CARAVANA: Mobilizing the Central American Arts, 1984–Present, 2019
Curated by Fátima Ramírez, Mauricio Ramírez, Josué Rojas

Submit your proposal by Thursday, December 8, 2022


For over a decade, the Curatorial Residency provides curators with production support to execute a large-scale visual arts exhibition in SOMArts’ Main Gallery. The residency is designed to offer curators tools to further their curatorial practice and explore timely social issues.

ARTISTS/CURATORS SELECTED RECEIVE access and support from SOMArts’ staff and local artists and curators to mount a large scale exhibition and community engagement activities in SOMArts’ Main Gallery during one of the following exhibition dates:

November–December 2023
February–April, 2024

Community engagement activities may include work–in–progress events, workshops, performances, panel discussions, talkback sessions, artist talks, gallery tours, educational forums, or other activities to highlight an artist’s work and engage audiences.

Selected projects will receive :

  • A $6000 project grant
  • Virtual Gallery production
  • Installation/deinstallation support
  • Technical & event production support
  • Promotional support
  • Monthly check-ins

Curatorial Residents must be available to attend an advocacy or donor cultivation event and must submit a final report within 60 days of project completion.

The strongest proposals are those who serve SOMArts’ mission of leveraging the power of art as a tool for social change. Proposals will not be considered for one-person exhibitions, or exhibitions that are largely dependent on a general call to artists, or inappropriately scaled for the 31,000 square foot gallery.

Submit your proposal

Submit a proposal here
Due Date: Thursday, December 8, 2022, 5 PM PST

We have moved our open call to SlideRoom. Applicants will prompted to create a free account in order to their submit proposal.

Media File Requirements

  • Images: .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga
  • Videos: Links to YouTube or Vimeo, up to two minutes
  • Documents: .pdf, documents must be less than 10 MB
  • Linked Media: Vimeo, YouTube, SoundCloud, Sketchfab

Online Q&A

Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 6–7 PM PST
An opportunity to talk to the residency organizer online and ask any questions you might have about the application process or the residency. If interested, email [email protected] to RSVP.

Applicants will be notified of the results week of February 6, 2023

  • November 30, 6–7 PM PST: Online Q&A
  • December 8, 5 PM PST: Application due
  • Week of February 6: Email notification of application status
  • April 2023: Orientation

*check ins will be virtual unless otherwise notified


  • Prioritizes applicants from communities who have been historically denied opportunities in contemporary art institutions.
  • Open to any individual, collective, group, or non-profit organization (lead applicant must meet all of the eligibility requirements). The lead applicant must be the primary point of contact for the project/proposal and this person may only be the lead applicant on one proposal.
  • Must be based in or resides in San Francisco or Alameda County and has done so continuously for at least two years prior to the due date.
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicants that have received a SOMArts Curatorial Residency within the previous two years are not eligible to apply again as lead applicants. Past recipients may participate as collaborators for a different project.
  • 501c3 non–profit and fiscally sponsored organizations with operating budgets greater than $100,000 are not eligible to apply. Projects may not be part of the primary programming of an established 501c3 organization with an operating budget greater than $100,000.
  • Full-time students at the time of the residency are discouraged to apply because of the anticipated intense schedule during production but we are open for dialogue. Reach out to [email protected] with questions.

Selection Criteria
The selection is based on:

  • Eligibility
  • Artistic & creative quality of the proposed exhibition including clarity, power, and nuance of the curatorial concept. Selected artists and artworks support the curatorial concept
  • Technical skills & logistics: quality of work samples and floorplan. Evidence of innovation or technical skills.
  • Capacity and Growth: Applicant has skills, experience, and capacity to execute proposed exhibition. If partners are listed, there are clearly articulated commitments and/or roles. The residency is an opportunity for the curator to grow their skills or curatorial practice.
  • Viability of the project and budget: budget seems reasonable, achievable and addresses the needs of the exhibition and public events
  • Event/Programming Engagement: public events are clearly described. Proposal has the ability to connect artists and audiences through multiple dimensions of participation and/or education
The Third Muslim

The Third Muslim: Queer and Trans* Muslim Narratives of Resistance and Resilience, 2018
Curated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Yas Ahmed

Bay Area Deaf Arts 2021
Curated by Antoine Hunter