What would YOU tell the US National Endowment of Arts ! Now is the time to mobilise !

colleagues

As i mentionned in my previous blog the US community of practice in our art/science/technology fields are getting attention from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine with the upcoming April 12 in Washington DC  : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-national-convening-on-the-integration-the-arts-humanities-and-stemm-in-higher-ed-tickets-53159362083 

Now the US National Endowment of the Arts has launched an important process of consultation with the community- https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=22e0f9e9e0e c9003a98e3434b0d4beff&tab=core&_cview=0 

please share this with your colleagues and encourage participation and interezt

  1. What is the range of examples of such work across artistic disciplines and technology platforms? Are there categories or classifications for identifying this work, by genre or sub-discipline or by type of technology used?
  2. What is the range of career paths or trajectories taken by artists working with technology? Across artistic disciplines, how are these pathways similar or different?
  3. How do artists working with technology participate in cross-sectoral and/or cross-disciplinary partnerships, and/or in their local creative economies? How are these relationships formed and to what purpose? What
  4. are the associated risks, challenges, and opportunities for artists?
  5. What are current and prospective sources of support for artistic practices using technology, and how might they be improved and/or sustained?
  6. What types of technical training and resources are used and needed to support artistic practices using technology? What gaps in training and resources currently exist for these artists, across
  7. how might they be improved and/or sustained?
  8. What types of technical training and resources are used and needed to support artistic practices using technology? What gaps in training and resources currently exist for these artists, across artistic disciplines and technology platforms?
  9. What are current and emergent models for supporting artistic practices (financially and non-financially) using technology? Across artistic disciplines, how are these models similar or different?
  10. What are organizational risks, challenges, and opportunities in supporting artists working with technology? How do these differ among for-profit and non-profit organizations? By sector, artistic discipline, and/or technology platform?The NEA will convene a Technical Working Group of stakeholders in the arts and technology fields, including, but not limited to, artists, arts presenters and curators, arts researchers, tech industry representatives and other funders working at this intersection. The Technical Working Group will provide feedback on the research plan, selected deliverables, and the dissemination of study findings, and will recommend participants in the roundtables, interviews, and case studies.

 

ROGER MALINA

DRAFT Statement of Work US National Endowment for the Arts

Arts & Technology Field Scan

 

SECTION C

DESCRIPTION/SPECIFICATIONS/STATEMENT OF WORK

C.1 GENERAL BACKGROUND

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The agency extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, regional arts organizations, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

America has increasingly become a digital society. A significant proportion of people’s lives are now spent online. As of 2016, 88% of Americans use the Internet, and roughly three-quarters of American adults have broadband internet service at home.[1] The vast majority of Americans – 95% – now own a cellphone of some kind, and the share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%.[2] About 70% of Americans use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves.[3]

Artists and other content creators, too, are increasingly using digital and emerging media as a medium for artistic expression. For the grant-making purposes of the NEA, Media Arts is defined by all genres and forms that use electronic media, film and technology (analog & digital; old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness of any discipline. This grant support extends to projects presented via film, television, radio, audio, video, the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, video games, immersive and multi-platform storytelling, and satellite streaming. Yet it is difficult to define a field that is in a constant state of refinement and innovation, with constantly emerging forms, including data storytelling, docu-gaming, interactive films, gestural interfaces, and generative art.[4] It is also unclear whether creators in media arts identify as artists and whether they develop their artistic practices in traditional arts programs or through other means.

These forms of emerging artistic practice don’t exist in isolation — artists require networks to circulate, evolve, and gain audiences.[5] Arts organizations have striven to keep pace with technological innovations, incorporating social media, mobile apps, games, internet resources, and online events into their offerings.[6] The 2014 report, Like, link, share: How cultural institutions are embracing digital technology, commissioned by the Wyncote Foundation, described the benefits of these innovative practices, including “larger and often younger audiences, deeper audience engagement, new community relationships, new revenue, and renewed program vitality.”[7] However, the intersection of arts and technology is not limited to engaging with audiences through arts organizations. Content creators work with emerging formats online, in public spaces, and with non-arts organizations, generating funders’ interest in learning how this dynamic ecosystem is functioning, how these artists support their creative endeavors, and how better to support these networks in sustainable ways.

This study responds in part to the NEA’s FY 2017-2021 Research Agenda, which calls for new investments in exploratory studies that describe factors that enhance or inhibit arts participation and/or arts/cultural assets, including the arts-and-cultural workforce. By fully understanding how artists are incorporating technology into their creative work, and by learning more about the current and prospective sources of support for these artistic practices, the NEA can make informed decisions on how to leverage greater support for this field. This qualitative study will respond to the following research questions:

  1. How do artists incorporate technology in their artistic practices?
  2. What is the range of examples of such work across artistic disciplines and technology platforms? Are there categories or classifications for identifying this work, by genre or sub-discipline or by type of technology used?
  3. What is the range of career paths or trajectories taken by artists working with technology? Across artistic disciplines, how are these pathways similar or different?
  4. How do artists working with technology participate in cross-sectoral and/or cross-disciplinary partnerships, and/or in their local creative economies? How are these relationships formed and to what purpose? What
  5. are the associated risks, challenges, and opportunities for artists?
  6. What are current and prospective sources of support for artistic practices using technology, and how might they be improved and/or sustained?
  7. What types of technical training and resources are used and needed to support artistic practices using technology? What gaps in training and resources currently exist for these artists, across artistic disciplines and technology platforms?
  8. What are current and emergent models for supporting artistic practices (financially and non-financially) using technology? Across artistic disciplines, how are these models similar or different?
  9. What are organizational risks, challenges, and opportunities in supporting artists working with technology? How do these differ among for-profit and non-profit organizations? By sector, artistic discipline, and/or technology platform?The NEA will convene a Technical Working Group of stakeholders in the arts and technology fields, including, but not limited to, artists, arts presenters and curators, arts researchers, tech industry representatives and other funders working at this intersection. The Technical Working Group will provide feedback on the research plan, selected deliverables, and the dissemination of study findings, and will recommend participants in the roundtables, interviews, and case studies.

It is strongly advised that proposals include as appropriate subcontractors with substantial subject matter expertise and past research experience in the field of contemporary arts and technology, the cultural creative economy, and the ecosystem of artists, institutions, funding entities, and other organizations working at the intersection of contemporary arts and technology.

C.2 PROJECT SCOPE

The project scope is described below. Note that the Contractor’s research plan, which should reflect input from the NEA Project Director and the Technical Working Group, will finalize specific project activities, including deliverables. The project will be implemented in two distinct phases; Phase 1 focuses on research, and Phase 2 focuses on dissemination of study findings.

Phase 1

Attend a project kick-off meeting with the NEA Project Director

Prepare a detailed timeline and work plan, including regular communications with NEA Project Director

  • Prepare a research plan and execute the first phase of the study. At a minimum, the research study shall include:
    • Literature scan of research papers, conference proceedings, reports, and other relevant publications and analysis of selected NEA grant project descriptions
    • Data collection through:
      • Group discussions taking place at 4 regional roundtables and one virtual roundtable;
      • Individual interviews with up to 20 field experts, including, but not limited to, artists, heads of leading art and technology schools, cultural institution leaders, artist service organization staff, public and private sector funders, and others
      • Case studies with 10 artists engaging with technology
    • Prepare interim and final reports presenting study findings

Phase 2

  • Support the dissemination of report findings through:
    • Presentations and discussion taking place at 7 in-person roundtables;
    • Series of 10 briefs or articles commissioned from media arts stakeholders, including, but not limited to, artists, artist service organization staff, and cultural institution leaders.

C.3 DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS

The Contractor shall perform the following tasks:

Phase I

  1. Project Kick-off Meeting

The Contractor shall meet with the NEA Project Director, Contracting Officer and selected agency staff to review the project purposes and tasks. Meeting time will not exceed two (2) hours. This meeting may take place on-site or via videoconference or teleconference. Within a week, the Contractor shall prepare a memorandum (Deliverable #1) summarizing the discussion and making note of decisions made.

  1. Timeline/Work Plan/Communications

The Contractor shall prepare a timeline and brief work plan (Deliverable #2) for accomplishing the remaining tasks of the contract, incorporating input from the kick-off meeting. The Contractor shall first submit a draft timeline and work plan for review by the Project Director following the kick-off meeting. Following the receipt of feedback from the Project Director, the Contractor shall prepare and submit a final timeline and work plan, which will include a meeting schedule and schedule for all deliverables inclusive of multiple drafts and deliverable review periods. The work plan shall include participation in regular teleconferences with the Project Director (not to exceed once a week) and preparation of brief minutes documenting decisions made at these meetings.

  1. Research Plan Development

The Contractor shall prepare a detailed research plan (Deliverable #3). In addition to the required elements as prescribed in the statement of work, other components may be added to the research plan at the Government’s discretion. Primary methods for the research study shall include the literature scan, including an analysis of selected NEA grant project descriptions; group discussions taking place at up to 7 NEA-organized regional roundtables and a national convening; up to 20 field expert interviews; and case studies with 10 artists.  The research plan also shall describe how the Contractor intends to comply with relevant Federal laws and regulations, including the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The Contractor shall submit a draft research plan for review by the Project Director and NEA team. Following receipt of feedback from the NEA, the Contractor shall prepare and submit a final research plan to include all protocols for interviews, group discussions, etc., and templates of communications that will be sent to study participants. Because of the iterative nature of this study, a detailed case-study plan may be omitted from the research plan at this stage, provided it is added to the research plan after the national convening. Once the NEA has approved the research plan, the Contractor may proceed with conducting the study.

The research plan shall not exceed 40 pages in length (inclusive of appendices; all proposed data collection instruments should be included in an appendix). The plan shall include:

  1. Updated research questions;
  2. A description of the research design;
  3. Identification of data collection methods and protocols;
  4. An analytical plan, including a description of qualitative analysis procedures;
  5. Sampling strategies for each research task;
  6. An overall study timeline;
  7. An approach to the protection of human subjects/consent strategy (as appropriate), including copies of consent forms/protocols;
  8. A communications plan, including copies of correspondence with study participants; and
  9. A reporting/dissemination plan, including a proposed table of contents for the final report
  10. Conduct Literature Scan & Grant Analysis

During the first phase of research, the Contractor shall plan and conduct a brief literature scan of research papers, conference proceedings, reports, and other relevant publications on how artists are incorporating technology into their work and the infrastructure and ecosystem supporting these artists. The NEA Project Director shall provide some literature resources; however, the Contractor is expected to identify other pertinent resources. The Contractor shall budget sufficient funds to include up to 20 resources in the literature scan. The literature scan deliverable shall consist of a table that presents for each resource the citation, relevant research question(s), and summary of relevant content responding to the research question(s), accompanied by a summary report (not exceeding 15 pages) that presents findings organized by research question (Deliverable #4). The literature scan findings shall be incorporated into the draft report as part of task 5.

The Contractor also shall conduct an analysis of project descriptions of selected grants awards for the last five years; NEA staff will select for analysis no more than 150 grant projects. For most recent awards (2016-2017), the available narrative is mostly limited to project descriptions found in grant applications typically not exceeding one page in length. For older awards (2013-2015), written responses to final report questions will be made available to the Contractor; the Contractor should anticipate up to four pages of text per final report. Quantitative project data are also available for analysis. In analyzing data, the Contractor is expected to use both qualitative and quantitative methods. The grant project analysis shall be incorporated into the Deliverable #4 summary report.

  1. Facilitate Group Discussions at Regional Roundtables

In close coordination with the Project Director, the Contractor shall facilitate large group discussions at 4 Regional Roundtables (Detroit, MI: New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; San Jose, CA) and one virtual roundtable. Up to 15 artists, heads of leading art and technology schools, cultural institution leaders, artist service organization staff, public and private sector funders, and others shall be invited to participate in these roundtables. The Contractor shall be responsible for the following tasks for each roundtable (as appropriate):

  • Invite field experts to the event (NEA will propose a list of invitees);
  • Book the meeting space and arrange for all conference incidentals such as, but not limited to, A/V rentals (regional roundtables only) or schedule the webinar (virtual roundtable only)
  • Arrange and pay for travel, lodging, and meals for attendees in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations and published GSA per diem rates (regional roundtables only);
  • Handle on-site attendee registration (regional roundtables only);
  • Facilitate the large group discussion;
  • Draft all meeting materials, including pre-meeting mailings/background material and materials for the event; and
  • Prepare a brief report summarizing the discussion (Deliverable #5).

The Contractor shall be responsible for arranging and paying for travel, meals, and lodging for attendees; and arranging and paying for all meeting-related costs, including, but not limited to, venue rental, audio-visual equipment rental, and other expenses. These costs should be reflected in the Contractor’s proposal in response to this statement of work. The NEA anticipates that all venues will be donated and that 25% of roundtable participants will be local and therefore will not require travel arrangements.

The key deliverable associated with this task is a draft report not to exceed 20 pages that identifies key findings from this stage of research, organized by research question (Deliverable #6); this report shall form the basis for the final project report (7).

  1. Conduct Interviews with Field Experts

The Contractor shall conduct in-depth interviews with up to 20 artists and other field experts identified through the Regional Roundtables. The Contractor shall prepare for NEA review and approval a recommended list of interviewees prior to initiating contact with experts. The Contractor shall conduct interviews without NEA logistical support, although the Project Director retains the right to audit selected interviews with advance notice provided to the Contractor.

Following the interviews, the Contractor shall update the report drafted for task 5 with key findings from the interviews, organized by research question (Deliverable #8). The report should not exceed 40 pages at this stage. The Contractor shall also provide transcripts of all interviews as a separate deliverable (Deliverable #7).

  1. Conduct Case Studies and Complete Final Report

The Contractor shall conduct case studies with 10 artists. It is anticipated that the case studies will incorporate observations (online; up to 6 case studies may be conducted in-person), repeated interviews with the artist, interviews with other individuals that are part of the artist’s ecosystem (including, but not limited to, heads of leading art and technology schools, cultural institution leaders, artist service organization staff, audience members and/or patrons, and public and private sector funders), and other documentation or data available from interviewees or in the public domain. The Contractor shall prepare for NEA review and approval a recommended list of interviewees prior to initiating contact with experts. The Contractor shall conduct case studies mostly without the agency’s logistical support, although the Project Director retains the right to audit selected interviews with advance notice provided to the Contractor.  In analyzing data, the Contractor is expected to use both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Following the field work, the Contractor shall update and finalize the report drafted for task 5 with key findings and case studies, organized by research question and also presented as vignettes within the report (Deliverable #9). The final report shall also highlight areas for further investigation and propose specific policy recommendations for the NEA and other stakeholders. The final report should align with the reporting/dissemination plan presented in the approved Research Plan. The report should not exceed 100 pages at this stage. The Contractor shall expect up to three rounds of feedback from the project director and other NEA staff on this report. At least one of these rounds of feedback will reflect input from the Technical Working Group. The Contractor may opt for a work session with agency staff instead of one round of feedback.

Phase 2

  1. Commission and Produce Briefs or Articles

In close coordination with the NEA Media Arts Director and Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, the Contractor shall commission and produce a series of 10 briefs or articles from media arts stakeholders, including, but not limited to, artists, artist service organization staff, and cultural institution leaders. Each brief or article should not exceed 1,500 words. The NEA will provide a list of proposed writers and topics to the Contractor. It is the Contractor’s responsibility to contract with individual writers and manage the brief/article production process, including editing and finalizing the text documents. The deliverable for this task is a set of 10 briefs/articles in Microsoft Word format (Deliverable # 10). The final briefs/articles will be posted by the NEA Public Affairs team. The recommended stipend for each writer is $1,500.

  1. Facilitate Regional Roundtables

In close coordination with the NEA Media Arts Director and Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, the Contractor shall plan and implement Regional Roundtable discussions in 7 locations across the country (Charlotte, NC; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; St. Paul, MN; San Jose, CA). Up to 15 media arts stakeholders, including artists, heads of leading art and technology schools, cultural institution leaders, artist service organization staff, public and private sector funders, and others, shall be invited to participate in these roundtables. The Contractor shall be responsible for the following tasks for each roundtable (as appropriate):

  • Invite field stakeholders to the event (NEA will propose a list of invitees);
  • Book the meeting space and arrange A/V rentals and other conference items (as appropriate);
  • Arrange and pay for travel, lodging, and meals in accordance with…(See above language in section 5) for attendees;
  • Handle on-site attendee registration;
  • Facilitate the roundtable;
  • Draft all roundtable materials, including pre-meeting mailings/background material and materials for the event; and
  • Prepare notes summarizing the discussion.

The Contractor shall be responsible for arranging and paying for travel, meals, and lodging for attendees; and arranging and paying for all meeting-related costs, including, but not limited to, venue rental, audio-visual equipment rental, , and other expenses. These costs should be reflected in the Contractor’s proposal in response to this statement of work. The NEA anticipates that all venues will be donated and that 25% of roundtable participants will be local and therefore will not require travel arrangements.

The key deliverable associated with this task is a draft report not to exceed 10 pages that summarizes the discussion at each event (Deliverable #11).

  1. 4 Requirements for All Report Deliverables

Each report deliverable resulting from this contract will include a Microsoft Word version. Consistent with other NEA publications, this report should follow The Chicago Manual of Style and the NEA style guide, which will be provided to the Contractor at the time of award. Electronic versions of all tables, charts, graphs, and data visualizations should be submitted in the program that was used to create them (e.g., Excel, Photoshop, Tableau), and the Contractor shall work with NEA staff to determine an appropriate and compatible file format to use. The Contractor shall be responsible for ensuring compatibility of submissions.

This is a tentatively proposed timeline. The timeline is subject to change at the NEA’s discretion up to contract award.

Project Phase/Task Key Deliverables (see numbered deliverables in Detailed Specifications section)* Due Date
(Weeks after Kick-off Mtg)
1. Project Kick-off Meeting 1. Memorandum 2 weeks
2. Timeline/Work Plan/Communications 2. Timeline / work plan 3 weeks
3. Research Plan Development 3. Research plan 10 weeks
4. Conduct Literature Scan & Grant Analysis 4. Summary report with table 16 weeks
5. Facilitate Group Discussions at Regional Roundtables 5. Individual regional roundtable reports 20-32 weeks (variable)
6. Draft study report 34 weeks
6. Conduct Interviews with Field Experts 7. Interview transcripts 39 weeks
8. Updated draft study report 40 weeks
7. Conduct Case Studies and Complete Final Report 9. Final study report 54 weeks
8 Commission and Produce Briefs or Articles 10. Series of 10 commissioned briefs/articles 66 weeks
9. Facilitate Regional Roundtables 11. Roundtable report 75 weeks

 

* The Contractor shall provide for up to three (3) rounds of feedback from the Project Director on all draft deliverables unless otherwise indicated in Section C.3. This process is accounted for in the proposed timeline.

**This schedule assumes that Paperwork Reduction Act clearance will not be required.

C.5 KEY PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS:

Project Director

Education: Master’s degree

Years of Experience:  At least 5 years technical experience conducting projects similar in scope to the present study; 4 years supervisory experience

Experience & Other Requirements: Experience leading research studies that involve literature reviews; collecting information through interviews, large group discussions, and case studies; conducting landscape analyses of infrastructure needs; producing briefs; and planning and facilitating large group meetings that have involved professional presentations and extensive travel arrangements. Experience supervising projects similar in scope. Demonstrated ability to effectively and professionally interact with government program managers, the COR, and public stakeholders.

 

Subject Matter Expert

Education: Bachelor’s degree

Years of Experience:  At least 5 years technical experience in the field of media arts research

Experience & Other Requirements: Experience in research on digital and emerging media, artists, and arts organizations. The individual must have conducted prior research in the field of contemporary arts and technology, the cultural creative economy, and/or the ecosystem of artists, institutions, funding entities, and other organizations working at the intersection of contemporary arts and technology.

 

[1]http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/

 

[2] http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

 

[3] http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/

 

[4] https://makinganewreality.org/categories-of-emerging-media-ab120b65ee5c#4e52

 

[5] https://makinganewreality.org/defining-emerging-media-b48794e15138

 

[6] http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/01/04/arts-organizations-and-digital-technologies/

 

[7]  http://likelinkshare.org/about/

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.