C2C Play Logo

UNESCO Creative Cities Network - Media Arts Cluster

Call for Artists

The cities of Austin (USA), Braga (Portugal), Calí (Colombia), Changsha (China), Dakar (Senegal), Enghien-les-Bains (France), Guadalajara (Mexico), Gwangju (South Korea), Karlsruhe (Germany), Kosice (Slovakia), Sapporo (Japan), Toronto (Canada), Viborg (Denmark), York (United Kingdom) members of the Media Arts Cluster of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are launching an open call to mark their commitment with the importance of cooperation and support to art and creativity as a major force for the sustainable development in these times of uncertainty.

The City of Toronto invites professional emerging artists (including artists teams) to submit their expression of interest to develop a project relying on a three month-long online artistic collaboration that is aligned to the theme of PLAY!

The collaborative artworks will be showcased during the cities' festivals whenever is suitable and online - through the participating cities platforms.

About the UCCN Media Arts Cluster

As UNESCO Creative Cities we are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals especially the role of creativity and culture in building sustainable urban communities. As Cities of Media Arts we aim to 1. Promote excellence of practice in media arts 2. Share our knowledge and skills 3. Encourage the engagement of the public and other professions in creativity 4. Foster sector development and 5. Raise the profile of the work of UNESCO Creative Cities.

Collaboration and Artwork Theme

For a year we have put our lives on Hold, faced the loss of those we love, and suffered grief along with others. We have each experienced isolation and frustration, and we are yearning for ways to restore our relationships with the world, and with one another.
At the same time, the experience of lockdown and the restriction of our freedoms has made us all more aware than ever before of what creativity and culture means to us, and what it means to lose these vital ways of relating to one another, and communicating our feelings and ideas. Children have not been able to learn to play with others, and we have all missed the playfulness of everyday human interaction.
Can we use our creative talents to help rebuild our cities, our relationships, and our communities, but make it better than what went before? Can we imagine a fairer, more sustainable future? Can we use our technologies to help us learn to play again? What will happen when we press Play?
City to City encourages artists to work collaboratively, yet online, on a project related to the theme. The artists will be teamed up during a mediation process of four C2C LAB sessions, which will be led by coaches-curators from participating cities. The C2C LABs are designed to get a deeper understanding of the theme, presentation of ideas, networking and finally, matchmaking.
The project relies on several core values: intercultural collaboration, artistic/city diversity, innovation, solidarity, knowledge-transfer and experience sharing.

Artwork characteristics & Budget

  • Budget per artist: 2,000 Euros
  • Field: Media Arts
  • Piece to be co-produced | 1 Digital piece per team
  • Description: 3 month-long online collaboration, intensity to be defined by teams themselves
    *Artists should be aware that they might be in contact in different time zones. The piece must consider characteristics to be able to share in digital platforms of all UCCN cities, as well as to be developed under a self-sustainable principle, as simple as possible. It is also required the participation of the selected artists in the C2C LAB sessions (four sessions) and in a Making-of video about the process.


Professional artists/groups/creative artists from eligible cities: Austin (USA), Braga (Portugal), Calí (Colombia), Changsha (China), Dakar (Senegal), Enghien-les-Bains (France), Guadalajara (Mexico), Gwangju (South Korea), Karlsruhe (Germany), Kosice (Slovakia), Sapporo (Japan), Toronto (Canada), Viborg (Denmark), York (United Kingdom).

Evaluation Criteria and Selection Process

The selection of an artist, or artist team, shall be based on their qualifications and ability to meet the requirements as determined and approved by the focal points of the participating Media Arts cities and their own team of curators.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Artistic merit and technical expertise with artwork that incorporates media arts;
  • Demonstrated innovative and effective approach to art projects of a similar scope;
  • Ability to create artwork within the stated constraints;
  • and Ability to respond to the theme/prompt
  • Ability and interest in developing a collaborative digital art work (as illustrated through the letter of interest)

Artists will be notified of selection by July 16th
*Artists selected should confirm their participation by July 19th

Artists will have an online kick-off meeting- the C2C LAB 1 with other artists, coaches and the focal points on August 3rd

Submission requirements

  • Application form
  • Portfolio, CV, website/online presence, if applicable
  • A video of interest: Please state your interest in co-creation with artists from other Media Arts cities.
    Please describe any potential visions for a collaborative digital artwork you are interested in creating with the reference to the call's theme PLAY!
    The video should be recorded in English in a maximum duration of 3 minutes, mp4/mov format.

Schedule / Important dates

Deadline for reception of proposals: June 30th
Evaluation/Selection: July 1st to 16th
Artists acceptance: by July 19th
Announcement of selections: July 22th