Archives as Muse 2017





The Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists in collaboration with Denver Arts and Venues is accepting proposals from artists who would like to participate in the Archives as Muse program. Artists of all artistic genres, art organizations, or schools may submit proposals. The specific purpose of Archives as Muse is to attract, inspire, and serve regional creatives and guide them as they explore archival collections in the hope that artists will create a one-of-a-kind piece that will be performed or displayed, and discussed, at a public arts venue. The event will take place next October 2017 at the McNichols Building and will correlate with National Archives Month. The artwork may be visual, musical, performance-based, social, experiential, environmental, sensory—all delivery methods will be considered.

Using the attached Archives as Muse Directory, artists, creatives or groups who wish to contend for a spot in the program will visit an archive or archives in person and—inspired by a collection or item—submit a project proposal/abstract of the art work and the archive to be explored.

The proposals will be vetted by a juror team of archivists, art curators, writers, and performers. All participating artists, whether selected for the program or not, will be given a free ticket to the public program. The juror team will only be choosing 6-7 artists to present work at the public program held at 6 pm on October 26th, 2017, at the McNichols building in Denver, CO.

The works chosen for the public program will be awarded a $500 honorarium for their time and contribution. All original artworks will be returned and are the property of the artist.


At the public program, artists who were chosen to present their work will display or perform it during the 1 ½ to 2 hour event (with a fifteen-minute intermission). The public program will also consist of a side-by-side conversation with the artist and the archivist of the collection that inspired the artist; the two will talk about the process of working together.

The Archives as Muse program is developed with the hope that it can provide an engaging platform for archivists and artists to work together and that these conversations will contribute to a larger dialogue about archives and the creative process.


All applicants must reside in Colorado or Wyoming. Artists or art groups practicing in the fields of music, visual arts, performance, writing, design, and new media are eligible, as well as emerging, mid-career, or established artists.


Proposals from artists must include the following information:

  1. A written Letter of Intent which includes the following information:
    1. A description, image and or scan of the archive and or archival item that inspired the work and additional archival research to be further explored and name of the archivist you will be working with
    2. Description of the expected design approach and type of materials that would be used in the artist’s anticipated work.
    3. An idea of the public demonstration, performance or discussion to be shared at the public
  1. Up to 6 digital images of past works/projects; include an inventory sheet including title, medium, dimensions, location and date
  1. Visual example of proposed piece by one of the following:
    1. Drawings and or sketches
    2. Photographs
    3. Video snapshot
    4. Audio recording
    5. Written snapshot


June 6th, 2017 – Proposals due by midnight

July 3rd – Up to 7 artists will be selected and notified and should begin the design, fabrication, completion phase and continue archival research if necessary

September 11th – Artists should send an email with a project update including 3 images and or demonstration of progress and list any assistance they will need for the public performance such as audio visual set-up, sound, lighting, etc.

October 22nd – 2pm – 7pm Archives as Muse Rehearsal

October 26th – 6pm Archives as Muse Public Program PROPOSAL SUBMITTALS

Proposals should be submitted on or before June 6th, 2017 electronically before midnight, or can be dropped off at the front desk of the Clyfford Still Museum at 1250 Bannock Street before 5pm.

Please direct questions and materials to Jessie de la Cruz

Archives as Muse 2017, Program Director 720.354.4883

Call for Archives! (PDF)

Call for Artists! (PDF)

Archives as Muse Directory 2017 (PDF)