Artist Programs
Information and Application
JT Lab Mission
A century ago, artists played an important role in the formation of the National Park Service. Looking forward, Joshua Tree Art Innovation Laboratory aims to restore this role within the modern park service. Moving beyond making art for parks, JT Lab explores ways that the creative community can work with NPS to support our national parks. Using Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve as testing grounds, JT Lab explores new roles that arts professionals and arts students can play in helping NPS pursue its mission of preservation and engagement. It enlists artists not solely as image-makers, but as creative thinkers, problem-solvers, and communicators who are highly skilled at tapping into contemporary culture, generating new ideas, and engaging the public in fresh and innovative ways.

One component of JT Lab is an Artist Volunteer-in-Park program. This program will build bridges between local and regional art communities, provide multiple avenues for artists to contribute on periodic or temporary bases, and accommodate many disciplines, ages and talents. This program offers three paths to participate: Artists’ Tea, Artist Programs, and Artist Projects. Artists’ Tea is a weekly gathering of local and visiting artists and park visitors, exploring the diversity of art inspired by the park. Artist Programs gives artists opportunities to supplement existing Joshua Tree National Park interpretive efforts with programs of their own design. Artists Projects provides artists undertaking substantial projects of their own the opportunity to collaborate with park staff or to access park resources so as to enrich or complete their project.

Artist Programs - Overview
Joshua Tree National Park was established to “preserve and protect the scenic, natural, and cultural resources representative of the Colorado and Mojave deserts’ rich biological and geological diversity, cultural history, wilderness, recreational values, and outstanding opportunities for education and scientific study.” 

Every day Joshua Tree National Park Rangers offer enriching programs and educational experiences for visitors of all ages, including local and traveling school groups. Some of these programs include guided walks and hikes, patio talks at the various visitor centers, and casual conversations at a variety of specially selected sites. The duration and scale of each program is variable, lasting between 20 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the topic, intended audience, and location of the program.

Artist Programs will supplement existing park programs and give visitors the option of participating in events led by local and visiting artists. It is important that all program content support the park mission. Artists are encouraged to utilize their preferred media. Artists may use existing models for programs or explore alternative formats. Both approaches should carefully consider the intended audience and preferred environment or location for the proposed program. The strongest proposals will weave together all components of people, place, and theme into an immersive, co-created experience for all participants. Example ideas include: artist walks and talks, evening programs with instrumental accompaniment or creative storytelling, and lessons for tuning the senses.

Expectations of Artists
All selected artists will be signed up as National Park Service volunteers, through the Volunteer-in-Park (VIP) program. All selected artists must be able facilitate the proposed program at least three times, or have proposed a series of three related programs. These programs can be facilitated over the course of one or two seasons. The National Park Service and JT Lab are not responsible for providing lodging or transportation for the selected artist(s). If selected, the Artist Volunteer Coordinator will provide a list of resources and references to support the artist(s)’ logistics.

As representatives of the park and JT Lab, all artist volunteers must wear the JT Lab uniform and abide by the uniform code, Leave No Trace principles, and NPS volunteer behavioral codes when in contact with the public. Participants will be issued badges for identification and to gain access to the park during the period of time they will be acting as volunteers within the park.

All selected artists will be required to attend an artist volunteer training session (2-3 hours) prior to presenting selected programs to park visitors. The date for this training is April 13, 2017, and will be held at the JT Lab Field Office in Joshua Tree, CA and the National Park Headquarters in Twenty-nine Palms, CA.

Artist Eligibility
- Artists practicing in the fields of music, visual arts, performance,
writing, design, and new media.
- Emerging, mid-career, or established artists.
- Strong record of artistic practice
- Demonstrable experience engaging with the pubic (youth, community
organizations, and/or community members) through teaching,
workshops, artistic collaborations, or other outreach activities.
- U.S. citizen at least 21 years of age
- College degree or the equivalent in experience, as demonstrated
through the artist’s CV. Currently enrolled students are not eligible to
- Ability to find transportation and lodging during the program dates, if
selected. Artist(s) do not have to be local to the Morongo Basin, but
this program does not provide transportation or lodging.
Artist Selection - Information
- Approximately 6 artists will be selected to present programs during
the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 seasons.
- Selected artists will be credited on all educational and promotional
materials related to their work that is produced by the National Park
Service and JT Lab.
- A JT Lab uniform shirt and hat will be provided to wear during
Artist Programs - Evaluation Criteria
Program proposals must:

- Demonstrate artistic excellence
- Enrich the overall mission of Joshua Tree National Park
- Support the overall mission of JT Lab
- Deepen visitor experiences and promote knowledge and awareness
of the rich cultural and natural resources present in the Park
- Explore creative avenues for engaging a wide audience, including
families and small children.
- Adapt program content so it is accessible to the general public
- Consider site-appropriate and Leave No Trace techniques in
program design
- Follow all park regulations and consider public safety at all times
- Fall within the twenty minute to two-hour time timeframe.
- Be replicable at least three times or be designed as a series of three.

Application Requirements - Form and Attachments
1. Application Form.

- Apply online (preferred) or
- Download the application forms

2. Attachments.

Include the following attachments with the application form. If mailing application materials, include paper copies and a CD/DVD of images or work samples. If completing the form online, email the attachments as separates file once the online form is complete. Clearly label each file with the artist’s first/last name and the title of the attachment. For example: EricaJameson-CV.pdf or EricaJameson-Imagelist.pdf. For work samples, include a number with each file. For example: EricaJameson-work1.jpeg and EricaJameson-work1detail.jpeg

• A Curriculum Vitae (limited to 3 pages). Must be a PDF.
• A selection of 3 works or projects (with up to 3 details per project)
that best illustrate the medium or practice utilized in the proposed
program. This is a maximum of 12 images/files. All images must be
saved as JPEG. File resolution: 72 ppi/dpi. File dimension: no
smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest size. Maximum file size: 3
MB each. Written work samples must be PDF. For audio, .wav or
.mp3. Codec: wav. Bit rate maximum: 320 kbps. Maximum file size:
10 MB. Video Formats: .mov or .mp4. Maximum file size: 10 MB
• Annotated image/file list. Numbers must correspond to the submitted
image/file (example:
Include the following information:
- Title, date and, if site-specific, location.
- Medium and dimensions, if applicable (example: Oil on
canvas; h x w x d).
- Brief two to three sentence description of the work.

Application Checklist
o Complete application form:
- Apply Online Here or
- Download Form
o Send the following attachments:
- CV (limited to 3 pages)
- 3 works or project files (up to 12 total, if including
detail images)
- Annotated image/file list
o If completing the application form online, you will be prompted to
email all attachments to at the end of this
o If printing and mailing all materials, send the completed application
form with attachments to:
JT Lab – ATTN Jenny Kane
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
o All applications and supporting documents must be received by
March 15, 2017 5pm PST
o After submitting all application materials, you will receive an email
from JT Lab confirming that your application has
been received and is complete. If you do not receive this email, your
application has not been received. Please allow up to 3 business
days before expecting the confirmation email.
Application Timeline
Open Application January 15, 2017

Artist Program February 3, 2017
Info Session & Copper Mountain College
Application Q&A 6162 Rotary Way Room 401
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Submission Deadline March 15, 2017 5pm PST

Selection Panel Meets March 29, 2017

Selected Artists Notified March 31, 2017

Selected Artists Meeting April 13, 2017
and training session Location: TBD

For more information or Questions:
If you have questions regarding the project or this proposal form, please submit them in writing to Or by calling 310.749.8948. Questions submitted at least 24 hours before the submission deadline will be addressed in the order they are received.
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