(Re)Introducing Opportunities for Artists
1 October 2020
Thoughts on territory as an eligibility criteria for artist opportunities
The sharing platform hosted on this website was founded in 2013 as a page on Facebook called “Opportunities for Egyptian Artists.” Years later, I changed the name to the hazy and grammatically incorrect “Opportunities for Egypt Artists,” after a user took issue with the fact that I had posted an opportunity open exclusively to refugees living in Egypt.
On launching this newly redesigned site, I've chosen to use a more broad title: “Opportunities for Artists.” I've learned through practice that this platform is useful to artists around the world. Still, the thing that holds it all together is that most artists in Egypt will be eligible for many of the opportunities posted here. Many of those are also open to people in the different regions in which Egypt is located. Others are open to artists around the world.
So, I've decided to just refer to us all as “Artists.”
How do I know if I'm eligible?
To find out if you're eligible, read the Criteria section of a posted opportunity. Sometimes criteria are stated very clearly; at other times, they're more roughly outlined. Whenever you're applying for an opportunity, you should be sure to read the posted guidelines, in full. You can find the guidelines by clicking on the 'details' link provided at the end of each post. If you're still uncertain, get in touch with the institution that's offering the opportunity.
Institutions working in the field of arts and culture handle eligibility criteria differently. A lot of the time, open calls are marked as “global” or “international,” meaning they're open to artists around the world. Other limitations are set for who can apply, like age or stage of career, concepts or mediums present in the work. Sometimes, open calls are targeted at people defined by their citizenship, location, or other identity criteria.
The parameters that institutions set for these open calls can be developed in collaboration with funding partners, who have their own priorities and agendas to serve. Some of these funders are national governments, private foundations, wealthy families or individuals. All of these actors have their own values, motivations, and language, and their cooperation helps to define who is and is not eligible for open calls.
This platform continues to use the weird criteria of “Egypt artist” to determine what gets posted here. In the coming weeks, I'll be publishing a series of posts that lay out some of the regions to which Egypt belongs – as both an exercise in locating Egypt's territory, as well as in expressing possible intersections with other identities. If you're an artist who finds your own region mentioned, it probably means that you'll find the opportunities shared on this platform useful.