Ideal Glass mural “Every Mother’s Son” by Sophia Dawson, featuring portraits of mothers who have lost children by way of police brutality. (Image courtesy of Ideal Glass)

Whatever medium you work in, it’s hard to be an artist. Barely anyone pays attention to anything you do, so keeping self-motivated can be tricky when you’re consistently weary from day jobs, keeping track of your 1099s and W9s, and closing down that bar you performed at to ensure you grip that sparse handful of wrinkly cash you so rightfully deserve. In the midst of all this noise, it’s easy for all those half-baked ideas to slip into some dark, far-away box at the back of your mind, and potentially never see the light of day.

Luckily, there are some folks out there who are willing to nudge you in the direction of productivity. Here are two upcoming opportunities to inspire artists, both visual and performance types, to get out there and do their thing.

For all you visual creators, performance artist Willard Morgan’s art space Ideal Glass on East 2nd Street and Bowery is seeking submissions from people who have a great idea for transforming their façade in the fall and winter months with an original mural. They’re accepting all sort of ideas, ranging from socially-conscious activist art to more surreal and abstract designs. Each mural will be unveiled with an opening celebration and will remain on display for six weeks. It’s free to submit (because fees are so overrated, really) and selected artists will receive $300 worth of materials to make their vision a reality for all to see.

To submit, artists can email with the subject “Mural Proposal,” with five to ten past work samples, a sketch for your idea, and a written proposal by August 31, 2016. More info can be found here.

If you’re more the writerly or performative type, traipse down a couple blocks to the Metropolitan Playhouse on East 4th Street, where they’re looking for under-90-minute pieces to show in their upcoming Living Literature Festival this upcoming January. The Obie award-winning theater plans to organize productions of new plays and performance pieces inspired by American literary figures of the so-called Lost Generation, or the period between 1919 and 1930, alternately known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring ’20s. They’ve provided a few examples to get your brains buzzing like Gertrude Stein and William Faulkner, and trailblazers of the Harlem Renaissance like Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes.

Submissions can be inspired by the lives of famous figures, adaptations of their work, or whatever your mind decides to drum up from this jumping-off point. Perhaps an experimental revisionist take on the life of Céline? Wherein the famous misanthropic writer/physician starts doing yoga and becomes a “better” person? I dunno– be creative!

But before you spring to add yet another piece about F. Scott Fitzgerald to the existing too-large pile, please take a moment to question if the pool of art about The Past really needs more stuff about exclusively white men. Dig a little deeper.

To submit, interested folk can email pdf documents to or mail a physical submission to their address at 220 E. 4th Street. Deadline is September 30, 2016. More info on submission guidelines here.