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Open Call for Proposals – From The Smithsonian

I’m writing to share news about an open call for proposals from the Interaction Lab for digital tools and experiences that offer creative interactions with the Smithsonian’s Open Access collections. We’ll award six finalists with $10,000 each to build prototypes of their ideas to be hosted and made available to the public by Cooper Hewitt. There’s a great deal of detailed information on the program website and here’s a brief summary of what we’re seeking:

The Interaction Lab is seeking software tools and applications that offer exciting, meaningful interactions with some of the 3 million 2D and 3D collections assets in the Smithsonian’s Open Access dataset ( Each commissioned project must include an audience objective and should offer wide access, with regard to technology platform and across a wide spectrum of ability. The Lab is specifically interested in commissioning tools that focus on 2D image assets from Cooper Hewitt’s Open Access collections, or 2D and 3D assets from across the Smithsonian’s wider collections. It is critical that your proposed tool or application offers a clear and meaningful interaction with Smithsonian collections, ideally different from the kinds of passive “looking” experiences common to museums, and often replicated in digital experiences created by museums. Applicants are encouraged to use as much imagination as possible. Submissions are open now and are due no later than February 23, 2021 by 11:59pm eastern time.

We’re looking to engage people who are already working with digital collections, as well as those in adjacent fields, and current students. We’re also interested in reaching people whose backgrounds are traditionally underrepresented in creative technology and creative code, so any suggestions on organizations or individuals we might reach out to would be much appreciated! Thinking specifically about people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ folks as well.

Thank you for your time, and please do reach out with any questions!