I'm looking for...

That is

TEDxSMU: Call for Temporary Art Installations and Performances
by Jerome Weeks 17 May 2010

Last October was the first TEDxSMU, the local version of the international Big Ideas conference about Technology, Entertainment, Design — which is designed to spark conversation about, well, technology, entertainment and design. TED has become famous for its online videos of big-name brainy (and/or amusing) speakers including Jane Goodall, Douglas Adams, Herbie Hancock, Richard Branson […]


Last October was the first TEDxSMU, the local version of the international Big Ideas conference about Technology, Entertainment, Design — which is designed to spark conversation about, well, technology, entertainment and design. TED has become famous for its online videos of big-name brainy (and/or amusing) speakers including Jane Goodall, Douglas Adams, Herbie Hancock, Richard Branson and Bill Gates.  There’ll be a second local TEDxSMU  Oct. 15-16 — this time at the Wyly Theatre.

And this time, TEDxSMU is calling for proposals from artists, architects, performers and designers of all types “interested in being a creative catalyst” on this year’s issue: human survival. The projects should “create a dialogue” between TEDxKids @ SMU Oct. 15 and TEDxSMU Oct. 16.

The lengthy and very detailed press release follows.

Starting Now!

TEDxSMU is issuing a Request for Proposals for artists/artist teams interested in being a creative catalyst at TEDxSMU 2010. Open to artists, architects and designers of all types, we invite you to send us your ideas for a performance, installation or interactive-based project that will open our imaginations and create a dialogue between our two signature events: TEDxKids @SMU on Oct. 15, 2010 and TEDxSMU on Oct. 16, 2010.

Overview and Project Goals

TEDxSMU is currently planning its second series of ideas conferences around the theme “Starting Now.” The conferences incorporate dynamic and passionate presentations across a range of topics, this year centered on issues related to human survival. Creative performances, robust breaks and an energetic audience add to the mix that makes these events unique.

This year’s conferences will take place at Dallas’ new Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre – on the one year anniversary of its opening. TEDxKids @SMU is a half-day conference for 7th and 8th grade students (approximately 400 students + chaperones, speakers and sponsors), and TEDxSMU is a full day conference for attendees who have gone through an application process to be admitted.

One of the primary goals of the conference is to spark conversations about important ideas or issues. The organization’s steering committee firmly believes in the importance of creativity and creative expression as a driver for new ideas and innovation. As an extension of that belief, we have committed to commissioning a local North Texas artist or artist collaborative to create a piece to engage the audience at the Dallas TEDx events.

Artists are asked to propose projects that will be fully unveiled at the events on October 15-16, 2010; however, we will consider projects that have a visibility element leading up to the event and, if part of the selected project, will work with the artist to find an appropriate location. In keeping with the nature of this project, TEDxSMU encourages innovation and experimentation. Proposals are sought for three categories: interactive/community engagement, large scale temporary installation, and performance [artists can propose any combination of the three, however must only submit under one category].

Artists are particularly encouraged to consider projects that allow the audiences of the two separate events to “speak” to each other or somehow create dialogue between the two events.


Eligible artists must be 18 years or older and reside within the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Please Note: The selected artists/artist teams must be available to begin design work immediately (early August 2010) and complete the work for installation in mid-October. Artists/artist teams must also be available to manage installation on the artwork on October 14, 2010 and de-installation on October 16, 2010 following the conclusion of the TEDx conference.


The project limit for the winning proposal is $7,500. In addition there will be a $1,500 honorarium. Budgets should include design, fabrication, installation, structural drawings, engineering, insurance requirements, and documentation.


Date Pending Artist Information Session in Early June. Check www.TEDxSMU.org for updates.

July 9th Application Deadline

July 23rd Selected Artist(s) Notified

July 27th Public Unveiling of Selected Project at TEDxSMU Salon

Early August Meeting with Artist(s) to Establish Site and Budget

October 14th Project Installation 8a-10p, Wyly Theatre

Note: it may be possible install on October 13th if needed

October 15th-16th TEDxKids @SMU + TEDxSMU

October 16th De-installation + Strike

6-10p, Wyly Theatre

Publicity Support

TEDxSMU will promote the artist(s) on its website, in print materials, media releases and public efforts. Selected artist will be expected to cooperate in publicity and media opportunities.


Site conditions vary, including access to electricity, lighting and water. Projects must receive pre-approval by TEDxSMU and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Any modifications (painting or construction) made by artists must be approved by TEDxSMU and the AT&T Performing Arts Center in advance, and must be removed upon completion of the installation period. The site must not be permanently changed, altered or damaged due to the installation, and liability for reasonably foreseeable and preventable damages to the property will be the sole responsibility of the artist.

We encourage you to visit the Wyly Theatre during our Artist Information Session and explore different possible sites for your specific idea. Suggested potential locations include:

• Front Plaza

• Lobby

• Patron Lounge

• Studio Theatre

• Education Center

• Rooftop Terrace

• Sky Lounge

• On-stage

• Elevators

• Stairwell

(Some images are available at http://www.dallasperformingarts.org/experiencethecenter/imagegallery.aspx.)

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by a jury composed of a maximum of three members from the community, including but not limited to artists, museum professionals, designers, architects, art educators, public art administrators, and art conservators. In order to be considered the artist must deliver a complete application with all the required components. Selection criteria will be based on:

• Composition / Design / Degree of Difficulty

• Technical skills and ability to complete the proposed project if selected

• Content

• Overall impression

New works commissioned by TEDxSMU require that TEDxSMU be listed as the commissioning organization. Names and jury biographies will be posted on www.TEDxSMU.org as soon as they are confirmed. TEDxSMU is focused on creating a low-impact event. While not required, judges will take into account proposals that demonstrate thoughtful and conscientious attention to resource use and sourcing.

Submission Requirements

The following parts of the application are REQUIRED parts of the TEDxSMU proposal process and must be included with all proposals in order to be considered. (If you are proposing more than one project complete one form for each proposal).

Help us create a paperless process! All submissions must be digital. Thank you for your support in this initiative.

1. Online Application Components:

a. Online Application Form: Please complete the online application at www.TEDxSMU.org.

b. Itemized Budget: Please include a detailed, itemized budget based on the amount of money required to complete your proposal based on the online application format. Budget should include, where applicable: artist fees; all supplies and materials; equipment rental; labor (in both the creation of the project and in the installation and strike. Volunteers may be requested, but should not supplant the minimal number of individuals needed to complete the installation); technical support (lighting, sound, projection, etc.) and crew; workshop expenses; transportation.

NOTE: TEDxSMU does not pay for administrative expenses, capital expenses (purchase of equipment) or insurance. (TEDxSMU provides General Public Liability Event Insurance.)

c. Professional References: Please provide the names and contact information of three individuals with whom you have worked or who have commissioned your work in the past. Actual letters of reference are not required.

2. Additional Materials for Upload through YouSendIt:

a. Letter of Interest: Please describe your interest in this project and general approach to an artwork installation of this type, describing your proposed project or performance concept under the chosen category, and prioritized listing of preferred locations. Include an approximate set-up and strike schedule for your proposal that must fit within allotted time-line of set-up from 8am – 10pm on October 14th, and strike from 6pm-10pm on October 16th. Also include any additional site needs such as electricity. Entire letter should be no longer than one (1) typed page. Please save as a PDF and use the following naming convention: “[Artist Name] – LOI.pdf.”

b. Professional Resume: Please provide your resume or outline your experience as an artist (no longer than two (2) typed pages). In the case of a team application, please include resumes for each team member. The file should be named with the following convention: “[Artist Name] – Resume.pdf.”

c. Images of Proposed Work for this Project: Please provide 1 – 5 images of your proposed concept for this project, as hand-drawn or digitally created rendering, in digital format (.pdf). If you wish to send QuickTime movies or web sites, please list web site links in your PDF file. Movie clips must not be more than three minutes each. Please keep total size for the PDF presentation under 2 MB, or it will not be viewed. The file should be named with the following convention: “[Artist Name] – Proposed Work.pdf.”

d. Digital Images of Past Work: Please provide up to 10 digital images of past work saved as one PDF file, with images in priority order of desired presentation. Each page must include (at minimum) the artist’s name, title of the work, medium and size. Additional information, if applicable, could include site, commissioning person or agency, and budget. Installations or 3-dimensional work may be illustrated by multiple images. Please keep formatting simple and do not include fancy fonts, colors, transitions, sound or other “extras.” Please keep total size for the PDF presentation under 2 MB, or it will not be viewed. The file should be named with the following convention: “[Artist Name] – Past Work.pdf.”

Important Instructions

• Applications received after 5:00 pm on July 9, 2010 will not be considered.

• Artists are encouraged to be adventurous, try new forms and further their own creative process for audience members who come with fresh expectations, eager to experience something out of the ordinary.

YouSendIt Upload Instructions

ALL files must be zipped into one master file and uploaded to the TEDxSMU dropbox on YouSendIt. Folders cannot be sent directly to a Dropbox. You will need to compress/zip the folder first in order to send multiple files within a folder. http://dropbox.yousendit.com/SharonLyle4644110.

To create a zip file on a Windows computer:

1. Right-click on the file (or multiple-selected files) or folder you want to compress, scroll down and select Send To, you should then see the Compressed (zipped) Folder option.

a. To select a consecutive group of files or folders, click the first item, hold down the SHIFT key, and then click the last item

b. To select a consecutive group of files or folders without using the keyboard, drag the mouse pointer to create a selection around the outside of all the items you want to include

c. To select nonconsecutive files or folders, hold down CTRL, and then click each item you want to select

2. This will create a zip/compressed version of the file(s) or folder(s) in the same folder

3. Original files or folders will not be changed

4. You may now send the zip file through YouSendIt

To compress (archive) files or folders in Mac OS:

1. Control-click or right-click on the file or folder (or multiple-selected files or folders) to be compressed (zipped)

2. On the pop-up menu, click Create Archive of “file name” (or Compress “file name” depending on your MacOS version).

3. A zip-format compressed archive of the selected files or folders will be created on the desktop

4. Original files or folders will not be changed

5. You may now send the zip file through YouSendIt

After zipping, you will upload the zip archive to the TEDxSMU Dropbox at http://dropbox.yousendit.com/SharonLyle4644110. Please name your zip file “[Artist Name] – 2010 Proposal.zip.”

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday, July 9, 2010, 5pm CDT

All proposals must be submitted by 5pm on July 9. Faxed, emailed or incomplete proposals will not be accepted.


If you would like to discuss your proposal prior to submission, please attend the information session (date, location and time TBD – will be released on TEDxSMU.org as soon as confirmed) or contact Tiana Lightfoot Svendsen at 214.768.3050 or e-mail [email protected]



Bringing together ideas and interesting people from around the world and around the corner, TEDxSMU and

TEDxKids @SMU are single-day conferences in Dallas, TX. Now in its second year, TEDxSMU is jointly produced by Southern Methodist University and the Idea Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas.

Both 2010 events – TEDxKids @SMU on October 15th and TEDxSMU on October 16th – will take place at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. TEDxKids @SMU (the first TEDx event designed for students) hosts 350 7th-8th grade students for a free four hour conference, in exchange for completing four hours of community service. The 550 TEDxSMU attendees must apply and be selected in order to participate in the full-day conference. More information at www.TEDxSMU.org.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TEDPrize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TEDGlobal 2010, “And Now the Good News,” will be held July 13-16, 2010, in Oxford, UK. TED2011, “The Rediscovery of Wonder,” will be held February 28 – March 4, 2011, in Long Beach, California, with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs, California.

  • Are architects the only type of technology-related field that participants can be from in the 2010 TEDxSMU?

    • Re: question about tech-related fields…certainly not limited to architects. Digital, designers, programmers, etc. are welcome to submit proposals as well. The jury is looking for artistic merit, ability to execute successfully against the vision, relation to TEDxSMU mission, vision, theme, etc. More on our website if you want to get a better sense of TEDxSMU. http://www.TEDxSMU.org.

  • I am interested in doing this. my specialty would be to include talent and singers with style. I also can provide a show including arts, talent and performers. Thanks Nanette
    I went to SMU and are familular as a liason with them.