Call for Artists: The 1970 Augusta Riot Observance – deadline 2.20.20 at 11am

Call for Artists: The 1970 Augusta Riot Observance – deadline 2.20.20 at 11am


Date Call Opens: January 21, 2020
Application Deadline: February 20, 2020 at 11am
Award amount: $1,000 per artist/artist team (3 projects will be selected at $1,000 each)

The 1970 Augusta Riot Observance Committee is seeking three (3) artists or artist teams to be part of the 50th Year Observance of the riot of May 11-12, 1970.

May 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Augusta’s violent civil rights uprising. The Augusta Riot Observance Committee is asking artists for proposals of work that respond to the events.  On the afternoon of May 11, 1970, Black Augustans gathered at City Hall to protest a suspected recent act of police brutality that crystalized the severe racism of Augusta.  Two days prior, Black leaders faced the evidence of torture on the body of a Black 16-year-old boy, Charles Oatman, who had died while in custody at the City Jail.  Out of frustration, some protesters set fire to locally owned businesses in the area now known as the Laney Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods. The uprising grew in scale and number, but police mobilized, firing rounds throughout the night.  By dawn, police had shot in the back and killed six Black men and boys.  Many more people were wounded.

A diverse group of volunteers is planning an observance to mark the 50-year anniversary of these events.

The Augusta Riot Observance committee will commission three works of art that support our mission to educate and heal the community. The commissioned artists will work with the history subcommittee and community healing subcommittee to create art work that will further the mission of the project.

Mission Statement

Inform. Gather. Heal.

The Augusta May 1970 Riot Observance events strive to cultivate awareness, recovery, and justice for the community through education, conversation and creative experiences.

The commissioned artists may use any creative medium, including but not limited to performance arts, visual arts, audience engagement art, spoken word, culinary arts and literary arts.  Artists with a willingness to collaborate and engage with others for this social justice work are preferred.  The commissioned artist will become part of the 1970 Augusta Riot Observance Committee and required to work collaboratively with the other members of the Committee.  The scope of proposed art works will need to match the available budget; alternatively, artists may raise more funds to augment the budget available.

Anyone experiencing technical difficulties in getting their application in can contact Pax Bobrow at the Greater Augusta Arts Council for assistance at or 706-826-4702.  Other methods of contacting Pax will be less likely to reach her.

Download the full call, with application, directions and checklist: Augusta Riot Art Call