Arts Open Call (Reissued): LES African and African-American Histories

Deadline: December 1st, 2020
Apply Now | Resources (also listed below)
Chosen projects notified December, 2020. Project to be produced and presented Spring 2021.

NOTE: This call was originally launched in February 2020. It was put on hold due to the NYC COVID-19 shutdown. FAB is pleased to have secured funding to relaunch the call at this time.

FABnyc is issuing an open call for socially-engaged artistic projects that draw attention to African and African-American histories of the Lower East Side, with a focus on highlighting Black culture and community in the LES neighborhood throughout New York’s history.

From the African Burial Ground under Sara D. Roosevelt Park to the African Free School of the 18th century; from the mixed-race dance halls on the Bowery to the impact of the Draft Riots, the Lower East Side is home to crucial layers of African-American history, too often missing from the stories of struggle and transformation that continue to define the neighborhood. While some remnants of these narratives can be read on building plaques and seen in other public memorials, the vibrancy, collective life, and stories of change in the neighborhood’s Black communities remain hidden.

This call aims to bring greater visibility to African and African-American histories and cultures of the Lower East Side, to better understand their legacies, and to connect the past to the neighborhood today. With the African Burial Ground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park as a geographical and historical anchor point, the call aims to honor, heal, and otherwise further conversations around African heritage in the Lower East Side.

Project proposals must be submitted in a single 3–5 page PDF file.

Applicants must also submit a 1–2 page resume/CV and 3–5 work samples.

Proposals must include description of COVID-19 safety measures in context of proposed project (see NYS Safety Plan Template for reference).

Full applications will be reviewed and final projects selected by a panel consisting of FABnyc staff and community stakeholders. Panelists bring a range of experiences and perspectives, many of them from outside the professional arts arena; please review your proposal writing for clarity and accessibility before submitting.

Applicants may be contacted for more details on proposed project elements. Finalists will be contacted directly to conduct an interview over Zoom.

For questions regarding the application, please email

Click here to apply.


African Burial Ground at SDR Park

NYC History:

LES Issues and Needs