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Rice Space Arts Initiative - CALL FOR PROPOSALS


Throughout the ages, humanity has strived to understand the universe and our place within it. While many discoveries in the field of astronomy precede the modern era, actual physical exploration of space is a more recent phenomenon, heavily relying on the technology that only became available in the mid 20th century. Today, the smartphones in our pockets possess more computing power than the Apollo 11 spaceflight.

To explore the social and cultural impact of the human spaceflight program, the Rice Space Institute in conjunction with the Rice University Scientia program will be hosting a free public Film and Arts Festival in which we will examine the perennially popular theme of life in the universe through the media of film, visual and performing arts, and conversations with astronauts, artists, scientists and engineers.

It is with great pleasure that the Rice Space Institute invites project proposals from artists that relate to the concept of space exploration and its impact on humanity. Artists from all disciplines are encouraged to interpret the topic broadly in the creation of a proposal for an original work of art. The jury is particularly interested in proposals that refer to Houston's history (past, present, and future) as a hub for the production of knowledge in space exploration. One winning proposal will be awarded a grant in the amount of $1800 to help realize this project. In addition, the winning project will be provided a public presentation venue on Rice University’s campus, in collaboration with the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts.

All interested artists are highly encouraged to attend a Houston Spaceport Frontier Lecture by Mark K. Craig, retired NASA engineer, manager, and executive on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University at 7pm. NASA 4.0: The Evolution of America's Human Space Exploration Program will examine human space exploration from its storied past into its emerging future, one shaped by the commercial development of space. In addition, a brief discussion session for artists will be held before the lecture at 6pm, providing interested applicants the rare opportunity to participate in a conversation about space exploration and the search for life in the universe with space professionals.

Kindly RSVP to susannahmira AT if you plan to attend this 6pm info session.


Artists working in any medium, including enrolled students, within 75 miles of Houston are eligible to apply. Please be advised that shortlisted artists will be asked to present their proposals at Rice University as a part of the jury process.


All proposals will be reviewed by a panel of Rice faculty, professionals from the Houston art community, as well as NASA astronauts.


Please send the following in a single PDF document to Susannah Mira, Artist [susannahmira AT], and Dr. Luis Duno-Gottberg, Associate Professor at Rice University [ld4 AT], by 3/1/2014 with the subject header “Rice Space Arts Initiative.”

The total file size must not exceed 5MB.

1-One page project proposal describing the work of art you plan to create and how it relates to the concept of space exploration. Include a statement on how the grant award will be used in the creation of this work.

2-Brief biographical statement and description of your current artwork


4-links to examples of your work. 

If you have multiple files under one link, please indicate which the jury should look at. Also include image information with title of work, year created, media, and dimensions, if that information is not available with the online work sample.

⁃ 10 digital images of recent work as jpg or pdf files, 1MB or less each. 


⁃ 3-5 sound files in mp3 format


⁃ 3-5 video clips, not to exceed 10 minutes total, uploaded to vimeo or youtube.


5 FEB 2014---Houston Spaceport Frontier Lecture / Duncan Hall, Rice University, 7pm // An info session for artists will directly precede the lecture and reception at 6pm

1 MAR 2014---Proposals due

1 APRIL 2014---All applicants notified, including shortlisted artists who will present at the festival

25 APRIL 2014---Presentations by project finalists to jury

MAY 2014---Project winner announced, distribution of 50% of funding award 

FALL 2014---Public presentation of winning project on campus, distribution of remaining 50% of funding award 


Direct all questions to Susannah Mira [susannahmira AT]

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