Apply now to participate in the 2016-17 American Arts Incubator

Apply now to participate in the 2016-17 American Arts Incubator

ZERO1 is now accepting applications for the 2016-17 American Arts Incubator.
Calling innovative new media and digital artists who have a love of travel and passion for community-driven art to apply to participate in the American Arts Incubator.

Apply Here!

Open Call Details
American Arts Incubator is an international arts exchange program developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The program sends artists abroad to collaborate with youth and underserved populations on community-based digital and new media art projects that bolster local economies, influence public policy, and further social innovation. Inspired by the “business incubator” model made popular by Silicon Valley’s technology and start-up companies, American Arts Incubator is a hybrid training lab, production workshop, and tool for public engagement. It showcases artists as engaged and innovative partners in addressing social issues, in addition to creating a cross-cultural exchange of ideas.

Selected artists will be working directly with ZERO1, ECA, U.S. Embassy officials, and overseas cultural partners to oversee the creation of a series of public art projects focused on a specific social issue chosen by the respective U.S. Embassy. Selected artists will a) develop their own public art project to be presented overseas, b) lead a weeklong incubator workshop that trains participants to use new media approaches to research and develop proposals for public art projects and c) administer “small grant” awards and oversee the production of four community-driven public art projects proposed by local participants during the workshop. These events will be structured to take advantage of the Artist’s particular area of expertise and will focus on using new media tools in creative and innovative ways to address selected social issues in the local community. 

As a key contributor to a global creative arts exchange program, the Artist has the opportunity to facilitate real, art-based social impacts in one of four underserved communities around the world. Artists are challenged to investigate how dialogue related to a specific community issue such as women’s empowerment, HIV-AIDS prevention, social inclusion, or environmental sustainability, can be fostered through new media and/or digital arts projects.

Artists will be networked together via the American Arts Incubator website—an online platform that provides information about participating overseas communities, artists, partners, projects, and the art-making process. Artists will develop original content and document the art-making process, featuring participant stories, community-led project proposals, and program outcomes.  More information available at:

Participating overseas locations for this opportunity are Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, Russia, and Thailand. One artist will be selected for each location. Download a pdf version of requirements here and read our FAQ here. 

Dates of Participation
Program duration is July 1, 2016 - August 31, 2017. Core dates for in-person participation include a weeklong orientation in San Jose, California scheduled for late Summer or early Fall 2016. International travel will be 4 weeks between September 2016 and May 2017 (specific dates will be determined collaboratively by the Artist, overseas embassy and partner, and ZERO1). In addition, multiple deliverables are expected in the months leading up to overseas travel and immediately following travel (e.g., project proposals, blog posts, project recaps). Artists will be expected to document their experiences and project developments before, during, and after overseas travel via the program’s website and relevant social media.

What We’re Looking For
We are seeking creative and culturally sensitive new media and digital artists with experience in public art and a strong interest in one of the participating countries: Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, Russia, and Thailand. Artist must demonstrate how they have used their art practice to address relevant social issues, and be proven self-starters who are comfortable working independently, incubating new ideas, responding to virtual communications and deadlines, and passionate about supporting local artists overseas to create artworks that engage their community.

Qualifying Criteria 
-Emerging, mid-career or established new media and/or digital artists
-U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age and residing in the U.S. at the time of the project
-Strong record of artistic accomplishments with examples of international experience
-Relevant experience working with youth and/or underserved communities
-Record of engaging with artists, art educators, youth, and/or community members through teaching, workshops, social practice, and other outreach activities

The Artist will receive $7,000 honoraria for participation, plus an assigned budget for workshop and public art production costs overseas. This budget will be determined during a pre-travel proposal time period, based on approval by ECA, the respective U.S. Embassy, and ZERO1. The program covers airfare, accommodations, and basic travel costs.

All submission materials must be received via the online application by Monday, February 29, 2016, 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time. There is no entry fee.

Selection Process and Policies
Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of arts professionals, including experts in digital and new media arts, community engagement, plus a representative from ECA. The committee will recommend artists to the U.S. Embassies in the five participating countries. ECA, in consultation with the U.S. Embassies, will select final participants. One artist will be selected for each country.

Once selected, the Artist must agree and comply with the contract terms presented by ZERO1 for the duration of the program. ZERO1 has the right to accept or reject any responses received. Applications are country-specific. Artists may submit individual applications to up to 2 countries. Additional applications will not be reviewed, based on time of submission.


Download a pdf version of requirements here or read our FAQ here.

About U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through academic, cultural, private-sector, professional, and sports exchange programs.  The Bureau’s exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders from all fields to increase global understanding of U.S. policies and values and to help American citizens engage with the world.  More than a million people are alumni of ECA exchanges, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 320 current or former heads of state and government.  Visit