FAQ

Admissions Process

Who should apply? 
How does the admissions process work?
How will participants be placed in apprenticeships?
What we are looking for in your short essays?

What should I put in my portfolio?
Are there any guidelines for letters of recommendation?
How does Academic Credit Work?
What does the tuition cover?
How does Financial Aid Work?
How does Work Study Work?
I’m having trouble getting my login information from the online application, what do I do?
Can I receive an application notification in advance?

The Program

Where will I live?
What will the classes be like?
Can international participants take part?
Can I complete an internship or job during the program?

Miscellaneous

Will I get a job from this program?
What measures are in place in the event of an emergency?
What is the program’s position on diversity?

 

Admissions Process

Who should apply? 
New York Arts Practicum (NYAP) is a bridge between an academic life as a student and life as a professional artist. Past participants have been current undergraduate students, as well as recent graduates. Of the 10 participants in 2012, 3 participants had one year or one semester left of their undergraduate degree, 4 participants had just completed their undergraduate degrees, 1 participants had a year left in their MFA program, and 1 participant had just graduated from their MFA.

How does the admissions process work?
Applications are due March 15th and include a series of short essays, two letters of reference, a portfolio, and a ranking of prospective Practicum Mentors. NYAP culls these applicantions and comes up with a shortlist of applicants who have the knowledge, motivation, skills, and discipline to complete an apprenticeship in the Mentors’ studios. These shortlisted candidates are then reviewed by the Practicum Mentors the candidates have selected in their rankings, and from these, the Mentors interview one to three candidates.  A mentee is chosen by the Practicum Mentor and that applicant is then offered admission to NYAP.

How will participants be placed in apprenticeships?
Each practicum calls for a unique set of artistic interests and skills (technical expertise, social skills, experiences, or historical knowledge) such as video editing, the ability to talk to random strangers, writing skills, conversational Mandarin Chinese, knowledge of Fluxus work. In your application, you will be asked to identify and explain which Practicum Mentors you are interested in working with. Practicum Mentors review their shortlist of potential mentees and select one to three candidates to interview. From this pool, Practicum Mentors then select the applicant they will work with.

What we are looking for in your short essays?
Your essays should clearly and concisely state your creative interests, your goals for the program, and your interests in working with your chosen mentor based on their practicum descriptions. These essays are read by both the Program Director and all potential Practicum Mentors. The tone of these essays should be conversational, use ‘I’ statements.You should avoid using overly technical or theoretical language as a crutch: sometimes it is really truly necessary, but more often than not becomes a smokescreen. If you are struggling with this aspect, you may find it useful to explain your answers to each of these questions orally to someone, and either record the conversation, or have the person you are speaking to transcribe your sentences.

What should I put in my portfolio?
Your portfolio should demonstrate the range of your interests and abilities. We are looking to evaluate your practice and your skills. Your Practicum Mentor reviews the work when deciding to accept you into his or her workspace. Portfolios can be uploaded as files through the online application or you can simply list an external url.

Are there any guidelines for letters of recommendation?
Two letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline March 15th and should be sent to info@artspracticum.org; print letters are not accepted. Below are guidelines that can be sent to whomever is writing your recommendations:

The New York Arts Practicum is an experiential summer arts institute centered around an apprenticeship with a mentor artist, a critique seminar, and site visits. More info about the program is available at ArtsPracticum.org.

We seek your candid evaluation of the applicant’s dedication to his or her creative practice. Please make particular note of his or her maturity and ability to both engage in independent work and function in a group. We are also interested in your thoughts on what the applicant brings to the program, and on how much he or she will benefit from it.

Please send your evaluation by email to info@artspracticum.org. Your remarks do not have to be formal, and can be sent in the body of the email message, rather than on letterhead, though feel free to send in a formal recommendation if you have already written one. The applicant has waived his or her right to view your reference.

How does Academic Credit Work?
Please see the Academic Credit page.

What does tuition cover?
Tuition covers the costs of running the critique seminar, site visits, and managing the program.

It is important to understand participants are not “paying for an internship,” nor are the Practicum Mentors compensated for the time participants spend working in their studios; it is an exchange of time and labor under mutual respect.

Living costs are not covered. Housing information is below. Tuition refund policy is here.

How does Financial Aid Work?
Financial aid in the form of tuition remission and work study will be awarded typically ranging from $500 – $1500 to participants based on demonstrated need; in exceptional cases awards of up to $2400 have been given. American applicants must submit a copy of the FAFSA while international applicants can submit their (or their parents’) most recent tax return.

How does Work Study Work?
NYAP Work study is work done in exchange for tuition remission. The primary focus of work study is documentation and communication about the program. Applicants for work study should have experience in one of the following areas: photography, videography, writing for blogs, and social media (Twitter or Facebook). If you apply for work study, you will need to provide a short statement indicating your interests and, if it is not apparent from the rest of your application, your experience with these four areas.

I’m having trouble getting my login information from the online application, what do I do?
Check your Spam folder first, sometimes password notification emails end up there. If that doesn’t work, send and email to info@artspracticum.org with your username and we will have your login information reset for you.

Can I receive an application notification in advance?
We have recieved inquiries from applicants who are on a Fulbright or other international program which requires advance notice of their participation in order to extend their visa or legal status. Our application selection process involves matching all selected participants with mentors, and because of this process we are not able to provide application selection in advance of our April notification date. If you would like to apply to the Practicum and will need a letter that would help you with the extension of your visa, legal status, etc. please send us an email and let us know how we can assist you.

The program

Where will I live?
Participants find their own temporary housing, with the help and mentorship of NYAP staff. Sublets will likely be in neighborhoods like Long Island City, Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights, Bushwick, Bed Stuy, Gowanus, Bushwick or Greenpoint, and cost $650 to $800 per month. This process begins upon acceptance into the program, and ideally is completed before their arrival. In 2012, 8 of 10 participants secured housing prior to arriving; the remaining two found somewhere for the first week, and found housing for the rest of the program before the end of the first week. In 2013 all participants secured housing prior to arriving. Finding a place to live in a city like New York is hard the first time, but knowing how to is also one of the most vital skills one can have as an artist.

What will the sessions be like?
NYAP is an intensive period apprenticing one-on-one in the studio of an active professional artist for two to three days per week, learning the core techniques and ideas that artist’s work, and also indirectly learning how to model your own creative practice and artistic attitudes. Some Practicum Mentors work from art studios, others work from their homes or home offices. Participants apprentice with their Mentor, assisting the artist in one or more of the following areas: the completion of works, pre-production research, external communications, documentation process, grant and exhibition application process, the managing of the studio practice, or other day-to-day work of the contemporary artist. Participants will complete between 130-210 hours of work.

NYAP also includes a weekly intensive Critique/Seminar focused on creating artwork while in New York City. Art departments and art schools provide art students with studio space, production facilities, and technical staff, but once graduated they have to learn how to continue their creative practice without that support. The Critique/Seminar starts with the absence of institutional facilities as its core assumption and proposes strategies and practices for making work without the support provided by art schools. Practicum Mentors and visiting artists will serve as guest critics and will lead seminars on selected texts and works. These meetings will take place in the place where the Practicum Mentor works, be it a studio, office, apartment or coffee shop.

NYAP also involves weekly Site Visits. Rather than approach an art history course through slide lectures, NYAP will expose participants to original masterworks on the walls of MoMA, modern masters in the galleries of New York, and work in progress in artists studios. Participants engage in intimate conversations with artists about their creative process, the difficulties of being an artist, and what it takes to pull off a major project. During some of our Site Visits, we have the opportunity to talk with curators and other administrators. Each week there are several recommended public lectures, and films which will be followed by discussions lead by the Program Director. Please see the blog for examples of past site visits

Can international participants take part?
Yes. There are two ways for international participants to take part in NYAP: 1) through the complete the  J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa Program, which allows full participation in the mentorship program or 2) through a Modified Practicum experience via a B-2 Tourist Visa which allows for observation of Critique/Seminars, Site Visits and shadowing at practicums. Due to visa application wait times, international applicants are encouraged to start their visa application prior to acceptance into the program.  International applicants are encouraged to contact us in advance for guidance.

1) J-1 Intern/Trainee Visa: Us immigration law considers a mentorship program such as NYAP as work, and thus impermissible without a work visa. A J-1 visa will allow applicants to participate as a working mentee in NYAP. International applicants who wish to secure a J-1 visa need to complete an application on the International Arts & Artists (a visa processing agency used by NYAP) site prior to the March 15th application deadline; enter “New York Arts Practicum applicant” in the “Additional Information” section. Applicants must be prepared to provide the supplemental documents if accepted into the program. The applicant will be responsible for the fees associated J-1 visa.

2) Modified Practicum (B-2 Tourist Visa): Taking this route allows an international visitor to take a course (but not work) as long as it does not exceed 18 hours a week and is not used for credit towards a degree. This would mean that, in order to comply with the B-2 immigration regulations, the participant would be able to attend the weekly Critique/Seminars (3 hours), the weekly Site Visits (4 hours), and shadow Mentors in their workspace (11 hours). In this modified participation format, the foreign participant will observe, but not work, in the Mentors’ studios. Instead, the foreign participant will rotate through all of the studios, shadowing the work being done by the Mentor and the working participant in that studio. Thus the international participant will have the advantage of seeing the working process of eight different artists’ practices.

3) Students with an I-20 Visa: You can apply for the program and, if accepted, you will need to notify your school that you will be working with an artist as part of the program. Your school will then have to confirm that New York Arts Practicum is eligible as one of the types of work you can participate in under the I-20 visa. If you are in art school already, then it should not be a problem since the program is directly related to your studies.

Can I complete an internship or job during the program?
Maybe. What we have observed is that participants who try to schedule in another major commitment (e.g. an internship, or a job) can work one day without a problem. With two or more days of another commitment, we have observed that participants are not able to engage thoroughly enough with the program.

 

Miscellaneous

Will I get a job from this program?
The focus of the program is experiential learning in an artist’s studio, not job placement.  The primary goal of the program is to teach participants how to survive as an artist. Each of the Practicum Mentors have their own strategies. These include both how to make work, but also how to stay alive and pay rent. Some of them teach, others freelance, other have day jobs. Through this mentorship experience, participants will learn how to make being an artist sustainable and satisfying.

What measures are in place in the event of an emergency?
Participants in the program are required to have health insurance. Participants who are not currently insured must secure coverage for the duration of the program.

We have plans in place for dealing with emergencies that were made in consultation with a Licensed Social Worker, who will be available as needed.

Additionally, New York Arts Practicum is a program run in partnership with Carpe Diem Education LLC, which carries liability insurance in the highly unlikely event of a major incident.

What is the program’s position on diversity?
New York Arts Practicum is committed to building a diverse creative environment and therefore welcomes applications from people of diverse backgrounds. New York Arts Practicum recognizes diversity as encompassing race, class, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, physical ability, religion, and family.