Open Call to lead Creative Impact Lab Dunedin 2023-24

Open Call to lead Creative Impact Lab Dunedin 2023-24

Dates or Deadline: 
16 February 2023 to 9 April 2023
Organized by: 
Christiana Kazakou


Open Call to lead Creative Impact Lab Dunedin 2023-24

A six-week hybrid creative exchange that utilizes community-driven digital and new media art projects to address a local social challenge.

Leonardo is seeking a U.S.-based artist to lead our hybrid Creative Impact Lab in Dunedin, New Zealand/Aotearoa. The lab is a continuation and evolution of our strategic partner ZERO1’s Creative Impact Lab, an innovative model for cultural exchange. The lab will engage 20 New Zealander/Tāngata Aotearoa participants to address the social challenge of climate change. Exchange activities will take place late-November 2023 through early-February 2024 with precise dates to be determined in consultation with the host partner, Otago Museum.

The Challenge

“Pacific Island Nations know better than anyone that averting the worst of climate change is going to save lives…if we don’t, we’re going to lose a lot of lives. You’re already feeling the impact of having to adapt.” 
— U.S. President Joe Biden, Virtual Address at the Pacific Islands Forum, August 2021

As described in the U.S. Department of State’s landing page on the climate crisis, “Bold action to tackle the climate crisis is more urgent than ever. The record-breaking heat, floods, storms, drought, and wildfires devastating communities around the world underscore the grave risks we already face [...] No country can solve the climate crisis alone. Everyone must do their part.”

Climate change exemplifies one of the many intractable social and environmental challenges we face today, which are complex, interrelated, and impossible to solve with the expertise of a solitary disciplinary specialty. Addressing these ever-deepening challenges requires a transdisciplinary approach that draws on diverse perspectives and proficiencies from collaborators. Leonardo’s Creative Impact Lab aims to create a space for this type of collaboration and provides an inclusive opportunity for participants to creatively address climate change while gaining skills-based, professional training that broadens their perspective and expands their network.

The lab consists of four activity phases:

  1. Artist Talk: a presentation by the U.S. artist introducing the participants and the public to their creative practice.
  2. Workshops: a workshop series led by the U.S. artist which leverages their specific area of expertise and may also involve guest speakers. In parallel, the topic of creative industries is explored through frameworks of the arts, the sciences, social entrepreneurship, and community engagement.
  3. Project Development: Participants prototype artworks that apply workshop skills to address creative industries.
  4. Panel Review and Virtual Exhibition: the lab culminates in a public panel review wherein experts provide feedback on participant project prototypes. Projects are revealed to a wider public audience at a virtual exhibition opening. 


  • U.S. citizens residing in the U.S.
  • Mid-career or established artists working with new media and/or digital art.
  • Experience with teaching, facilitation, group collaboration, and/or social practice.

Who We’re Looking For

The ideal candidate will be indigenous and/or deeply rooted in indigenous community in the U.S. and have experience addressing climate change in their work. Leonardo is seeking innovative digital and new media artists who have demonstrated the qualities below:

  • Social Engagement: Artist has shown a commitment to their communities and have a practice that has addressed social and/or environmental challenges.
  • Collaborative Leadership: Experience facilitating dialogue and leading diverse groups towards collective goals through teaching, workshops, social practice, artistic collaboration, or other outreach activities.
  • Cultural Sensitivity & Adaptability: Experience working in international and/or intercultural contexts.
  • Strong Project Management & Communication Skills: Artists are independent self-starters, familiar with virtual collaboration tools, and responsive to the needs of multiple stakeholders.
  • Artistic Excellence: A strong record of artistic accomplishments that demonstrate innovative use of digital and new media.


Airfare, accommodation, and per diem are provided for the overseas portion of the exchange. The lead artist will receive a USD $2,500 fee for preparation, facilitation, and reporting, plus an assigned budget for lab production costs. The final production budget amount is determined during the project proposal phase and requires Leonardo approval.


Leonardo is committed to diversity and encourages applications from BIPOC, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and persons with disabilities, as well as applications from researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of new media disciplines and methods.

Application Deadline Extended: Sunday, April 9th 2023 at 11:45pm PDT

If you require support to complete your applicationplease email


Creative Impact Lab Dunedin (2023) is a Leonardo international exchange supported by U.S. Embassy New Zealand and hosted by Otago Museum

About Leonardo

Fearlessly pioneering since 1968, Leonardo serves as THE community forging a transdisciplinary network to convene, research, collaborate, and disseminate best practices at the nexus of arts, science and technology worldwide. Leonardo serves a network of transdisciplinary scholars, artists, scientists, technologists and thinkers, who experiment with cutting-edge, new approaches, practices, systems and solutions to tackle the most complex challenges facing humanity today.

As a not-for-profit 501(c)3 enterprising think tank, Leonardo offers a global platform for creative exploration and collaboration reaching tens of thousands of people across 135 countries. Our flagship publication, Leonardo, the world’s leading scholarly journal on transdisciplinary art, anchors a robust publishing partnership with MIT Press; our partnership with ASU infuses educational innovation with digital art and media for lifelong learning; our creative programs span thought-provoking events, exhibits, residencies and fellowships, scholarship and social enterprise ventures.

About Otago Museum

Otago Museum shares the natural, cultural and scientific stories of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

The Museum has been collecting objects for over 150 years, although many of the items in our collection are far older. Our collection includes over 1.5 million objects, which come from around the globe. We use these objects to tell our visitors more about the world – from here in Dunedin to deep space, from millions of years ago to envelope-pushing research – through galleries, exhibitions, displays, tours and talks.

About US Embassy New Zealand

The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand strives to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and New Zealand. This mission, implemented by U.S. embassies around the world, is overseen within the Department of State by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

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