Open Call for Artists

Call for Artists
The University of Michigan Ross School of Business Center for Positive Organizations and the University of Michigan Arts Initiative seek several artists to each lead group sessions for The Positive Business Conference Amplified on Thursday, May 9, 2024. Artists will develop and facilitate co-creation and/or workshop-style learning sessions that invite those from the world of business and organizations into an engaging, inclusive, and imaginative discovery process focused on understanding how we can best amplify human-centered approaches to organizing during times of disruption and grief. The goal is to integrate active engagement with the arts as a core aspect of the conference experience. The creative sessions designed by the artist can be focused on any number of disciplines but should include a participatory experience for conference attendees. Selected artists will be expected to run a 45-minute session 1-2 times during the conference.

Selected artists will each receive a $2,500 stipend, budget for supplies, logistical workshop support from the Center for Positive Organizations and the U-M Arts Initiative, and the opportunity to attend the full-day conference in addition to running a session. For those attending the full conference, breakfast, lunch, and refreshment breaks will also be provided.

We welcome proposals for many different types of small group workshops or co-creation processes, so long as they tie closely to the conference theme and deepen participants’ engagement with elevating the human in human enterprise. Workshops should be approximately 45 minutes in length and participants should be able to complete the workshop fully within the allotted time period to allow them to move through the conference agenda with ease.

The Center for Positive Organizations
The Center for Positive Organizations is dedicated to the development of both science and practice focused on thriving organizations, those that bring out the best in people as they produce excellence in their mission and vision. As we look toward a world in need of more rigorously imaginative approaches to seemingly intractable issues, we invite artists to join with us to spark new ways to foster human creativity in the face of crisis. We hope to awaken an appreciation for co-creation as a form for exploring new approaches to organizing in the face of both uplift and upheaval.

The Positive Business Conference Amplified
These engagements will be woven into the agenda for a one-day event entitled The Positive Business Conference Amplified, which brings together approximately 500 people on the University of Michigan campus, most of them business or higher education leaders. We seek active integration with the arts and artists from a variety of disciplines and media who can work with conference participants to deepen the experience of generative complexity and develop a sense of agency and capacity for human action in the face of difficult or seemingly intractable issues.

Conference Theme
Amplifying Human Enterprise: How might we find uplift amid upheaval?
Every day, organizations around the world set out to do good work—solving complex problems, addressing seemingly intractable issues, generating relational, social, and financial wealth, and finding new ways to create a better world for their communities. And every day, whatever comes, organizations around the world do their important work in the face of disruption, distress, turmoil, and turbulence. We dedicate our time together at this year’s Positive Business Conference to explore how we are living and working together in this time of both grief and gratitude, upheaval, and uplift.

Although the current climate poses many challenges, it also calls us to reimagine organizational strategies that amplify the human in human enterprise. Companies have the opportunity to prioritize cultures of empathy, compassion, and trust, renew their commitments to inclusion and belonging, and heighten employee engagement. To do these things as part of the new business imperative demands that we adopt more creative and agile approaches to work.

Join us for a deeper exploration of how leaders can harness the potential to create supportive structures and practices that foster well-being. We will share real-world examples, evidence-based tools, and cutting-edge thinking about creating compassion, connection, purpose, and meaning as part of an organization’s ecosystem of long-term value. You don’t want to miss the 2024 Positive Business Conference, amplifying a human-centered approach to global enterprise and exploring how we find uplift in a time of upheaval.

The University of Michigan Arts Initiative
The U-M Arts Initiative seeks to illuminate and expand human connections, inspire collaborative creativity, and build a more just and equitable world through the arts. It is a University-wide endeavor to make the arts central to U-M’s identity and mission.

Goals of project:

  • Integrate the imaginative rigor of art-making into an exploration of elevating the human in human enterprise
  • Introduce business and higher education leaders to ways of working in artistic modes as a means of sparking their creativity related to human enterprise
  • Illuminate and expand human connections, build community, and inspire collaborative capacity-building through engagement with art making
  • Demonstrate how the arts can be an integral part of building a more just and equitable world of work
  • Delivery of compelling, engaging, and inclusive 45-minute workshop-style learning event 

Deadline for submission:

Monday, March 18, 2024


  • Professional artist
  • Experience teaching and/or leading workshops
  • Ability to direct a room full of people in an activity

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Artist experience (leading workshops, practice, discipline)
  • Feasibility and quality of the proposal
  • Connection to the theme

Application Materials:

  • Resume (required)
  • Digital portfolio or links to work (optional)

Application Questions (Slideroom):

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Primary discipline/art form
  • Artist statement (optional)
  • Please provide a detailed description of the workshop or group engagement you propose for this conference.
  • How does your proposal fit within the theme?
  • What about this particular project is most interesting to you?
  • What is your experience working across disciplines or with subject matter you may not be familiar with?
  • Describe your approach to facilitating art-making for groups with varied experience with the arts.

For questions about the application process please email

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