Call for Artists: Art & Organizing Institute in Mesilla Valley with Young Women United


Project scope:

Young Women United  is seeking visual artists and artists of diverse mediums to be part of our upcoming Art and Organizing Institute in the Mesilla Valley. We are looking for artists who can listen to and learn from institute participants about their experiences with pregnancy-related care (fertility, miscarriage, abortion, prenatal and postpartum care, etc.) as well as their insight into what shifts are needed within our cultures and communities so that all may access safe and supportive pregnancy care. The artists are expected to fully engage in six art & organizing sessions, bringing their creativity and talent to a unique community-based culture shift opportunity.  The project will culminate in an art exhibition on Friday, December 2. Young Women United,  artists, and  participants will exhibit art pieces in different mediums as a way to positively impact  the culture and climate  around pregnancy-related care.


Project dates:

October 2016 – December 3, 2016


Meet and Greet: Friday, October 14th, 2016, 5:30-7:30

Art and Organizing Session 1: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Art and Organizing Session 2: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Art and Organizing Session 3: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Art and Organizing Session 4: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Art and Organizing Session 5: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Art and Organizing Session 6: Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Art Exhibit: Friday, December 3rd, 2016


Project location:

Las Cruces, NM


Project compensation:

$1500, for participation in 6 Art & Organizing sessions and 1 Art Exhibit, and production of 1 commissioned piece


The context:

Young Women United works to build communities where all people have access to the information, education, and resources needed to make their own decisions about pregnancy-related care.  

Working with community members in the Mesilla Valley and NM based artists, Young Women United is proud to be facilitating an Art and Organizing Institute, bringing together individuals who would like to be part of creating safe and supportive communities in which all people may access the pregnancy related care they need. Too often women and people who have sought pregnancy-related care may have been met with  shame and stigma because of their age, their parenting or marital status, or their identity as an LGBT/Queer person. People who have struggled with fertility, had a pregnancy loss or miscarriage, had a hard time with postpartum depression, had difficulties feeding their babies, or made the personal and complex decision to terminate a pregnancy have shared deep feelings of isolation in the moments of their lives when they may have needed the most kindness and support.  

Young Women United invests deeply in culture shift work— using art, media and messages to change people’s hearts and minds about issues that matter to our families. We believe those most impacted by an issue should be at the center of building the changes our communities need. Through this Art and Organizing Institute we will work to create a safe space to share stories, lived experiences, and insight about the safe and supportive environments our loved ones need during their pregnancies.

This institute will bring local artists together with 8-12 community participants through 6 sessions. Artists will be part of building trust and relationship within the group and participate in messaging/media workshops. Through the process, artists will create a piece that captures the sentiment and voice of the community participants in this project.


Who we are looking for:

3-4 artists of different mediums— including but not limited to visual art, music, spoken word, writing, performance art and more. We are seeking artists with potential to create work that communicates a clear message. Interested artists should work well in collaborative settings and have the skills and capacity to work closely with Young Women United staff, listen to the experiences and direction of participants, and create art that closely reflects what is shared and articulated by those involved in project.

Through participation in this project, Young Women United will maintain the rights to pieces created. Young Women United will maintain full decision-making power as to when and how these pieces are shown. Artist will always be visibly credited when art is used as part of campaign or displayed publicly.

Artists will need to take direction from Young Women United staff & participants throughout the creation process.  Direct and timely communication with Young Women United staff is required.  Artists must have pieces completed within deadlines agreed upon.


Do you want to be part of this project? Please provide the requested information below.  Submission deadline: Friday, October 7, 2016, 5PM MDT

Please submit following materials via email to:

  • Name and best method of contact (Phone number and/or email)
  • A small portfolio or samples of your work (suggested 3-5 pieces/examples)
  • Contact information for 1 professional reference that can speak to your ability to work in a timely manner with strict deadlines
  • Responses to the following questions,  (200 words or less per question):

1) Why are you interested in being a part of this project?

2) Please describe your working style and artistic mediums.

3) What are some ways that shame and stigma have negative impacts on people receiving the pregnancy-related care they need?

4) As an artist, what does it mean to create a piece that can shift people’s perception on a topic of importance?


Young Women United is an Equal Opportunity Organization, Women of color, Native and Indigenous women, queer, trans*, and two-spirit women and people, and New Mexicans (of multiple identities) are strongly encouraged to send submissions.

We will conduct phone interviews with select candidates Monday-Wednesday, October 10-12.