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AR Workshop: Un-monument | Re-monument | De-monument

Last updated:

UPDATE: The deadline for this opportunity has passed. We look forward to announcing the selected projects in late spring/early summer.

As part of the "Un-monument | Re-monument | De-Monument: Transforming Boston" call to artists, we’re providing training opportunities in AR for artists who have traditionally faced an “access gap” in partnership with Emerson Contemporary.


Program details

Don't miss any important information! Please read the full Call to Artists before applying.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture (MOAC) is looking for proposals from artists or artist-led teams for new temporary monuments, as well as “un-monuments” that transform public places to reflect the city’s cultural vibrancy in dialogue with Boston’s collection of existing monuments.

To foster augmented reality (AR) proposals, a medium uniquely able to respond to existing monuments without permanently altering them, Emerson Contemporary will provide technical workshops designed to support ten artists in gaining access to the skills and technology needed to translate previous work, or create new work, in AR. This specific opportunity is funded by the Mellon Foundation. 

The goal of the incubator is to provide training opportunities for artists who have faced an access gap due to the high start-up costs of these design tools and the cultural barriers within the new media art field. The program provides assistance with the production process, technology exploration, and mentorship.

Ten artists will be invited to participate in this program by Emerson Contemporary’s Art and Technology Incubator. 

2024: AR with artist and creative technologist Michael Lewy
  • The workshop will be using the Hoverlay app. 
  • Workshops run for five Saturdays* between May 4 - June 15, 2024, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in-person at Emerson Contemporary. 
  •  There will also be two evening events with guest lecturers on zoom.
  • Artists should bring their own digital device laptop, tablet and/or smartphone.
2025: Projection Mapping

Each artist will receive a grant of $750 to participate. Participants may  develop artworks to propose as temporary monuments. Determination for inclusion and funding will depend on whether proposals meet the criteria shared in this call as part of Opportunity One. 

The pilot program for this project ran in late fall of 2021 with the support of a Transformative Public Art Grant from the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

*No class on Memorial Day weekend.


Are you eligible?

To be considered for this opportunity, you must be:

  • A professional artist, including individuals, for-profit businesses and nonprofits.
  • Located in the Greater Boston Area/able to attend in-person workshops in Boston.
  • Curious and willing to learn! 

Watch the Q&A Session

We held virtual Q&A sessions on Wednesday April 10, 2024 at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Zoom. You can now watch the Zoom recording or read our FAQ document.




Gather your application materials

You will need:

Part 1: Artist or Organization Details

Part 2: Project Proposal

  1. Working Title/ Project Name* 
  2. Project Year
  3. Artist Description
    • Bio, resume, CV, or other documents that describe the artist’s background and experience. For teams, include information for all team members. Please name a lead artist for the application process. Five files maximum; PDF, DOC, or DOCX. 
  4. Project partners
    • Please share the bio, resume, CV, or other documents that describe any non-artist project partners’ background and experience. For teams, include information for all team members.
    • Will partners be compensated for their participation? If so, please provide a breakdown of these fees within the project budget. 
  5. Project Medium
    • Please select the medium that best describes your project: Sculpture, mural, new media , social practice, or other.
  6. Statement Of Interest and Initial Project Concept
    • Narrative describing an initial artistic concept, why you’re interested in this opportunity, what connection you have to the site and/ or neighborhood you propose, and any specific or unique processes you might use for the project. 
    • In this section, you should show us that your project meets the goals of Un-monument.
  7. Visual Concepts (Optional)
    • In addition to the initial written project concept, you have the option to include up to five initial visual concepts. One image per file; jpg, tiff, or MP4 file types; limit videos to two minutes or less.
  8. Relevant Work Samples
    • Up to ten images of completed past work that you feel is relevant to this proposal. One image per file; jpg, tiff, or MP4 file types; limit videos to two minutes or less. 
    • In addition to the initial written project concept, you have the option to include initial visual concepts. 
  9. Annotated Image List
    • An Annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, date, brief description, your role in the project (lead, assistant, etc.) and any other information that might be relevant. PDF, Doc, or DOCX.
  10. Accessibility and Engagement Plan 
    • A description of your community engagement approach for the project and site(s) you propose.
    • Please outline your accessibility plan or if (and how) you would like support from MOAC to ensure communities of all disabilities can participate in your event below. 
  11. Project Site
    • Projects may be proposed for public or private property but must be free and publicly accessible.
  12. Proposal permissions or plans for permissions
    • Please indicate whether the site owner or any other important stakeholder has approved your proposal and, if they have not, share a plan for attaining their support and approval.
    • All artist selection is pending property-owner approval of proposal, installation and de-installation plan, and proof of insurance
  13. Budget Tier
  14. Itemized Budget*
    • Tier 1 applications requesting under $9,999:
      • Please provide a written description of how you will spend the grant funds.
        • Applicants in this budget tier must explain how they will spend the grant funds, but a detailed spreadsheet is not necessary. If it’s helpful to you, please feel free to use the Budget Template for your planning. 
      • If selected, grant recipients in this grant tier will be able to receive their grant payment upfront in a lump sum. Invoicing will not be required. 
    • Tier 2, 3, and 4 applications requesting over $10,000:
      • Please provide a detailed budget for your proposal for Year 1 or 2 
      • Funds will support commissions of temporary public art and administrative costs for supporting nonprofits or fiscal sponsors, with a 10% cap on administrative fees.
      • Artist fees would be set at 20% of the overall project budget, though project budget amounts will vary depending on the nature of the project.
      • Budget Template

Submit your application

  • Call released: Friday, March 29, 2024, 4 p.m. ET
  • Call closed: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 5 p.m. ET

This call is now closed. Please note that this opportunity will open again in 2025 for new applications.

About the program

Program Goals

How can monuments illuminate opportunities for conversation and community creativity, providing multiple opportunities for constituents to pause and deepen public engagement with the building of collective histories? 

As we consider our commemorative landscape, our city reflects on histories and peoples not memorialized, those who have been silenced, or are absent from the landscape of memorialization. By commissioning a diverse range of artists working across various media and art forms at prominent and unexpected sites throughout the city, we aim to facilitate broader expressions of storytelling that bring forward an understanding of the interconnections between monuments, public memory, and our daily lives. 

Throughout this multi-year initiative, the broader program will encapsulate touch points across partnerships with with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, Emerson Contemporary, the Pao Arts Center, the National Center for Afro-American Artists, the North American Indian Center of Boston, Now+There, Embrace Boston, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the Friends of the Public Garden , community talks and dinners, two open call opportunities for artists looking for short-term commissioning proposals and AR workshops, as well as the formation of a Transformative Art and Monuments Advisory Team to provide community-thought partnership to advise on the Un-monument project at large.

We encourage you to thoroughly explore the details and consider the project that aligns most closely with your interests, experience, and creative vision.

About the Transformative Public Art Program

The Transformative Public Art Program was established to provide artists with a platform to engage in experimental, short-term projects across various media that could be developed simultaneously alongside other long-term commissions. 

As part of a City-led initiative to activate Nubian Square around the opening of the Bolling Building, the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture commissioned eight short-term projects in 2014 to supplement the City’s  first capital long-term public commissions for the aforementioned municipal building.

After the success of short-term activations in tandem with the long-term capital commissions, the program was designated as the Transformative Public Art Program. The time scale and naturally iterative process of the program allows makers to investigate pressing issues of the now in a format that develops and evolves with the needs of our artists and our publics, resulting in a multi-faceted and diverse range of artworks and approaches.

In this iteration of the Transformative Public Art Program, we look forward to welcoming your proposals that approach the notion of monument across all artistic practices and disciplines. 

About the Mellon Foundation Grant

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture received a $3,000,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation’s Monument Project to support community and curatorial partnerships, new temporary commemorative installations, and related public art programs in 2024 and 2025. As part of the award, five community curatorial collaborators are commissioning monument-related temporary public art installations alongside the City’s Transformative Public Art program commissioned through this call to artists.

The Monuments Project is an unprecedented multi-year commitment by the Mellon Foundation that is aimed at transforming the nation’s commemorative landscape to ensure our collective histories are more completely and accurately represented. Launched in 2020 as a $250 million initiative—and doubled in 2023 to $500 million—the Monuments Project supports efforts to express, elevate, and preserve the stories of those who have often been denied historical recognition, and explores how we might foster a more complete telling of who we are as a nation. The Foundation’s commitment to the Monuments Project reflects both the urgency and the gravity of fostering more complete and inclusive storytelling of who we are as Americans.

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