future of the facility’s spaces and programmatic uses and facilitate the public’s understanding of the space.

Artist will have access to a designated storage area, carpeted room for movement rehearsal/work, desk space, kitchen (shared space, available based on schedule), outdoor garden (needs development), free parking at the building and wall space for displaying art.

Artist in Residence will:

  • Create accessible arts programming to increase engagement between the space and Chicago’s disability communities, senior citizens and veterans and raise awareness of resources available at the Field Office
    • Conduct research into past programs and models in a manner true to the artist’s creative process, to develop exemplary, accessible arts & cultural programs for diverse audiences, primarily Chicagoans with disabilities and seniors.
    • Submit a plan with clear program deliverables and a schedule for activities that activate the Field Office.
      • Attend monthly, and additionally as needed, meetings with DCASE/MOPD/DFSS staff, held via Zoom, over the course of the residency to review plans and measure progress toward goals/outcomes.
    • Execute community programs in the Field Office in the form exhibitions, workshops or other formal or informally scheduled events that engage the public in an educational or participatory art making experience.
    • Ensure accessibility needs for program participation are met.
    • Maintain a regular schedule of onsite, creative hours in the studio to make art and engage with staff and visitors.
    • Track program attendance, participant input on the programming and the physical space, and participants desires for future arts & culture engagement in the space.
    • Present a final project created with constituents and provide data collected throughout the residency*.

*An evaluation consultant will provide the community engagement surveys or other data collection tools to the artist and will complete the data analysis needed post residency.

At the conclusion of the residency, MOPD, DCASE and DFSS staff will conduct a thorough evaluation of the project to review successes and challenges and make recommendations about next steps and scalability for continued Filed Office residencies.



DCASE will serve as nonvoting facilitators of the artist selection panel; applicants will be vetted by a committee of stakeholders including MOPD and DFSS staff, community representatives, and local arts professionals. To assure that the goals of the project are met, artists will be required to participate in a competitive selection process.

Finalists will be invited to interview based on a competitive review of the following:

  • Past work in or ties to communities with disabilities and/or neighborhoods adjacent to the MOPD Field Office.
  • Artistic merit and professional qualifications demonstrated in a dynamic portfolio of past work that includes community-based projects, social practice, arts education, and/or public art.
  • A broad range of creative and administrative skills applicable to the development and execution of the residency program, including budget, timeline and accessibility management.
  • Experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and synthesize complex concepts into compelling artworks.
  • Basic knowledge of the services provided by MOPD and DFSS.



In addition to the in-kind use of space at MOPD Field Office, the Artist-in-Residence will be given a budget of $60,000. The budget is all inclusive of costs associated with engagement program, activities and final projects–including guest artist/panelist fees, travel, materials and supplies–and includes a $15,000 stipend paid directly to the Artist-in-Residence to support their administration of the program.

Sample Budget 

Artist-in-Residence Fee $15,000
Community Programs $18,000 (includes guest artist/ panelist fees, community stipends, amenities and production expenses)
Materials and Supplies


Access Services

(Including communication access & transportation support)




Delivery of Final Project $2,000
Total Budget $60,000



* All dates are approximate.

RFQ released via CAFÉ 6/7/22 7/21/22 6
Information Sessions (online webinar) Week of 7/15/22 1
Review of qualifications 7/29/22 8/12/22 2
Committee selects 3-4 finalists 8/12/22 8/16/22 1
Finalist interviews/presentations 8/26/22 9/3/22 1
Notification of final selection 9/10/22 9/13/22 1
Anticipated date for commencing work 10/1/22 10/7/22 2


About the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE): DCASE is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. DCASE also manages the city’s public art collection that includes more than 500 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and community centers.

About the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD): The goal of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is to foster accessibility, full participation and equal opportunities for people with disabilities, in all aspects of life, through systemic change, information and referral, education and training, public policy, and direct service. MOPD works to ensure that the rights of the disability community are equitably represented in all City services, programs, initiatives and policies. MOPD is striving to make Chicago a world-class, disability-friendly city.

About the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS): DFSS Works with community partners, to connect Chicago residents and families to resources that build stability, support their well-being, and empower them to thrive.


Application is available via CaFÉ ( at the following link:

Interested applicants should register with CaFÉ in order to view the application.

Deadline for submissions is July 21 at 11:59pm CDT

Each artist or artist team must submit an entirely digital application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

 Applications should include:  

  • a)    A one- (1) page letter of interest that clearly states:
    • i. your interest in and unique qualifications for this opportunity.
    • ii. your understanding of how an artist-in-residence program can benefit the Field Office and its surrounding community.
    • iii. Please use examples of your past work to illustrate your points.
  • b)    Six (6) to ten (10) total images of past public art projects, with an emphasis on community-based projects, by the artist or the artist team’s lead artist(s).
  • c)    One (1) video, edited to no more than two (2) minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.
  • d)    Annotated Image List: An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, location (if site-specific), project budget (if applicable), timeline, and client or commissioning entity for each corresponding image.
    • i. If a video is submitted, please include two to three (2-3) sentences to describe its context.
  • e)    If applying as an artist team, a list of key team members and their roles/affiliations.
  • f)     A two- (2) page resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
    • i. If applying as an artist team, provide one resume or CV for each team member.

Questions: please email



This opportunity is open to professional artists/ artist teams who live or work in the City of Chicago. The selected artist, artistic team or organization must have a demonstrated commitment to working with and for the benefit of the public.

Artists with disabilities or with a history of artistic engagement with communities with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

Artists from literary, movement, digital art, music (vocal and or instrumental), puppetry, culinary, theatre, social practice and other disciplines are welcome to apply.