Assemble is now accepting proposals for their Spring 2020 Unblurred-Crafternoon Residencies. This residency combines their month-long Unblurred gallery showcase with their Saturday Crafternoons workshops as a way to give artists a chance to open up their creative process with youth in the community. They plan to have a total of 3 month-long residencies, from March to May. Each artist selected for a month-long residency will receive an honorarium of $1,000 to cover their time for their production of the art showcase and 4 Crafternoons workshops.

Through its Request for Proposals (RFP) process, Assemble staff along with members of the community will select 3 local artists and makers for participation in residencies that engage elementary school-aged youth and neighborhood partners in a collaborative process of creative placemaking. Chosen artists will share skills, incubate creative ideas, and facilitate community-engaged youth projects through the weekly Saturday Crafternoon program. Work presented in the month-long showcase can be created with Assemble students or build off existing bodies of work. During the first Friday Unblurred opening, the artists’ should also plan for a hands-on interactive experience for all ages.

The Spring 2020 Assemble Unblurred-Crafternoon Residency is possible through the support from the A.W. Mellon Fund through the Pittsburgh Foundation.

Background Information / Context

Assemble is a community space for arts and technology located in Garfield, in the East End of Pittsburgh. Assemble envisions diverse neighborhoods of empowered people who create, connect, learn, and transform together. Their mission is to build confidence through making by uniting communities of artists, technologists, makers, and learners. Through dedicated daily after-school and weekend programs, Assemble provides a space for children and adults to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM)-based activities in a fun, relaxed environment. They provide a space for learning, community, and public art to improve the quality of life for Garfield residents and beyond.

Assemble’s Saturday Crafternoons program connects professional and community artists, youth program participants, and community partners to engage in hands-on projects featuring STEAM-specific skills. Each weekend, children ages 5-11 drop by their free workshop, with a high number of participants returning every week. Past workshops have included a mix of one-time skill-sharing workshops facilitated by guest makers and longer-term project partnerships with guest makers and community groups.

The Unblurred art walk is a gallery crawl that occurs every first Friday of the month in the Penn Avenue Arts District. Assemble’s Unblurred Gallery program happens every month, with a new show opening on that first Friday. The Show is up for the full month, with at least one other event focused on opening the artist’s creative process to our community. When having an Unblurred show at Assemble, artists are encouraged to expand their work, innovate through unconventional means with no pressure to sell their work. It is a safe space to be experimental, create interactive pieces, playtest ideas, and build installations.

Selected artists will be able to receive a $,1000 honorarium thanks to the A. W. Mellon Fund’s support, to help foster community building and experimentation for the art. To choose artists, Assemble will gather a committee of staff, teaching artists, and members from the A. W. Mellon Fund’s Project Support committee.

Scope of Work And Expectations

  • Install the work for the show
  • Must be present for the opening event at Unblurred on the First Friday of the month
  • Must be present for the removal of the work on the last day of the show
  • Clearly communicate needs, materials, and marketing information required for the success of the show
  • Work closely with the Monthly programs Coordinator, other Assemble staff, and community partners to plan a community-oriented interactive engagement for the Unblurred audience
  • Assist in the documentation of the show
  • Actively participate in the evaluation
  • Work closely with the Saturday Crafternoon coordinator to plan a series of four weekly Saturday youth workshops which will take place 1-3 pm. These will be centered around thematic skill-sharing and potentially contribute to the gallery show
  • Meet with the Saturday Crafternoon coordinator, Assemble team, and community partners as needed for planning and preparation for the workshops
  • The selected artists will receive a $1000 honorarium in support of the work listed above


The Spring  2020 Assemble Unblurred-Crafternoon Residencies are open to all artists and makers within the city of Pittsburgh. As to feature artists that represent diverse backgrounds and disciplines, Assemble is especially interested in working with artists who have one or more of the following qualifiers:

  • Live in neighborhoods adjacent to Assemble (Garfield/Bloomfield/East Liberty/Lawrenceville)
  • Have ties to Garfield
  • Have social justice or community-oriented practice
  • Work with new media or have a tech or science influence in their work
  • Have an MFA

Special consideration will be given to POC, LGBTQ+ artists, and younger artists 18-24 years old. Applicants must also have or have the ability to provide their clearances to work with children in Pennsylvania. Assistance can be provided for obtaining Criminal Record and Child Abuse Clearances if selected.

Assemble, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Assemble expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Assemble’s employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated. This is extended to their presenting artists, makers, technologist, and other experts.

How To Apply

All RFPs are due via email to by 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 8, 2019. Please submit all materials as ONE PDF DOCUMENT. Name the file using this convention: LastName_First Name.PDF

Submit a PDF proposal that includes:

1. Contact information: Name, Email, Phone, Address, Website

2. A letter describing why you are interested in working on this project, up to one page in length. Please be sure to describe your experience collaborating with community members, residents, or others in the development of creative projects. Include what you are proposing for Crafternoons workshops as well as the order they would occur.

3. Up to 5 samples of your past work. Work samples can include images, video, or text. Images must be incorporated into the PDF. You are also welcome to include links to video documentation. With each work sample, please include a short description. The description for each image should include the following information as applicable: artwork title, dimensions, materials, budget, location, and a brief summary.

4. Your artist statement.

5. Your resume, up to three pages.

6. Preference of available months for having the showcase. Please rank the following: March 2020, April 2020, May 2020.


Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on December 8, 2019. Late applications will not be accepted.