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2021 Call for Proposals

Submissions due by January 15, 2021


KMAC Couture was initially conceived as a wearable art runway show presented by KMAC Museum, a contemporary art museum on Museum Row in Louisville, Kentucky.  KMAC Couture debuted inside the museum in 2013 to a sold-out crowd, and expanded to Main Street in 2014. By 2019, the event had grown to more than 1,000 people - from artists, models, stylists and staff to more than 750 ticketholders.


KMAC Couture is a dynamic, mission-specific event that focuses on connecting people to art and creative practice.  Young artists are nurtured and provided mentoring and a showcase for their imagination, while established artists have the opportunity to stretch their practices in new ways.   As a result, KMAC Couture offers an extraordinary presentation of original couture pieces of wearable art and conceptual fashion designs.


In 2020, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, KMAC Museum opted to translate the live runway event to a film experience that provided a fascinating opportunity for the artists and models to work with a film crew to showcase their garments.  The film was incredibly well-received by artists, ticket holders, and sponsors. This new medium allowed us to share the artists’ work with an even broader audience, provided the artists with a professionally produced film clip for their portfolios, and offered an opportunity to show even more of the detail that goes into each garment.



Past iterations of KMAC Couture have existed at the crossroads of fashion and art.  This year’s curatorial statement explicitly asks our artists to use music -- songs, albums, genres, lyrics - as their guide and muse for the project: 


"Art, fashion and music often accompany one another amid cultural movements. Hip Hop and Punk, for example, were both guided by an aesthetic sensibility that was filtered through sounds, clothing styles, and distinct visual graphics. Soul, R&B, and Country music all continue to evolve in much the same way, informed by symbols, concepts and patterns that seem to pervade all aspects of how the genres are seen and heard. For KMAC Couture 2021 we encourage you to create a look to be worn at the intersections of art, fashion and music" (2021 KMAC Couture Curatorial Statement, Beauty and the Beat).

In 2021, we plan to broaden our engagement with our creative community by including one or more filmmakers in a film that breaks free of the conventional runway. Using curated selections from local musicians as a soundtrack and local locations as a backdrop, our filmmaker(s) will craft a series of music videos that provide an unmistakable sense of Louisville as a place and a platform from which the garments can transcend that place. These music videos will then be interspersed with more traditional documentary-style footage (artist vignettes, curator interviews, etc.) to create a cohesive narrative through-line that ties the film together.


The following guidelines serve as a broad overview of the scope of the project. The selected filmmaker(s) can expect that their unique vision will be encouraged as the project is further fleshed out in tandem with museum staff and the KMAC Couture curatorial team.

  • Overall film length will be  50-60 minutes total, comprising the following components:

    • 6-8 music videos at 3-4 minutes each, featuring local music, and potentially musical performance. Each music video will highlight 5-7 artist made garments. Music videos may be filmed by a single filmmaker or a series of filmmakers.

    • 5-7 Additional film vignettes featuring:

      1. 2-3 Behind the Scenes with artists crafting their garments

      2. A two-person interview (single location, single shoot) with KMAC Museum Curatorial Director, Executive Director, or others

      3. Sponsor “Moments” featuring a sponsor sharing their “why” about supporting KMAC Couture.

    • An in-KMAC shoot of a “VJ” who will act as host stringing all of the segments  together

  • Showcasing of garments

    • The overall goal of the film is to showcase the garments created by our KMAC Couture 2021 artists. To that end, it will be expected that each of the 30-50 chosen garments will be on camera for 20-30 seconds each, the models wearing the garments will be moving - and must be covered with a series of head to toe shots, garment detail shots and facial expressions of the model, where appropriate. Locations, props, and lighting choice should all be chosen to ensure that the garments are not overpowered.

    • Each garment will require credit information (garment name, artist name, model name, hair/makeup team, etc) to be displayed during a portion of its screen time. A graphic treatment will be supplied by KMAC.

  • Editing

    • Each filmmaker will be responsible for editing their material and providing a final cut to the museum. Each cut will have at least one set of reviews with notes provided in a timely fashion by KMAC


We ask that filmmakers interested in participating in this project bring their imagination in abundance along with a willingness to work within a somewhat restricted budget. Final budgets will be negotiated per filmmaker in consultation with museum staff. As a guide, filmmakers who film a single MUSIC VIDEO  can expect a total budget of approximately $3000, excluding costs for song rights. This budget would include production, crew and gear (about 7-8 hours), editorial and revisions.


  • KMAC Couture 2021artists chosen/garment construction begins - January 2021

    1. Models chosen (for artists without models) - February 2021

    2. Garment construction concludes - April 2021

  • Filmmakers chosen - February 2021

  • Filming begins - April 2021

  • Filming complete - June 2021

  • Film premieres - August 2021


Filmmakers interested in participating in this project should submit an application NO LATER THAN JANUARY 15TH. Please note that preference will be given to filmmakers from the Louisville and/or Kentucky area.

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