Access Application


Deadline Extended!

Sunday, December 8, 2019 by 11:59pm


January 2020


April 2020 – September 2020


October 2020 – March 2021


Application Instructions
Equipment List


‘Call and Response: Making Monuments Now’

In light of recent debates about monuments and some recent removals, Socrates asks artists to propose prototypes for new monuments for New York City for presentation beginning in the fall of 2020. Artists are invited to consider and respond to the following considerations and questions:

As symbols of Confederate and Colonial power are currently being destroyed, dismantled, reconfigured, or exiled from public view, what new representations should fill their void? What monuments should be created to reflect today’s values and our desire to project those into the future? Who or what should be given the space, representation, and honor in these new monumental artworks? More specifically, as the reconfiguration of monuments in public space reflects the process of history writing, what histories of New York should be remembered or recovered?

What kind of monument might shape public consciousness in the creation of civic agents empowered with social and political self-determination? What kind of monument might best to serve and preserve the reclamation of New York’s underrecognized or repressed histories? How might monument-makers resist the obdurate, authoritarian chauvinist impulses that commonly accompany traditional representational strategies of monuments?

This open call will be the major component of Socrates Sculpture Park’s year-long engagement with recent discourse on the current state and future of monuments in the United States. It is a thematic adaption of ‘The Socrates Annual Fellowship’ and exhibition, and incorporates an extended selection process and production timeline as well as inclusion in an exhibition publication.

These monument prototypes for New York City will be presented alongside three new commissions for speculative monuments for America by major artists, and a collective monument for Queens created by participants in the Park’s after-school program for teenagers: Socrateens.

Fellowship recipients will receive a $5,000 production grant to support their project a $1,000 honorarium and four-months of seven-days-a-week access to the resources and fabrication facilities of the Park’s outdoor artist studio.

Artist Fellows are responsible for the fabrication, transportation (if necessary) and installation of their works. Socrates will provide limited technical and installation assistance during a three-week installation period, M-F, 10AM – 6PM. Specifics of installation assistance will be discussed with each artist selected.


Before preparing their applications, artists are strongly encouraged to visit Socrates – a unique New York City public park located on the East River waterfront in an industrial area of Long Island City, Queens – and to explore Socrates’ website and exhibition archive to learn about the history and context of the organization. Visiting the Park will give applicants a better sense of the factors that effect installations in the Park and help impart insights into the available facilities – from the tools and equipment in Socrates’ artist studio to the resources of the surrounding neighborhood.


‘The Socrates Annual’ fellowship program is based on a competitive, open application process. Completed on-line applications must be submitted by the deadline (Monday, November 25, 2019 by 11:59pm) and will be reviewed by the Socrates exhibition department and outside curatorial advisors. Ten to twelve artists will be selected for the 2020 program. Artists are selected based on the compelling nature of the project proposed, clarity of intent, unique approach to the site, and public context.

Following the recommendations of the curatorial advisors, Socrates staff will contact applicants individually to discuss proposed projects before confirming the final selection in early 2020.


Once accepted, Socrates staff members will meet with each Artist Fellow to discuss project proposals in detail and begin to assist with the development, engineering, and installation of the work. A group meeting for all Artist Fellows and Socrates staff will take place one evening in late winter of 2020, followed by an on-site orientation and individual progress meetings throughout the Fellowship to assess progress, troubleshoot issues, and review next steps. Selected works are subject to final approval by Socrates staff and must meet safety requirements to be able to withstand the effects of weather and public use.


Fellowships are awarded to artists whose careers and artistic practices would benefit from the opportunity. Artists who are enrolled in a school, college, or university at the time of application are NOT eligible for ‘The Socrates Annual’ fellowship program. Artists who have applied before, but never shown at Socrates, are eligible.

The fellowship stipends and honoraria of three out of the 10+ artists selected for ‘The Socrates Annual’ will be paid for through support from The New York Community Trusts’s Edward & Sally Van Lier Fund.

*Please note

You do not need to meet the following criteria to submit a proposal for ‘The Socrates Annual’ fellowship – all are encouraged to apply! Artists who do meet the following criteria would be eligible to receive the fellowship funding through support provided by the Van Lier Fund.

• Are 30-years-old or younger as of April 15, 2020

• Identify with a historically underrepresented community

• Are a New York City-resident

• Have not previously received a Van Lier Fellowship


We only accept proposals submitted through our online portal.


Email with questions or concerns.


We are eternally grateful for longstanding support from the Jerome Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and The New York Community Trust, which has enabled the Emerging Artist Fellowship program to grow and evolve since its founding in 1995.

And special thanks goes to our public partners, including the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda R. Katz, City Council Speaker Cory Johnson, City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.


Socrates Sculpture Park has been a model of public art production, community activism, and socially inspired place-making for more than 30 years. Known for fostering ambitious and visionary artworks, Socrates has presented more than 1,200 artists on its five waterfront acres, providing them the financial support, materials, equipment, and space necessary to create large-scale works in the public realm. Open 365 days a year from 9am till dusk, the Park is a center of cultural programming – as a producer of contemporary sculpture exhibitions, a presenter of a multi-disciplinary performances, an arts educator, and a venue for healthy outdoor activities  – all offered completely free of charge to the public. The Park’s existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and improvement of our urban environment.