Call for Featured Artists: HOLD FAST Festival 2023

HOLD FAST Festival 2023: Call for Featured Artists

Submission Deadline: May 14, 2023

HOLD FAST Festival is a celebration of contemporary performance, interdisciplinary art, and community engagement in St. John’s, NL/Ktaqmkuk. We are seeking four Featured Artists to present accessible, meaningful, and critically-relevant work as part of HOLD FAST 2023.

This year, HOLD FAST will take place from August 23-26, 2023 in St. John’s, NL/Ktaqmkuk. Artists are paid in accordance with CARFAC fee schedules:

  • Festival Performance Fee (Art Crawl): $440
  • Workshop Fee: $335
  • Artist Talk Fee: $335
  • Travel Stipend for artists outside of St. John’s metro area: up to $600 (with receipts)

Our core values are:

  • Facilitating community engagement and meaningful exchange
  • Increasing public arts literacy
  • Creating opportunities for artists
  • Critiquing and subverting structural oppressions & systems of power, with emphasis on:
    ◦  queer, feminist, and anti-racist perspectives
    ◦  Newfoundland & Labrador regional identities
    ◦  Indigenous resistance to colonialism

How to Smile? April White performs as ‘Noodle’ during Art Crawl, HOLD FAST 2022. Photo: Ashley Hemmings.

HOLD FAST culminates in a Saturday afternoon Art Crawl, a series of performances, installations, and interactive pop-ups staged outdoors and in non-gallery venues across downtown St. John’s. Past programming has included performances, interactive installations, artist talks, workshops, dance, drag, burlesque, film screenings, and free community events for people of all ages.

Newfound Lad’s Nautical Nonsense. Josh Murphy performs as Newfound Lad, HOLD FAST 2022. Photo: Ethel Brown.

About Featured Artists

During HOLD FAST, every Featured Artist presents all three of the following:

Art Crawl project: A performance or interactive installation to be presented on the last day of the festival. These projects are presented outdoors on pedestrian thoroughfares and/or in non-gallery venues in downtown St. John’s. Successful Art Crawl projects are impactful, dynamic, engaging, and flexible. We encourage artists to propose:

  • Performance art (site-specific or staged in public parks, storefronts, local galleries, etc.)
  • Local community collaboration (participatory artworks or interventions with public space)
  • Video/sound/off-site installation and sculpture

The Art Crawl project is the most important part of the application. Please see “Selection Process” for more details on what we look for in a project proposal.

Workshop: Share a skill or make art with members of the public. This can be related to your Art Crawl project, or something completely different. Typically a workshop lasts 2-3 hours, and should be accessible to someone with no prior experience. Staff can help you refine workshop proposals, or decide between ideas.

Artist Talk: A 5-10 minute presentation about you and your work. Our staff are happy to help with this, especially if you’ve never given an artist talk before!

Ashore, stranded. Faune Ybarra performs, HOLD FAST 2022. Photo: Rona Rangsch.

Selection Process

Our Selection Committee consists of arts workers, community partners, and artists at different stages of their careers. We understand that everyone has different levels of experience in writing proposals and documenting their artwork.

Featured Artists are selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Strength and clarity of concept
  2. Artistic merit
  3. Public engagement
  4. Feasibility of proposal
  5. Alignment with HOLD FAST’s core values

HOLD FAST welcomes applications from:

  • emerging and self-taught artists, performers, and creatives
  • individual artists, groups, curators, and collectives
  • members of equity-seeking communities

Submission Details

We prefer to receive applications via google form. Please email to make alternate arrangements (e.g. audio or video submission, or a zoom interview which will be recorded for the jury).

Submissions should include:

  • Short artist bio (50-100 words for promotional use)
  • Art Crawl Project summary (1-3 sentences for promotional use)
  • Art Crawl Project description (200-500 words)
  • Technical equipment needed for Art Crawl
  • Workshop proposal (100-300 words)
  • Image list and/or link to video/audio clips with accompanying descriptions
  • Work examples (10 max)
  • Optional: CV/Resume or other document that tells us more about your past experience and who you are (PDF files are preferred!)
  • Optional: Self-identification and/or connection to place

Click here to start an application!

Please contact us by email with any questions:

For HOLD FAST updates, check out our website and follow us on social media:
Instagram @holdfastfestival
Facebook @holdfastfestival