Call for Proposals: Exchanging Notes

The Program on Georgian Studies and the Somerville Arts Council announce a new collaborative artistic project.

The Program on Georgian Studies at Harvard University and the Somerville Arts Council invite artists from the Greater Boston Area and the country of Georgia to participate in a collaborative cross-cultural project that will take place in the summer of 2023. Specifically we seek writers and musicians from Georgia and the Greater Boston Area to submit proposals for collaborative projects on the theme of “Artistic exchange and collaboration across cultures.” The goal of this project is to bring American culture to Georgia and Georgian culture to America, encouraging understanding and mutual appreciation between the two countries, while creating exciting new works and projects in the process.

Two writers, one Georgian and one from Massachusetts, will be paired together to produce a written work, either original or a translation, and two musicians, one Georgian and one from Massachusetts, will be paired together to produce a piece of music. The final product of these collaborations will be presented before an audience in Cambridge and hosted on the Georgian Studies website. We seek proposals that are open in scope to allow collaborations between artists who might be quite different. We also seek applicants who are adventurous and flexible in spirit as this will be an experimental loosely structured collaborative process.

Selected local artists must be available to travel to Georgia for the week of June 18; meet virtually throughout the summer for a few hours a week as needed; and be available during the last week in September when Georgian artists visit Boston and final performances and activities take place

Preference for Boston Area artists will be given to artists with a strong connection to Somerville.

Program details

In June, two American artists will travel to Tbilisi, Georgia for a week to meet with their Georgian counterparts and begin collaboration. In July and August, the two pairs will work together remotely.  In September, the Georgian artists will come to Cambridge for a week. Both pairs of artists will present their finished work before an audience at Harvard.

Each artist will receive a grant of $2,000, subject to relevant taxation, in addition to airfare, accommodation, and daily expenses for travel, covered by the Program on Georgian Studies.

Examples of how artists might work together include: two writers play a game of “Exquisite Corpse,” in which one writer responds to the other writer’s lead and visa versa; the result is a work that fuses the two writers prose in segments creating a fluid whole. Musicians working together might comprise two short scores —one inspired by Georgian history and the other by American history. The possibilities are endless and we anticipate your creative proposals. We recognize that projects may shift once artists are paired up and meet each other, but having ideas to start will be fruitful.

This project is curated by the Program on Georgian Studies at Harvard University and the Somerville Arts Council. Applications will be reviewed by a jury representing both these organizations, including Georgian artists.

Application details

Please send the following to with the subject line “Artist Collaboration: [your name]” by April 21:

  • CV or resume as a PDF
  • Work sample
    • Writers: please send up to 10 pages of prose or 5 pages of poetry as a PDF. We encourage you to share portions of several longer works.
    • Musicians: please send a link to an example of your work online, or an mp3 file. We encourage you to share portions of several longer works.
  • Project proposal in English as a PDF, including:
    • 1. Convey your idea for a collaborative project on the theme “Exchange and Collaboration Across Cultures,” with the understanding that the final project will develop once you are partnered with your counterpart. The goal is to think about how art absorbs and blends multiple influences to produce new creative directions.
    • 2. Convey how your idea might work with a variety of artists in your field. For example, how would your project work if your partner’s work was quite different from yours? For musicians, for example, does your concept work between multiple genres?
    • 3. Give a timeline; how do you envision spending your two weeks together with your partner? How will you use the remaining remote time to complete your project?
    • 3. Convey your experience with artistic collaboration, especially any cross-cultural collaboration, and how you typically get to know someone.

Decisions will be finalized by the middle of May.