Taft Museum seeks talented chef, educator for 2024 Duncanson artist residency

Cincinnati’s Taft Museum of Art is on the lookout for an exceptional culinary artist with teaching experience and a commitment to social justice to serve as its 2024 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Dating back to 1986, the annual residency program honors the relationship between Black American painter Robert S. Duncanson and Cincinnati art patron Nicholas Longworth by recognizing and celebrating the achievements of contemporary Black artists.

Throughout the years, the program has selected artists from a wide variety of fields, ranging from writing to classical music to photography. This year’s artist-in-residence was cellist Anita Graef. For the first time in the program’s nearly four-decade history, the Taft Museum is looking for someone whose creative studio is the kitchen.

2023 Duncanson artist, cellist Anita Graef

The application is open to creatives from around the world specializing in any number of food areas – regional food history, marginalized culture cuisine, healthy cooking, sustainable cooking practices and entrepreneurship. But the ideal candidate will not only be a great chef, but also a dynamic educator. The Taft wants someone who is comfortable working with a variety of audiences, including K–12 students, families and adults.

In April 2024, the artist will spend two-and-a-half weeks sharing their craft with the Greater Cincinnati community. They’ll lead several public experiences. Events include lectures, workshops, school visits and more. The tentative timeline April 7 through April 24.

While the programming benefits local residents, it’s also an opportunity for the chosen artist to showcase their skills on a major stage. The winner gets a chance to advance their work, actively pursue their career ambitions and “foster connections within the Cincinnati community,” per the museum.

The application window is open through Oct. 22 at 11:59 p.m. 

To help with the process, the Taft Museum is holding a virtual overview on Oct. 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. A registration portal is open online. However, a person doesn’t need to attend the session to apply or receive consideration for the position.

“Throughout the last three and a half decades, the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program at the Taft Museum of Art has helped to expand how our region’s view Black art and the critical dialogues Black artists can bring forward. This year, we are delighted to be able to offer a meaningful residency experience showcasing an incredible spectrum of vision and artistic approach to the food of the Black diaspora,” said Kareem Simpson, the Duncanson program manager.

The Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Program came about as a collaboration between the Taft Museum and the Robert S. Duncanson Society. Founded in 1986, the society sought to celebrate its namesake’s artistic contributions internationally and locally. Longworth, who commissioned Duncanson to paint landscape murals in the foyer of his home, now the Taft Museum of Art.

Today, the primary purpose of the residency program is to promote awareness of Black American art and artists and to inspire future generations of creatives.

Over the years, the residency programs have honored Black and African American excellence in various fields. Past Duncanson Artists-in-Residence include poet and essayist Nikki Giovanni; filmmaker William Greaves; playwright and screenwriter Keith Josef Adkins; violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama; soprano vocalist Adrienne Danrich; actor and playwright Nikkole Salter; visual and performance artist Vanessa German and filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith.

The 2024 Duncanson resident will be announced in January.

“Since 1986, the program has displayed the dynamic Black experience; told through voice, song, dance, and music, among many artistic disciplines, with passion and perspective,” Simpson added. “This year, we get to do it again through the culinary arts, while showing how important Black food is to the wider creative fabric of our country.”

Taft Museum’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

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