Call for Expressions of Interest: The Drake Arts in Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital

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Image courtesy of Eva Marie Stern.

Call for Artists, Artist Groups and Arts in Health Practitioners for Expression of Interest (EOI)

Creative Project Commissions for The Drake Arts in Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital

OPEN INVITATION
We are inviting artists living in Canada, artist groups and Arts in Health practitioners to submit an expression of interest for creative project commissions to be part of The Drake Arts in Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. Our definition of ‘artist’ is broad and we encourage applications from those who work in many fields of practice including: visual artists, music and sound arts, digital arts, social practice, Arts in Health, dancers, performers, storytellers, creative writers and others.

BACKGROUND
A 2019 World Health Organization report recently synthesized over 900 publications and concluded that, “The overall evidence base shows a robust impact of the arts on both mental and physical health.” Across the lifespan, participating in the arts supports recovery and longer life, it improves mental well-being and can also reduce loneliness.

The Sinai Health System Department of Psychiatry has a long-standing arts and humanities-focused legacy, with expertise in utilizing arts-based initiatives to support clinicians, learners and patients.

The Drake Arts in Health Program has been newly established with ambitions to expand and create new expressive arts opportunities for patients within the Sinai community, made possible by a generous donation by Jeff Stober. Starting in 2020, this program will be piloted, refined and scaled up at the hospital across ten years.

VISION
The Drake Arts in Health Program aims to warm the hearts of patients and improve wellbeing by connecting them to the arts in unexpected and uplifting ways within the hospital environment. This program will provide patients with opportunities for creative self-expression, opportunities to engage with the arts and deeper community connection.

We want to find new ways for the arts to touch the lives of as many patients as possible who walk through the hospital’s doors. We are looking to embed the arts within the daily life of the hospital to enliven existing common spaces and infrastructure. This program will be a microcosm of Canada’s vibrant creative community. We will bring the arts into the lives of patients and also foster a broader sense of the Sinai Health community belonging through invitations to participate in creative projects.

PROGRAM GOALS

  • To HUMANIZE the healthcare environment through the arts
  • To strengthen SERVICE, by improving the quality of the patient experiences
  • To DISCOVER new and innovative ways to embed art into the healthcare environment, with an emphasis on short and one-off experience
  • To develop an INCLUSIVE program that connects with patients of all backgrounds (across age, gender, life stages, education, ethnicity, and socio-economic standing)
  • To nurture a greater sense of COMMUNITY BELONGING

This program will be unique in its ambition to reach as many patients as possible. The program will offer a range of solitary, shared, passive and active arts-based experiences.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
We are currently commissioning artists, artist groups and Arts in Health practitioners in two of the program streams:

1. Digital Art Healing Channel – patients access the healing power of art and performance through digital content on a project website. This digital content may include the sharing of digital artworks that explore themes of healing, and/or can include “how to videos” to offer simple creative challenges (ex: how to write a poem, creative introduction to meditation, introduction to drawing, etc).

Videos may vary in length from 1-7 minutes in duration. The content may include:

  • New or existing video art works that are edited/tailored to fit this program
    – Artworks, performances, music, multimedia, etc.
  • “How to” videos focused on creative self-expression within the limited constraints of what someone in a hospital bed might have access to. May include: drawing, journaling, games, meditation, breathing exercises, etc.

2. Community Living Installation – patients contribute experiences as part of a larger portrait of shared human experience, culminating in an onsite installation. If you were going to invite people in the hospital to connect through common and shared experiences, how would you engage them through your art practice? What questions would you ask and how could it culminate in an onsite installation to display their contributions as part of your art practice?

We are holding a short list selection process for this community living installation. In the first phase, we will shortlist 3 proponents to develop a proposal and award one successful project. The successful artist will develop a concept, conduct research on the possibilities for a project like this one within the hospital and create a plan. In the second phase of work, the artist will implement their plan and the living installation will be completed.

WHO CAN APPLY
Applications are open to artists, artist groups and Arts in Health practitioners living in Canada seeking an opportunity to discover and create a new project for a healthcare environment, Mount Sinai Hospital.

Applicants must be an artist, artist group and/or Arts in Health practitioner whose practice has previously included public presentation. Our definition of ‘artist’ is broad and we encourage applications from those who work in many fields of practice including: visual artists, music and sound arts, digital arts, social practice, Arts in Health, dancers, performers, storytellers, creative writers and others.

We encourage applications from applicants who are undertaking relevant community initiatives, as well as those currently enrolled in graduate programs. An interest in the connection between the arts and healing, community connection and art in the public realm is an asset.

Applicants are not required to have previous experience creating a project for a healthcare environment. Clinician support will be available to the artist(s) to provide specific context and learnings around this unique environment.

We are committed to fostering a positive and supportive creative environment that promotes equity and diversity and welcome submissions from artists of all backgrounds including, but not limited to, Indigenous, Black, and racialized persons; refugee, newcomer and immigrant persons; two-spirit, LGBTQ+ and gender non-binary persons, and persons with disabilities. Please advise us of any accommodations needed to ensure you can access and complete the submissions process.

SUBMISSION FORMAT
If you are interested in participating in the program through project commissions please submit:

  • Artist CV (maximum 4 page .pdf)
  • Artist Statement outlining interest in project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach. Please include which programming stream (Digital Art Healing Channel or Community Living Installation) you are most interested in (one or more). Describe why and how it aligns with your practice, and how you might approach a commission. (maximum 1 page .pdf)
  • Maximum five (5) images of previous work. Image files should be titled with image number, name of artist and title of artwork (.jpg format only, maximum of 1024 x 768 pixels)
  • Image Information Sheet (.pdf) that describes each image with: number, name of artist, title, date, materials and dimensions

SUBMISSIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY February 3, 2021.

Submissions are to be submitted electronically to the email address below, with documents/images in a zip folder or shared Google Drive link format.

Contact: Bespoke Cultural Collective
Email submissions to: info@bespokecollective.ca
Please use subject line: The Drake AiH REOI Submission
Submissions must not exceed 10 MB total size
Short video samples are permissible via a shareable platform like Google Drive

SELECTION PROCESS
The shortlisted artists will be selected by The Drake Arts in Health Selection Committee that is composed of a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders.

Creative project commissions, within each programming stream, will be awarded on a case by case basis. The first round of commissions will be awarded in Spring 2021. Compensation will be in line with best practices, in accordance to CARFAC and through consultation with artists and Arts in Health practitioners. Commissioned artists must expect to incorporate consultation feedback as part of their concept refinement process.

Selected digital submissions will receive $500 and artists shortlisted for the Community Living installation will be given $500 to develop a concept.

Timeline:
REOI circulation – Dec 15 2020 – February 3, 2021
First round of artist commissions – February/March 2021
Program Evaluation – September 2021