There are thousands of programs across the country whose sole mission is it to support artist.  Residency programs are a great way to build community, develop your practice, and learn new techniques.  In these types of programs you typically live with other artists in a supportive setting from one week up to more than a year.

Most residencies have required fees especially for emerging artist.  In these types of environments there may be scholarships or work programs that can help off set the costs.  Asking about these type of opportunities before you apply is a good idea.  There are, however some non-fee spaces where you get a studio space for free, but may pay for housing, meals, or travel.  Essentially in this system you are given the gift of time.  And the dream gig is a stipend residency.  Most of these types of programs require artists have an education and are pretty established in their field.

Important things to consider before you apply to programs:

1.  You; what you’re doing (subjects you relate to, audience, effect on that audience, artistic influences)? what do you want (to make, develop for your practice, directions you want to go, new mediums, community interaction)? What do you need (what stands between you and the work you want to make, how much time do you need, what do you need access to)?

2.Them; When you understand how programs work, what they offer, to whom and why you can make a more informed decision which will help your proposal stand out.

Research these programs by the type of award, eligibility (sometimes we don’t fit what they want), frequency (how often you can apply, how often do they give out awards), deadlines, turnaround (when will they tell you if you made the cut), and other recipients (how do you compare to past residents).

How to apply?

Follow their directions.  It may sound simple, but they are specific with requirements.  You may call with questions about the process (and by the way they love this because it shows you care about the program and doing everything right).  Make sure everything arrives on the deadline.  Tardiness is never professional.  Be sure to research the space and send the type of work they will be interested in.

So here are a few places I enjoy checking out:

Alliance of Artist Communities

Res Artis

Residency Unlimited

Sabbatical Homes (this is a less traditional residency site.  it is more like a place to find vacation or cheap room rent for a month or so while a full-time instructor is on sabbatical)


US National Parks (You may not have known it, but most national parks have a residency program!  Most don’t provide funding, but they do give you a place to stay and make work.)

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