The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs today announced a Call for Artists for SPARC: Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide, a community arts engagement program that places artists-in-residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The competitive program will provide selected artists with access to workspace in senior centers and a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. Participating seniors will be engaged in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, which will also include a public program component – a series of exhibits, open houses and other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community. This initiative seeks to connect artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impact the well-being of seniors through arts-based activities.

Artists will be selected for SPARC residencies through a competitive application process managed by the local arts councils in each borough– Brooklyn Arts Council, Bronx Council on the Arts, Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Queens Council on the Arts. Starting today, application materials and guidelines are available on the local arts council websites. The deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2011.

SPARC is a collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging and the City’s five local arts councils, and previously ran as a successful pilot called Space for Art.  This initiative was developed as part of Age friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors. The program is supported, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program.

To download the application, please click on the links to the websites of the local arts councils below.

Bronx Council on the Arts

Brooklyn Arts Council

Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Queens Council on the Arts

For more information visit

Photo Caption: Off The Wall, Arnold Wechsler (age 82). Image courtesy of gallery 307, Carter Burden Center for the Aging

Photo Credit: Sonia J. Lessuck