Open Space for Arts and Community announced a new initiative to hire writers to create public art. “The Literary Project” is a literary flash fiction/prose poetry project by Island writers. The goal of the project is for participants to create individual works of fiction, forming a collection to be presented to the community. Eligible island residents are invited to submit works for consideration up until the January 15th deadline. At that time,a jury/panel will review submissions and contact the writers whose works have been selected.
The theme of the project is “Close to Home.”Writers are asked to incorporate elements of hope to light a path of positivity and ingenuity to fuel community strength. Artists must live on Vashon Island and must have financial need, such as the loss of a day job or reduction in hours, loss of traditional opportunities for income from writing, or loss of a job by a partner or spouse within their house hold. The completed works of fiction will be distributed to the public through a variety of ways, which may include weekly digital releases, radio broadcasts, and podcasts, with more possibilities in the works. The “Literary Project” is organized by Open Space for Arts and Community in partnership with Vashon artist and writer Sharon Shaver.
Open Space executive director Jiji Saunders spoke to the goal of the project, stating, “Investing in public art now will put food on artists’ tables, create public art for all islanders, and send a message to the future.”
“The Literary Project” is the third project of !Attention! Artists at Work(AAW). AAW is a jobs program led by Open Space for Arts and Community in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. The goal of the program is to hire artists during the challenging economic environment that began last March due to the pandemic. Thanks to generous donations from the community, Open Space for Arts and Community has so far invested $40,000 and commissioned 60 Vashon artists and artisans to make free public art since Spring 2020 as part of the AAW program.
The AAW program is comprised of a series of public arts projects. Other projects of AAW include “The Mural Project,” where 21Island artists created works for a large mural that now resides at the Open Space forArts and Community building, and “Distance Dance”, which wasan ongoing series of physically distantpop-up appearances on the islandthis summer. All projects sponsored through AAW are for the public and designed to be easily accessible to anyone on theIsland.To learn more about the program, apply, or donate, visit https://www.openspacevashon.com/attention-artists-at-work/