Dorsey: Finding the perfect artists’ residencyWritten by John Dorsey | | email@example.com
After the recent announcement about the closing of the Collingwood Arts Center’s (CAC) artist residency program I received a number of phone calls and emails asking for my help and advice as to what artists in our area should do. Where should they go?
One of truly interesting things about the CAC is that it catered largely to the needs of local artists, which is wonderful, but one of the things that always surprised me is just how many younger artists in our region didn’t know that there are other residencies out there, all over the country and all over the world.
I’m not trying to get our artists to leave the Glass City anytime soon, but I do want people to know what opportunities are out there, so today I want to highlight just a few.
As someone who has struggled to make the rent as a working artist for a number of years, I’m always on the lookout for a shelter from the storm myself and I found the first residency I want to tell you about through a random Google search. If you don’t want to have to travel very far, it may just be for you. I’m talking about Detroit’s Write A House program, which is offering free space to three lucky writers in any genre who are looking for the chance to work on their craft and own their own home. The premise is simple: Writers from all over can apply to live in one of three houses owned by the organization, and after two years of working, giving readings, blogging about the experience and just giving back to the local literary community, they receive the deed to their home. Interested authors do have to pass a credit check and demonstrate their commitment to helping revitalize the city through literary activity, but you can find more on that and just how to apply at http://writeahouse.com.
The next program I want to talk about is the Sundress Academy for the Arts. Much like Write A House, Sundress is a new residency program, located just a little bit further away on the 29-acre Firefly Farms in Knoxville, Tenn. Unlike Write A House, Sundress is more short-term and places its emphasis squarely on arts education in the form of workshops, retreats and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers and visual artists. Sundress is the creation of Erin Elizabeth Smith, English lecturer for the University of Tennessee, and founder of Sundress Publications, which puts out the annual Best of the Net anthology. Since they have more offerings than I have space to mention in this column, you can find out more here, http://sundresspublications.com/safta.
Lastly, I want to mention a long-standing residency and also tell you where you can find a constant flow of information about various artist spaces no matter what your medium or level of experience. The 18th Street Arts Center is truly one of the crown jewels in LA’s fine arts community. Located in Santa Monica since 1988, it offers both short-term and long-term residencies to artists in a variety of mediums, as well as a number of public programs. Geared toward those seeking mentoring as well as artists well on their way in their careers, this may just be the perfect fit for you. For more information, visit http://18thstreet.org.
Don’t see anything here that interests you? That’s OK, you can also get signed up for the Alliance of Artists Communities newsletter at http://www.artistcommunities.org. There you’ll find countless residency opportunities, as well as up-to-date deadlines and admission requirements.
I hope this helps a little; I do what I can. We all want our art to find a good home, but that can’t happen if our artists are worrying about where they’re going to sleep. It’s cold out there. Thanks for listening, Toledo.
Until next time…keep your pencil sharp.
John Dorsey is a widely published poet. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Tags: 18th Street Arts Center, Alliance of Artists Communities, Collingwood Arts Center, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Firefly Farms, Glass CIty Muse, John Dorsey, Sundress Academy for the Arts, Sundress Publications, University of Tennessee, Write A House