Artist in Residence Program

Nashville Metro Archives’ Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC), in collaboration with Centennial Park Conservancy and the Parthenon, are pleased to announce the second annual Archives Artist in Residence (AIR) Program. This unique program explores the roles of artist and archivist and seeks to break down walls between archives and the communities they serve.

One artist in 2020 will be invited to incorporate historic audiovisual recordings at the AVHC in the creation of a new work to premiere at the Parthenon as part of Centennial Park Conservancy’s ECHO chamber music series series. The artist will work with Metro archivists to choose endangered analog audiovisual materials for preservation, some of which have not been seen in decades. The artist will collaborate with a composer and an ensemble from the ECHO series that will create a sound / music element for the new work.

The AIR program encourages the creation of creative time-based media. Film and video pieces, light and sound installations, interactive pieces, and pieces incorporating live elements such as movement and dance are eligible for application. Artists are encouraged to consider place, community, history, regional culture, and/or the intersection of the analog and digital worlds in their piece. The new work will debut at the Parthenon on October 11, 2020. A copy of the work or documentation of the work will be deposited in the Nashville Metro Archives.

Who is Eligible to Apply / Requirements

The award is open to emerging and mid career multimedia or performance artists 18 years old and older. Applicants must be currently practicing and show a record of exhibition or performance demonstrating their ability to carry out an artistic concept. Formal training in studio art is not required to apply. Applicants should be based in Davidson County or show strong ties to the region.

  • The applicant must be able to attend the premiere October 11, 2020.

  • The applicant is required to meet on-site with Metro Archives at least one time to discuss the collection and choose materials for preservation.

  • The applicant must email progress reports to the AVHC Project Manager as needed and attend phone meetings as needed.

  • The artist must supply all technical gear and software necessary to make and display the piece.

The Award

The Artist is awarded a stipend of $1,200. The award is given in full to be used at the artist’s discretion to support the purchase of supplies and/or living expenses while creating the work. The project also provides $800 in analog preservation of endangered materials in the Nashville Metro Archives Audiovisual Conservation Center Collection. The use of the preservation funds will be determined by Nashville Metro Archives in collaboration with the artist and administered by Nashville Metro Archives.

Deadlines and Important Dates

  • May 15: The deadline to submit application

  • May 27: The grantee will be chosen and notified

  • October 11: The premier of the completed work will be held at the Parthenon

Stills from last year's video piece by artist Brian Siskind, aka Those Drones.


Overview of Application Materials

Applicants must submit the following three documents to apply. Guidelines for writing your Application are listed under “Guidelines” below. Please submit documents in Word.

Email your submission to with the subject line: ARCHIVES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE APPLICATION 2020

  1. Letter of Intent

  2. Application

  3. Current CV (with link to website if applicable)

Guidelines for the Letter of Intent (1 page double spaced):

  • Name, date, and intent to apply

  • A brief narrative overview of the applicant’s experience, body of work, and reason for applying.

Guidelines for the Application. The application should contain the following subheadings and approximate word counts. Please title and number each subheading on your application.

  1. Artist Bio and Statement (250 words max)

  1. Ties To The Region (100 words)

  • Describe the applicant’s ties to the Southeastern United States and/or Nashville Davidson County (example: “I am currently a Nashville, Tennessee resident and have resided here since 2012.”)

3. Overview of proposed concept (400 words max):

  • Describe the concept behind the project and how it will be carried out.

  • Describe any interactive or live components and how the audience will experience and interact with the piece.

  • Describe how the piece will potentially incorporate archival audiovisual material

4. Technical aspects of the work (250 words max)

Describe any relevant equipment or software that might be used to create, display, or present the work. Where relevant, describe the length of the work. This section can be formatted using bullet points if the applicant wishes.

5. Positive Collaboration (250 words max)

This project requires close, positive collaboration between the artist and the Metro Archives. Describe in this section how the applicant has shown ability to communicate clearly and collaborate on a project or projects in the past.

6. Participants

List the primary point of contact (the artist), full name, email address, and telephone number. List any other possible participants.

To Submit:

Applications must be emailed to with the subject line: ARCHIVES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE APPLICATION 2019

Evaluation Criteria:

The staff of the Metro Archives and The Parthenon, will choose the AIR based on the following criteria:

  • Submission of all completed application materials on time

  • Eligibility of the applicant

  • The application demonstrates ability to communicate ideas clearly

  • The applicant demonstrates the ability to collaborate effectively

  • The artist shows a track record of exhibition which demonstrates a growing aesthetic or concept

  • The proposal considers place, community, archives, history, memory, and / or the connection between analog and digital realms

  • The concept incorporates historic footage or audio from the Metro Archives Collection.

  • Interactive works, new media pieces, and light and sound installations are given preference


Questions can be sent to the AVHC Program Manager: Kelli Hix

Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Nashville Public Library Foundation.