Updates on the Fall 2020 Semester
News and information about SVA’s plans for online instruction, and more.

Dates: June 15-26, 2020

Tuition: $2,000

2 undergraduate studio credits 

Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) this residency has been cancelled for the Summer of 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us at: residency@sva.edu

City as Site is a nomadic summer residency that explores the diverse communities that define New York City with the aim of creating context -specific public performative works.

Like a public laboratory, this program brings together artists, scholars and community members to think about the role of socially engaged art in constructing space for civic dialogue. Participants will develop experimental models for an artistic practice that combine methods from the arts, activism, and performance practice in order to cultivate innovative approaches to the construction of social spaces as cultural landscape.

The residency will use the streets of New York City’s five boroughs as its classroom. Artists and faculty will rove throughout the city, and engage with its communities, histories and stories, which will become materials for final projects. Interventions may take the form of tours, tactical and site performance, temporal installations, video or sound projections, digital platforms, community involved projects, peer­-to­-peer platforms, print or online publication, or a street event.

This is a unique opportunity to study with a faculty composed of leading artists, thinkers, and social entrepreneurs. Through experiential workshops and one-on-­one sessions, faculty will help artists to originate projects that reflect current social and political issues and guide collaborations with local businesses, art spaces and neighborhoods, as well as cultural and governmental partners.

In the experimental spirit of City as Site, we welcome artists interested in moving from the traditional studio, gallery and theatre space into the urban arena. Visual artists, writers, architects, designers, performance artists, urban planners and social activists are invited to apply.

City as Site faculty: Ed Woodham (Program Coordinator; artist, curator, educator, and Founder/Director, Art in Odd Places), Ayana Evans (performance artist, professor at Brown University, and Editor at Large for CultBytes.com) , Alicia Grullon (artist), Kendal Henry (artist and Director of NYC Cultural Affairs, Per-Cent for Arts Program) , and Todd Shalom (artist, educator and Founder/Director, Elastic City).

Guest lecturers have included: Tom Finkelpearl (New York City Department of Cultural Affairs), Risë Wilson (The Laundromat Project & Robert Rauschenberg Foundation), Radhika Subramaniam (Parsons The New School for Design), Martha Wilson (Franklin Furnace), Marlène Ramírez-Cancio (Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics), Micaela Martegani (More Art), Kameelah Jana Rasheed (artist and educator), Baseera Khan (artist), Esther Neff (artist, Panoply Performance Laboratory), Sheryl Oring (artist and educator), Shaun Leonardo (artist and educator), Lisa Kim (Two Trees), and Tomashi Jackson (artist).

As a “non-artist” (urban planner) entering City as Site, there was some hesitation about how the residency would help me. But, I had a solid idea of what I wanted to do moving forward in urban planning and I have to say, the residency went far beyond my expectations. The workshops, the “get in it and do it” yourself, the practicality of it, the inspiration, all of it. It was intense, but illuminating, inspiring and well worth it. 


Within City as Site, we met artists, social entrepeneurs, commissioners, professors - all engaged differently in the world of public art. Getting to know this variety of perspectives and being able and expected to perform in the streets of New York City myself, was one of the most inspiring, challenging and enlightening experiences I've ever had. With some of the other participants, who all came from different parts of the world, I will certainly collaborate in the future. 


City as Site consists of several workshops that train you to be attentive to the personalities and history of a site. The program taught me to discard my preconceptions about working in the public, and approach public sites with open eyes and ears. It was a great experience to treat myself as a clean slate, and learn to create public art that truly complements a given space. 


I found that City as Site explored a rich variety of methodologies of how to be informed by a location with the intention to create site specific art. The residency furthermore introduced me to alternative means of presenting non-material and life art such as performance. 


More information about this program available at cargocollective.com/svacitysite

For further information or questions regarding SVA’s Summer Residencies e-mail residency@sva.edu or call 212.592.2188.