2024-2025 Curatorial Open Call

Installation View. Leila Mattina, Geografía(s) del Jiquilite al Añil, 22 September – 18 November 2023. Cuchifritos Gallery, New York. Photo: Brad Farwell. Co-presented by Artists Alliance Inc and Abrons Arts Center.

Artists Alliance Inc and Abrons Arts Center collaboratively present the 2024-2025 Curatorial AIRspace Residency, which will provide one New York City-based curator with an honorarium, production budget, materials budget, and office space to support the curation of one exhibition responding to the 2025 curatorial focus. The exhibition will be hosted at both Abrons Arts Center and Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space.

Curatorial Focus

The focus of the 2025 Curatorial Open Call is Transformation. We are seeking exhibition proposals that center arts practitioners who experiment with and transform conventions of cultural expression, production, and site. Applicants may also consider the influences of architecture, hyper-local cultural movements, and interdisciplinary practices.

About Application Process

The Curatorial AIRspace Residency application process will occur in two rounds. Round 1 will consist of a brief application with general questions about the applicant’s curatorial practice. A committee of arts professionals will review Round 1 proposals and recommend applicants for Round 2. Round 2 semi-finalists will be invited to submit a full exhibition proposal that responds to the open call’s curatorial focus. Semi-finalists will be compensated $200 for their Round 2 exhibition proposal submission. 

Organizational Partners

Abrons Arts Center is a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood. A core program of the Henry Street Settlement, Abrons mobilizes communities through performances, exhibitions, arts education programs, and residencies. 

Artists Alliance Inc (AAI) is an artist-founded and artist-centered non-profit that provides a free and accessible platform to produce, experience, and understand contemporary art in the Lower East Side–a longstanding epicenter for creative experimentation and cultural diversity. AAI fosters forward-thinking and experimental practices of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators with funded residencies and paid exhibition opportunities, and advocates for art-making that challenges how we experience ourselves and our communities.

You Will Receive

  • $5,000 curatorial honorarium
  • $5,000 exhibition budget (includes artist fees and material stipends) 
  • 30 hours of fully subsidized studio rental time in Abrons’ dance studios. Please visit our website to learn more about our studios. 
  • Private office space at Abrons Arts Center, which is located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side
  • Paid studio visits with AAI’s LES Studio Program resident artists 
  • Mentorship and professional development opportunities, including monthly meetings with AAI and Abrons staff for project development support, professional networking guidance, and mutual mentorship
  • 2 cohort dinners with Abrons AIRspace residents
  • Installation and de-installation support
  • Access to AAI’s inventory of equipment and exhibition furniture
  • Access to Materials for the Arts through AAI’s membership

You Are 

  • A curator and researcher excited to develop their practice in community with other artists 
  • Based in New York City and living within the 5 boroughs at the time of application submission and during the residency period
  • Not in a degree granting program or a student during the residency period
  • In alignment with Abrons Arts Center’s Mission Statement and Declaration of Inclusion 
  • Conscientious and genuinely excited to create community with the Abrons Arts Center and Artists Alliance IncAAI teams
  • Available to attend the required residency programs, listed below in the “Important Dates” section
  • A creative problem solver and a clear, respectful communicator

You have

  • Demonstrated experience and participation in the curatorial field 
  • A compelling proposal for the development and presentation of an exhibition that is in alignment with the Abrons Arts Center and AAI’s curatorial focus 
  • Experience managing exhibition development, budgeting, installation and deinstallation processes
  • Proficiency in Sketch Up and design software (a plus)

You Will

  • Develop an exhibition that engages with the 2025 program’s curatorial focus of Transformation for presentation at Abrons Arts Center and Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space
  • Be actively engaged at Abrons Arts Center in your studio practice on a consistent basis
  • Be present for Exhibition installation and deinstallation periods 
  • Participate in studio visits with Abrons Arts Center’s Visual Artist Van Lier Fellows and AAI’s LES Studio Program residents
  • Participate in all required residency program activities 

The Curatorial AIRspace Residency is a 9-month commitment from August 2024-April 2025 

Important Dates

  • Round 1 Application opens: February 5, 2024 
  • Round 1 Application closes: March 4, 2024  11:59PM ET
  • Applicant and Round 2 Semi-Finalist Notification: March 18, 2024
  • Round 2 Finalist pProposal Ddevelopment: March 18-April 18, 2024
  • Round 2 Interviews: Week of April 22
  • Round 2 Applicants notified: Week of April 29
  • AIRspace Fall Cohort Dinner: October 10, 2024 
  • Monthly 1 hour meetings with Abrons Arts Center and AAI team: Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2024, Jan 2025
  • Exhibition (Cuchifritos): February 7 (soft open)- April 5, 2025
  • Exhibition (Abrons): February 14-April 14, 2025
  • Exhibition Opening Reception: February 14 (both locations)

Due to the high volume of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants at this time. Questions? Email AbronsAirSpace@henrystreet.org

The 2024-2025 Curatorial AIRspace Residency is co-presented by Abrons Arts Center and Artists Alliance Inc.

Abrons Arts Center’s Curatorial AIRspace Residency program is made possible through the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI) is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City. Programming support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Further exhibition programming is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.