COL:LAB (Collaboration Laboratory) 2012

A Collaboration Residency initiated by freeDimensional (fD)


During the summer of 2012, fD will host a weeklong collaboration residency, taking the idea of artist residency and expanding it conceptually to address the needs of collaborative teams developing regional/local initiatives to provide direct service to or raise awareness of issues faced by culture workers doing the work of activists. Representatives of various cultural, human rights and social justice networks, organizations and movements are invited to submit proposals for collaborative initiatives they would like to shape with their peers.  From these proposals, fD will select 6-8 teams to participate in COL:LAB 2012.  Each selected team will have the opportunity to be in residence (along with 2 – 4 contributing partners) on Wasan Island ( for a week in July 2012.

COL:LAB is intended is to provide participants with the time and resources to solidify their partnerships and shape their collaborative regional initiatives.  In addition to accommodations and meeting space on the island (provided by the Breuninger Foundation), the collaboration teams will have access to different types of expertise (technology and planning/process consultants, funding specialists, presentation/communication experts, etc.) and various tools including case studies, workshops in various aspects of collaboration development and a database of related resources.

We imagine that the island environment will be the ideal setting and space for each collaboration team to move their ideas forward and for cross pollination between initiatives.  While much of the time on the island will be unstructured (in order to allow each team to develop their own process and work), there will be regular sessions during which all teams will be able to discuss issues of common concern and share solutions that will help to inform their separate initiatives.



fD is seeking proposals from collaborative teams with innovative projects at the intersection of arts and social justice that contribute in unique ways to the defense of artist’s rights, free expression, and to supporting artists doing the work of activists. Projects should engage a matrix art spaces, service and community organizations, artists, culture workers and concerned citizens on a local or regional level. Collaborative teams whose proposals are selected will have the opportunity to participate in COL:LAB on Wasan Island in July 2012, to further develop their regional projects into actionable plans.

While each collaborative team will be assessed on the quality of their proposal, we ask each team to include in their application an estimation of funds they may already have available or accessible to cover the costs of travel to Wasan Island which is located in Canada just north of Toronto. Teams should be aware that they will need to acquire any visas or documentation required for their participating team members to enter Canada ( fD will provide letters and documentation for this process as requested.

Proposals should include:

1)     Application form

2)     500 word project description including: concept/vision, short and long-term goals, target populations/ beneficiaries and expected outcomes

3)     Diagram of project structure including: partnerships, roles and responsibilities.

4)     Descriptions and bios for participating organizations and individuals.


Deadline: Please submit completed proposals in PDF form to no later than December 29, 2011.



fD will select participants for COL:LAB based on an assessment of submitted applications around the following criteria:

  • clarity of shared vision/goals for the collaboration
  • identification of a target population/beneficiaries in need of services/representation
  • involvement of an appropriate and diverse network of collaborators in the initiative
  • timeliness of the initiative and urgency of the need
  • capacity of the identified collaborators to achieve their goal


Applications will be assessed by a panel of three to five experts in the Arts and Human Rights field.  All panelists will read and review each application and provide an initial assessment.  Proposals which receive the highest overall assessments will be assigned by fD staff to one of the panel members who will ‘represent’ that proposal in the panel process and may contact the lead applicant in advance of the panel meeting to ask for clarification or elaboration of the material in order to best represent the proposed work.  At the panel meeting, the panelists will discuss each proposal and rank them in order to determine which applicants best match the opportunity provided through COL:LAB 2012.  All applicants will be notified of their COL:LAB status by January 30, 2012.

Click on the link below to download the full RFP and application form.

COL-LAB Request For Proposals.pdf





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