Moving Toward Justice | Dance Art as Activism | Gibney
Week of November 15, 2019
Making space for

Moving Toward Justice

Devin Oshiro leads a group in a worksop
In these challenging social and political times, an increasing number of artists want to use their work to activate social change.

But in the absence of organizational infrastructure and support, how can these individual ideas get translated into effective and actionable plans?

The Moving Toward Justice Cohort is designed to support high potential projects that use art – primarily but not exclusively the performing arts – as a tool for activism and social impact. With a focus on entrepreneurship, social engagement and mobilization alongside artistry, Cohort members will work in community to evolve their practice and address some of the most complex issues of today.


The Moving Toward Justice Cohort is a structured 8-month work program that provides support, a stipend, and mentorship for the development of new artistic projects committed to activating social change. Six Cohort artists or collectives will be selected to participate. Projects that demonstrate potential for leveraged and sustained impact will be prioritized.

The Moving Towards Justice Cohort is made possible through generous support from the Bay and Paul Foundations.

2019 Cohort Final Presentations

Join us on Thursday, June 27 to celebrate the members of the inaugural MTJ Cohort. Each artist or collective will share a brief presentation, followed by a reception and toast to celebrate the cohort’s success.


Cohort members will work in concert with their peers, and directly with Gina Gibney and advisors from various disciplines. Additional support will be provided by a Project Administrator and a designated Mentor who is an expert in some aspect of their field of interest. Cohort members will be awarded a $6,000 stipend for successful completion of the project, to be awarded in increments throughout the project and subject to ongoing participation and completion of project milestones.


Each Cohort member will receive a $6000 stipend to support the development of their project. The Cohort members will be encouraged to match their project budget by cultivating in-kind support, contributed income, earned income, and other resources.


Letter of Intent Due: August 20, 2018, 11:59 pm
Invitation to Submit Full Proposal Issued: September 7, 2018
Full Application Due: October 5, 2018, 11:59 pm

Announcement of Fellowship Recipients: November 6, 2018

November 20, 2018 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
December 18, 2018 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
January 31, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
February 28, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
March 28, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
April 25, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
May 30, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
June 27, 2019 8:30 am – 12:30 pm


The Moving Toward Justice Cohort will view creating and viewing art not as a rarified experiences in a studio or on a stage, but as ways to shift personal narratives and address societal issues. Projects should prioritize the protection of “at-risk-values,” such as: respect, tolerance, patience, inclusivity, and freedom of expression.

To be eligible to participate you must:

  • Have experience working in the arts with preference given to artists working in dance or performance.
  • Have a defined arts-centered project that addresses a critical social justice issue, including but not limited to: economic justice; racial, gender, and social equity; immigration; the environment; mass incarceration; intimate partner and gender-based violence; human trafficking; free expression; and disability rights
  • Commit to attending all sessions in person
  • Be over the age of 21
  • Be legally eligible for employment in the United States

The Moving Toward Justice Cohort is not intended to support projects that do not prioritize social action outcomes. Examples of projects that would not be eligible are purely artistic projects or the creation of political art works that do not directly and specifically catalyze activism.


Gina Gibney and advisors from various disciplines. Additional support will be provided by a Project Administrator and a designated Mentor who is an expert in some aspect of their field of interest.


There will be a 2-tiered application process including an open call for Letters of Interest, followed by an invitation to submit a full Project Proposal.


  • Current Resumé or Bio
  • Up to 300-word description of background and experience in the performing arts and community action work
  • Up to 500-word overview of proposed project and its intended outcome
  • Up to 500-word statement of interest explaining why you would like to participate in the program; how it fits with your developing goals or interests; why this is the right time for you to do the program; and why there is an urgent or timely need for your project

20 applicants will be chosen to submit a second application with a full Project Proposal.


  • Project Description – two page summary of project concept, purpose and anticipated outcomes/results
  • Personal Statement – essay or video addressing why participation in the Cohort is important/urgent
  • Proposed Project Budget – a preliminary outline of anticipated income and expenses
  • Verification Form – signed confirmation of the artist/collective’s ability and commitment to meet time requirements
  • Work Samples (Optional)
  • Letters of Recommendation – 2-3 letters addressing the artist/collective’s past work and ability to achieve the stated goals of the project

Six Fellowships will be awarded.

Emphasis will be made in the selection process to creating a community of participants diverse in gender, race, sexual orientation, age, economic status and ability.