＊＊QAW RISO RESIDENCIES＊＊
Our review process
[Update email sent to applicants June 23, 2020]
Dear QAW Residency Applicant,
Thank you so much for your patience. We know all too well the feelings that can arise when waiting for an artist’s residency to be in touch about its decisions, and the anticipation (and frustration!) that builds as you try to plan for the future. So this email is just a quick update about exactly where we are, and an effort to provide some transparency about the review process, as Queer.Archive.Work builds its very first residency program.
The review team has met three times so far. At our first meeting (May 24), we evaluated the 88 applications in relation to our mission. As you know, our application process was untraditional in many ways, and we wanted to continue to provide as few barriers as possible. For the next round, selected applicants were able to complete a questionnaire using text, video, and/or any other type of uploaded media. Through this process, we feel that we got a much deeper understanding of your individual reasons for applying, the specific conditions under which you work, and how the time, space, and resources provided by the residency might benefit your practice.
On June 9, the team met again and decided that each of us would read through all of the materials, which is unusual in an evaluation process like this (typically, reviewers are asked to focus on just a portion of the applications). It was an enormous lift, but we met again on June 17 to compare our notes, and from all of the incredible applications we were able to agree on a set of 29 that we would focus on for the final round. Specifically, we felt that these 29 applications most directly spoke to or otherwise reflected the QAW mission.
Tomorrow, the team will meet again to make final decisions. At this meeting, we’ll arrive at a final set of 10, as well as a small waitlist/back-up group. From this group of 10 we will announce our first 3 residents (August–October), and an additional 7–10 people who might be available for a residency at a later date (Nov–July). We plan to contact everyone very soon after this meeting with our news, and inquiries around scheduling.
So why are we telling you this? QAW aims to build a different community, a different space—one that doesn’t default to the norm. We’re sharing our process with you because that is what equity looks like. A process where applicants have unhindered access to information, where the selection process is less opaque, and where we are communicative.
While this process has been challenging, we’re overjoyed with the opportunity it presents for all of us: to begin building an incredible community of creative people who might stay in touch and connect through QAW. We’re thinking about ways to enable this for all applicants, which may involve remote crit groups, workshops, mentoring, and other ways to foster mutual support and connection within the larger QAW community.
So, look out for news from us very soon, hopefully by the end of this week. And please know that regardless of the results we announce, we are beyond grateful for your effort to bring your practice into conversation with us, the QAW space, and our mission. We see this application process as a generative, community-building moment for our young organization, and hope that every one of you will be able to join us in some capacity as we grow.
Edwige, Nora, David, and Paul
Opportunity to submit additional information
(Google form sent to applicants May 26, 2020)
QAW acknowledges the existence of a wide range of intersecting forces that historically produce various burdens and privileges, directly impacting one’s ability to sustain a creative practice, including, but not limited to, student debt, institutional affiliation, race, economic circumstances, gender identity, illness, disability, education access, language and native fluency, immigration status, time constraints, and geographic location. The QAW review team is aware that these and other vectors may play a significant role in how, why, or even if someone is able to access an artist’s residency.
A total accounting of these intersecting factors would be impossible, but we hope to shape a more equitable decision-making process at QAW by gaining a better understanding of the context within which you make your work. Please use this as an opportunity to speak more directly to QAW’s values by replying to any or all of the following prompts. You may include writing, a spoken or performed recording, images, or anything else that you feel is appropriate. Your responses will only be viewed by the QAW review team (Edwige Charlot, Nora Khan, David Kim, and Paul Soulellis) and will not be shared with anyone else.
Question 1: What do the QAW mission and priorities mean to you in your life/work/practice, and/or the project you propose to work on at QAW?
Question 2: Are there specific advantages and/or disadvantages actively shaping your work and ability to access this opportunity that you feel are important for us to consider while evaluating your proposal?
Question 3: Is there anything else we should know about your motivation for accessing these specific resources?