PlatteForum is an award-winning and innovative arts, youth development, social justice and artist-in-residence program in Denver, founded in 2002. As a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, PlatteForum teams youth with professional artists in intensive, structured, and long-term creative learning environments. Resident Artists collaboratively plan, produce, and exhibit a body of work in an environment in which artistic excellence is highly valued along with support from ArtLab Interns. Youth in PlatteForum’s programs delve into a variety of art forms and social justice topics, confronting challenges and obstacles and making life-changing discoveries about who they are, what they are capable of achieving, and where they belong in the world.
As an artist community, PlatteForum supports the creation and presentation of new art and ideas by contemporary artists. By supporting working artists, PlatteForum generates dialogue in the larger community about the role of the artist and social justice in society. Located in a rich urban context, PlatteForum’s dynamic, artist-centered residencies are built upon the notion of engaging the broader community in the creation of new work, where artists, youth, and the public collaborate. Each resident artist becomes a catalyst for innovative and expanded thinking about what art is and can be.
PlatteForum values supporting resident artists in a myriad of ways not limited to: stipend provided in exchange for skills sharing with our ArtLab interns, mental health support through partnerships with local licensed therapists or by reimbursement, mentorship and/or meetings with local arts leaders and curators, guidance towards goals offered from staff, supplies and tools support, as well as exhibition promotion and media support.
Residencies at PlatteForum are competitive with over 100 applications and only four to five slots awarded each year. Each residency gives the artist the time, space and support to extend their work and share their ideas with the public. Artistic excellence, innovative ideas for engagement and collaboration with the public, and a diversity of ideas, genres, social justice topics and methodologies are paramount in selecting artists for only four to five available slots in the Artist Residency program each year. Residencies are typically 6-8 weeks in duration.
The Artist Residency program is open to artists in all genres and disciplines. Applications from established professional artists, emerging artists, and graduate students are welcome. We encourage local, national, and international artists (if local and national COVID and/or public health guidelines permit) to apply. Artistic excellence, merit, and creative ways of interacting with the public are important criteria in the selection process. Former Resident Artists may apply again after a three-year waiting period. (for example, a Resident Artist from the 2019-20 season is not eligible to apply until the 2022-23 season).
PlatteForum is a member of the Alliance of Artist Communities, an international organization that advocates for creative environments that support the work of today’s artists. Community connections nurtured by collaborations and partnerships with organizations, schools, and individuals that extend the artist’s aesthetic are integral to each residency. The PlatteForum approach — teaming Resident Artists with youth and the community — makes a valuable contribution to our community’s cultural discourse, fosters personal growth for the artist, and positively impacts the lives of participating individuals. PlatteForum’s uniqueness gives artists, youth, and community members opportunities that they might not find elsewhere.