‘Envisioning A Just Pittsburgh’ Call for Diverse Art

We are excited to call all members of the Pittsburgh community at large to submit creative works of all kinds to help us envision a just Pittsburgh.


We are looking for pieces that expand diversity consciousness and embrace and celebrate minoritized cultures and perspectives.  For over a century, institutions like the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh have served as essential public resources, connecting Pittsburghers to each other and the world.

We recognize, however, that our endeavors to cultivate a just and equitable city must be more intentional, intersectional, and reflective of our evolving society.  We extend beyond the confines of our institutions and commit ourselves as responsive and collaborative partners for progress and transformation. At the heart of our efforts is the creation of, “Envisioning A Just Pittsburgh,” an inclusive Call for Diverse Art to community members of Southwestern PA to share their visions for a just and equitable Pittsburgh.

We invite our vibrant and underrepresented communities to submit creative works – be it visual art, writing, or performance – that inspire and expand our perspective of the future Pittsburgh communities in which we all thrive. We encourage folks to express themselves boldly and authentically and use their art to encourage, challenge, and educate others.

(Image: “Peace of Mind” by Morgan Overton, 2022)

Awards Categories:

  • Writing for the Page: Short Story, Poetry, Personal Essay, Flash Fiction
  • Visual Art: 2D, 3D, Photography, Sculpture, Fiber Art
  • Performance: Video, Music, Dance, Slam Poetry
  • Interdisciplinary: Works that cross categories
  • Youth Arts: All of the categories above, for folks 18 and under.

Juried Art Process

This is a juried visual art exhibition. Jurors will review submitted work based on the criteria of the call: does the piece inspire and expand the consciousness of what a thriving Pittsburgh regional community would be, is it bold and authentic, does it inspire and challenge others?


All works are eligible for award distinctions and awardees will be announced in December 2023. There Creative works may be displayed and performed in person at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP), Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), the University of Pittsburgh, 1Hood Media and the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), additionally on web and social media channels. Winners and runner's up will receive their awards and participate in showcases that will take place throughout February 2024.

Monetary Awards

  • Four Adult first-place awards at $2,000 each
    • One per category, plus Interdisciplinary
  • Four first-place Youth awards at $500
    •  One per category, plus Interdisciplinary
  • Honorable Mention
    • Additional artists will receive monetary compensation for honorable mention and if chosen for physical display.

Artist Residency

The Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh committed to providing Artist Residencies for both adult and youth winners in their branches. This will be a paid residency.

Artist Criteria

  • Artists must be a part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area diaspora: https://pittsburghregion.org/real-estate/ as current residents, attending school in Pittsburgh, or those born and still attached to the city.
  • Youth Artists are those who are 18 years old or younger on Oct. 20, 2023. 
  • Adult Artists are those who are 19 years old or older on Oct. 20, 2023.

To respect the spirit of diversity and inclusion, we ask that creators keep overall mindfulness when submitting work, specifically: I will embrace the concept of a civil community, which abhors violence, theft, and exploitation of others. I will support a culture of diversity by respecting the rights of those who differ from me. I will contribute to the development of a caring community where compassion for others and freedom of thought and expression are valued. I will honor, challenge, and contribute to the artistic heritage left by those who preceded me and work to leave this a better place for those who follow.

Art Originality

  • All work must be original, designed, and created by the applicant(s).
  • All work must have a relation to the exhibition theme, “Envisioning a Just Pittsburgh,” described above.
  • All work must not have been previously exhibited in Pittsburgh.
  • All work must have been completed within the past two years from the exhibition date of February 2024.
  • Video and sound components must be intended for display in a gallery setting.
  • Documented performances (such as concerts, recitals, music performances, etc.) are ineligible.
  • The video or sound art piece must be the original work of art.

Submission criteria

  • Open to all creative mediums including, but not limited to visual art, music, dance, and writing.
  • All works will be submitted virtually initially, with winners and selected works hand deliver for installation and performance. 
  • Performative work must not exceed 4 minutes of video. Winners will perform their works live in 2024.
  • Physical canvas or fiber art submissions cannot exceed 10 feet wide or taller than 6 feet high.
  • Sculptures cannot exceed 15 pounds, 6 feet in height, and 2 by 2 feet in base. All submissions have to be submitted virtually.
  • Written works submitted for the page are not to exceed 1000 words.

Participants can submit up to two (2) creative pieces total (*both must be submitted individually and labeled as ENTRY #1-first, last name and ENTRY #2-first, last name). Artists may share up to three (3) images of the work including wide-angle and detail shots.

Acceptable submission formats:

  • Images (hi-res) = .png and .jpg
  • Documents = .doc and .pdf
  • Audio = .mp3 and .mp4
  • Video = .mpg and .mov

Exhibition Requirements

All work must be ready to hang, exhibit, or be installed during the scheduled hours of operations as determined by the production team. Installation-based works must be installed by the artist and contractor and should take no longer than an 8-hour workday to install.

Artists will receive notification of application status in November 2023. Selected artists must sign and return the CMP IDEA department agreement by Dec. 3, 2023.

All accepted artworks must be delivered in person and picked up at the curated assigned site during the schedule outlined in the acceptance letter. Shipments of artwork cannot be received directly by the sites. Arrangements must be made by the artist to deliver the work to the site per the acceptance letter requirements and exhibition agreement.

Works that are selected for exhibition may be offered for sale at the artist’s discretion. The exhibition will be staged at the discretion of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh and an independent contractor.

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh reserve the right to refuse any work that differs from the concept submitted as well as any inappropriate work or display.

Submission deadline: 11:59 p.m. Oct. 20, 2023

(Based on the number of responses we reserve the right to close this form once we have reached our maximum capacity for submissions)

Submit your work

Artists can sign up here for more details about submission criteria, deadlines and awards.