The Alper Initiative for Washington Art promotes an understanding and appreciation of the art and artists of the Washington Metropolitan Area. We provide and staff a dedicated space located within the American University Museum, to present exhibitions, programs, and resources for the study and encouragement of our creative community.


The AU Museum Project Space, launched in Summer 2019, is dedicated to working with academics and non-traditional curators to create exhibitions addressing special topics of interest across the university and the greater Washington community. Project Space exhibitions are held three times per year and include a published e-book catalog. 

You are not restricted to art! Are you doing a research project on an unknown composer? Perhaps you want to display sheet music and play recordings. Are you an entomologist? We think insects are beautiful. Always in the library? Let’s feature some famous children’s book illustrators. We cannot wait to see what you come up with! We ask that exhibitions highlight educational themes to engage the university community.  

Applicants may suggest displaying artworks from the AU Museum collection. However, we are still in the process of inventorying works from the incoming Corcoran Legacy Collection. We will update the page with more details as soon as possible. However, we welcome all submissions. 

Looking for Inspiration? Our first Project Space exhibition, Plans to Prosper You: Reflections of Black Resistance and Resilience in Montgomery County’s Potomac River Valley was organized by graduate students in the anthropology, arts management, and art history departments. The exhibition highlighted fights against racial injustice by historically black communities in Washington, DC’s neighboring Montgomery County. Read more about Plans to Prosper You here.

If you are interested in presenting an exhibition project for consideration, please submit the following information:

  • Name of Curator/Project Manager, with contact information.
  • AU school and department faculty/staff member is associated with (if applicable). 
  • Will a class (or classes) be involved in the execution of the project? 
  • Are there departments within the University that you would particularly like to engage? 
  • One paragraph describing the concept for the exhibition.
  • 2-5 images to illustrate the project idea (optional).


We will contact you if we are interested in featuring your proposed exhibition. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Submissions from AU faculty and staff are especially welcome, but all are encouraged to apply, regardless of affiliation or geographic location. 

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art Submission Guidelines: 

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art features five exhibitions per year in the newly constructed first floor space in the American University Museum. We accept submissions, on a rolling basis,  from Washington artists of all ages and backgrounds, and working in diverse media. The museum's Director and Curator, Jack Rasmussen, will select curators who will review these submissions for potential use in Alper Initiative exhibitions.

To be considered, please submit the following. 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Artist Bio
  • CV
  • General Artist Statement 
  • 5-10 images of your work 
  • Image index (Title, Date, Medium, Dimensions)


The file name for each piece uploaded should be indicated as follows:

  • Artist Name_Title

All submissions must be made online and by Washington DC-area artists. Submissions made through any other platform, not the supplied online submission form, will not be accepted or viewed.  

Submissions will be made available to curators of Alper Initiative exhibitions, but are not guaranteed to be exhibited. If chosen for exhibition the artist will be contacted by Alper Initiative for Washington Art with further information.

Questions or Concerns: 202-885-3672 or aiwa@american.edu

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art