“Artists and other creative professionals can stay and work elsewhere temporarily by participating in artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities. These opportunities offer conditions that are conducive to creativity and provide their guests with context, such as working facilities, connections, audience, etc.” (Source: DutchCulture I TransArtists)
The term of residency for artists – as well as residency for other creatives and cultural professionals – is increasingly common in the arts and cultural sector; and yet profiles and intentions of residencies vary and are quite different in scope. They can be part of venues’ programmes or festivals. They can be organisations’ main mission or a standalone event. Sometimes they are implemented in art related organisations, or take place in schools, companies, hospitals, prisons, former industrial buildings etc., in either urban contexts or remote areas. Some programmes focus on an end result of creation, others are specific to the creative (or research) process. They can be topic-focused, open to specific disciplines or pivotal in connecting different fields and sectors. A whole world of opportunities – and sometimes confusion – lies behind the word ‘residency.’
In order to be informed and aptly prepared, we encourage artists, creatives and cultural professionals to consult available information and useful articles.
What should artists, creatives and cultural professionals consider when preparing a residency? What are the specifics pertaining to residencies? What are the prerequisites and processes that influence selection?
These are some examples of the questions to expect during your search. Answers can be found in the article ‘What are Residencies?’ by DutchCulture I TransArtists.
DutchCulture I TransArtists is THE online artists in residence’s international platform and an important information resource for all questions related to AiR programmes. Make sure to browse through the information provided at www.transartists.org!
The webpage also offers e.g. a concise checklist to guarantee that no detail is forgotten prior to applying for a residency. The list is divided into four parts: Motivations, Searching and Choosing, Applying, and Funding Check.
You can also consult the one-stop Guide for artists’ residencies by the Alliance of Artists Communities to help you navigate the five steps: Search, Choose, Fund, Apply and Learn.
Residency information platforms
DutchCulture I TransArtists
DutchCulture I TransArtists offers the most comprehensive source of residency programmes worldwide. The webpage includes contacts, advice, open calls, and first-hand accounts, as well as a search engine for locating residencies classified by countries, themes etc.
Res Artis – Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies
Res Artis is a Netherlands-based network of residencies with members from over 70 countries. It aims to connect organisations and individuals engaged in the field of arts residencies. This is another great resource for identifying artists’ residencies worldwide.
Residency opportunities by German institutions abroad – proposed specifically for German or Germany based artists, creatives and cultural professionals
Goethe Institut – Residency programmes
The Goethe Institut operates its own programmes and cooperates with different organisations worldwide, e.g., with the Camargo Foundation in France or the Lostgens Contemporary Art Space in Kuala Lumpur. These residencies are open to German/Germany-based artists and other cultural professionals.
The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BMK) and the Federal States
The BKM and the Federal States facilitate residencies at Villa Massimo and Casa Baldi (Rome), Villa Romana (Florence), Deutsches Studienzentrum Venedig (Venice), or Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris).
These and other residency opportunities abroad for German or Germany-based artists (visual and performing artists) offered by German institutions are outlined in the touring artists database.
USA: Alliance of Artists Communities
In addition to many other activities, the Alliance of Artists Communities provides information for artists, creatives and cultural professionals on the subject of residencies located in the USA and abroad. The webpage includes a free residency directory, information on networks and tips on applying for funding, etc.
China: China Residencies
China Residencies is a non-profit organisation that published a directory of artist residencies situated in mainland China. The website provides artists, creatives and cultural professionals with an easy way to discover opportunities in China.
France: Residencies in France
The Centre National des Arts Plastiques published the guide ‘Residencies in France’ on residency locations in France. It is available online.
Japan: AiR_J – Online Database of Artist-in-Residence Programs in Japan
AiR_J is a great resource for residencies in Japan, including all artistic disciplines.
More country-specific residency platforms, e.g., Spain, Finland, Taiwan, Latin America, etc. are compiled by DutchCulture I TransArtists. The list, ‘Regional Artist-in-Residence Platforms’ is available here.
Residency mappings – Listings of AiR opportunities in a specific region or in a specific discipline relevant to Belgium, France, the UK, Europe, etc. are also available on the DutchCulture I TransArtists webpage.
A guide on residencies in Luxembourg is available on the webpage culture.lu from the Ministry of Culture Luxembourg (in French only).
Art and environmental issues within residency programmes
The US based Alliance of Artists’ Communities also focuses on art and environmental challenges. The information ‘Art + Ecology: Residency programmes’ is available on their webpage. Practical tools and information resources are also available.
Digital art and e-mobility
The paper ‘ON-AiR Research on Digital Mobility Opportunities’ will be of interest for artists, creatives and cultural professionals interested in the topic of digital art and e-mobility.
EU ‘Policy Handbook on Artists’ Residencies’
The ‘Policy Handbook on Artists' Residencies’ (2014) is the final publication regarding the EU Open Method of Coordination (OMC) working group for artists' residencies. The handbook is a useful tool for residencies' models, best practices and key resources. It can also be an interesting resource for artists: the residencies are listed by target groups (artist, residency location, funders, local authorities, etc.).
AIR Array: Perspectives on Artist in Residence Programmes
‘AIR Array: Perspectives on Artist in Residence Programmes’ is a compilation following the event, ‘AIR ARRAY: Meeting of AiR Programmes and Mobility Workshop for Artists’, which was held in 2015. Issues discussed include: setting up and running a residency, position of AIR programmes in relation to the contemporary art ecosystem, advice for artists who are considering taking part in or starting an independent AIR programme, and other useful tips.
Goethe-Institut – Artists’ Houses in Germany
The Goethe Institut provides a list of artists' houses in Germany, listed by Federal States with an outline of each programme and selection procedures.
EU ‘Policy Handbook of Artists‘ Residencies’
The ‘Policy Handbook of Artists‘ Residencies‘ (2014) by the Open Method of Coordination Working Group of EU Member States experts on Artists‘ Residencies lists artist residencies in Germany supported by the Federal Government and the Federal States as well as other applicable information.
The webpage BerlinArtLink lists artists’ residencies in Berlin.
Dutch Culture I TransArtists database
The Dutch Culture I TransArtists database pinpoints approximately 100 residency programmes in Germany. All disciplines are taken into account, from residency programmes that cover all costs to those that do not cover any costs.
Res Artis – Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies database
Another database that includes opportunities in Germany as well as other countries is available at the Res Artis webpage.
Searching for/participating in a residency programme in Germany: Practical tips
• It is essential to comply with pertinent regulations regarding visas (when needed), social benefits and taxation (when required).
• Meet former fellows who completed a residency in Germany (e.g., through artists’ networks, the Goethe-Institut’s contacts, etc.). Hands-on information is always a ‘plus’ beyond what one can read in blogs and reports.
• Some residencies cover all costs, others only partially or not at all. Check the section on ‘Funding, opportunities and open calls’ and ascertain that all costs can be covered (travels, accommodation, daily life, overall production, etc.).
• Even if it is not a requirement, try to learn some basic German words; this is always helpful.
The article ‘Artists' Houses and Residency Programs in Germany’ (2009) provided on the Goethe Institut webpage offers relevant general information about residencies and art houses in Germany.
DutchCulture I TransArtists compiled a checklist on the topic of funding a residency.
On the Move (OTM), the cultural mobility information network, shares important details on its website (as well as via Facebook and Twitter) regarding residency opportunities and open calls with at least partial coverage for transportation costs.
OTM also has co-produced 50 cultural mobility funding guides for countries in Europe (including Germany), Asia, the Arab region, and the US.
The Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) published the ‘Funding Guide on funding opportunities for art and culture projects related to environmental sustainability’. Pages 27 to 31 present residencies with a focus on art/culture and sustainability.
The Fund-Finder – A guide to funding opportunities for arts and culture, beyond Creative Europe compiled by the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts IETM includes a section concerning paid residencies and scholarships (pages 12-13).
The Artguide Germany, which is especially invaluable for the visual arts sector and is compiled by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen ifa, also includes a list of residencies within its support section.
Calls and updated news
In order to receive regular updates on the latest opportunities and upcoming deadlines, follow the social networks of online residency platforms, in particular DutchCulture I TransArtists and Res Artis.
Dancers and choreographers can keep current with news and calls for residencies at Dancing Opportunities.
On the Move regularly updates its website with news and opportunities, including information about residencies. Subscription to the monthly newsletter is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German.
The section ‘Goethe-Institut Residency Programmes’ at the GI website provides articles and stories by artists, researchers, and curators on the move pm the site’s subpage, ‘Magazine’.
The Res Artis website also includes a section featuring reports and other material.
Publications by pépinières européennes pour jeunes artistes related to independent programmes and projects can be found here.
At Rate My Artist Residency artists, creatives and cultural professionals share feedback and comments on residency experiences.
Culture vulture with residencies is a journalistic weblog about AiR programmes throughout the world.