CALL FOR ARTISTS: BLACKOUT - Nia Centre for the Arts
Artistic & Professional Development


Application Due: Feb 28th


February 12 - 28, 2022



We are looking for artists to support in our BLACKOUT Research Project

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In the last few years, it has become clear that being online is increasingly unsafe for Black people. While there have been studies on the impacts of digital anti-Blackness, most of these are centered on the American experience. To better understand how Black Canadians are affected by racism online, we began an intensive research project. Through surveys and a number of focus groups, we have collected important data from our community that is the first of its kind. You can find more information on our survey here

During the research, some strong themes emerged. Participants have named hate targeted towards Black women, censorship of Black creators and erasure of Blackness from online platforms as key problems. Research has proven that social media can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. This is especially true for Black Canadians. Participants have expressed that their digital experience has often left them feeling angry, paranoid, confused and desensitized to violence against them and our community. Secondary traumatic stress caused by consuming media around police brutality, injustice and negative imagery of Black people. 

What We Need from You

As part of our efforts to share the research findings with our community, we will commission five artists to interpret, make commentary on and/or mobilize the research findings in innovative ways using the arts. Artists will develop new works that will showcase key themes and insights from the research. 

Given our research’s focus on the culture of the internet, we will prioritize proposals in digital art, such as graphic design, animation,and illustration; however we are open to proposals of diverse mediums (public art, writing, photography etc). All entries must be original in concept, composition and execution. 

The selected pieces will be showcased online; however we will also consider public art pieces, and exhibition opportunities.
Considered artists will be expected to attend information sessions with the research team and discuss the final findings within the project, submit a final proposal prior to the deadline: February 28th 2022 11:59 PM est.

How to Submit

In order to be considered you must submit the following:

  • A proposal (350 words max): description of your proposed project including ideas for your final product and the medium you’ve chosen
  • A brief project statement: description of how your piece connects to the research findings  
  • A mockup or moodboard – if applicable
  • An artist biography
  • Up to three examples of previous work 
  • A resume
  • Website, social media handles and contact information

All work must be submitted through our application by February 28th 2022 11:59 PM EST

Important Dates and Timelines

Info Session: Learn more about this application process and the research project. Held virtually on February 12th | 3PM

Application Deadline: February 28th, 2022 | 11:59pm

Our team will review all submissions and selected artists will be contacted by March 11th, 2022.

Artists who are selected must complete all artwork by April 30th, 2022 | 5:00PM

Artist Fees

Each selected artist will be compensated between $1,000 to $2,000.

Contact Information

Questions can be directed to Sherisse- Jean Bailey, Program Coordinator, at

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