Call for Artists: Make America What America Must Become

Contemporary Arts Center

April 1-30, 2020

The Contemporary Arts Center is pleased to invite contemporary visual artists living across the Gulf South to submit to this year's open call for submissions. Artists who currently live and work in LA, TX, AL, MS, FL are eligible to apply. Eligible artists living in Louisiana are encouraged to apply.

In support of artists seeking opportunities during and after this health crisis, the CAC has extended the application deadline to April 30, 2020 and is waiving all membership and application fee requirements. All artists living and working in the Gulf South are encouraged to apply! The exhibition has been rescheduled to open in Fall '20. Dates to be announced soon.


"Great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become." – James Baldwin

America is an anxious nation chasing a more perfect union. As it's political body struggles along the arc of justice, the truths “we” hold, rarely appear self-evident. Complicated by an overtly mediated era, today's social movements demand a punctuated examination of #historicalconsequence and #power. At this moment, the distance between Art and Politics—reflection and response—seems to be collapsing. In a letter to his nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, philosopher and American commentator, James Baldwin, offered an optimistic but urgent message, "Great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become." 

During a summer of electoral consternation, the CAC presents "Make America What America Must Become," a call for artists living and working along the Gulf Coast. In the context of our shifting regional landscape, we are seeking artworks across media that examine how power is made manifest in culture, politics, economics, and ecology. We are also curious to see works that were created urgently in response to the current political paradigm and reflect broadly on the conjuring and churning of the American fever dream.

This exhibition is organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), New Orleans. Support for this exhibition is provided by Sydney & Walda Besthoff, The Helis Foundation, and the Welch Family Foundation. This exhibition is also supported by the City of New Orleans through a Community Arts Grant, as well as by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.

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