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Artist Residency – what is it?

Artist Residencies – a valuable opportunity

As an artist, there are endless possibilities when it comes to courses, workshops, coaching and educational options. All of them are ways to improve. One of the maybe lesser known options are ”Artist Residencies”.

(If you’re already familiar with the residency phenomenon, you might want to skip this blogpost. It’s mostly for those of you who don’t already know about residencies as an opportunity.)

Read this blogpost in Danish here>>

What is it?

“Artist Residencies” is an offer of staying somewhere, where you can focus on your creative work, get feedback, you can network or find inspiration for new work.

Sometimes, you’ll need to pay for your own travel and food while you’re there, but in other cases it’s included. A residency can take place in a Scandinavian mountain cabin all by yourself. It could also be with a bunch of other artists in an educational institution. Or even in an arts center in Canada, Portugal or wherever!

Who is it for?

”Artist Residencies” is a worldwide thing and can be applied for from basically everywhere. They are often published online with detailed descriptions of who will be eligible for a residency. Residencies exists for both writers, painters, choreographers, dramaturges, actors, playwrights, directors etc.! There are almost no limit to what kind of art you do, when it comes to residencies. I say it’s just about going online and searching for whatever kind of residency that fits you!

Sometimes you will need to be either a professional (with some sort of degree or other acclaims to your name). Or just have a bunch of experience before you are eligible to apply. But that will be included in the details of the residencies you’re thinking of applying for. If you want to know more about it (or start searching now!) I can recommend looking at this post by Transartists.org (LINK), about what to expect from residencies and applying for them.

What’s in it for you?

If you’re applying for a residency and are lucky enough to get one, you’ll get a once in a lifetime experience! Plus, there are no limits on how many residencies you can go on, ever! First of all, you’ll escape your everyday setting and have the opportunity to be inspired by the new place and its culture. You also have the chance to run into other cool artists, try some things and enjoy a work-friendly environment. My uncle, the poet Erik Trigger, often goes on a residency somewhere, where he can concentrate on his writing and develop new material for his books and poetry-collections.

Some places want you to contribute to the local community. Either by hosting a workshop or give them a painting or a novel that you made etc.

Artist Residencies are focus and networking!

I’ve been working with residencies in my day-job at a theatre for contemporary dance, where we annually invite professional choreographers and dancers to apply for dance-residencies. Here everything is covered, including travels, food, accommodation and even a salary! This is one of the more unusual and privileged types of residencies, because it is so rare to have everything covered!

Are you curious about residencies and wondering if it’s something you should try? Please don’t hesitate to check out Transartists.org and other such pages. Or start searching online for “[Your artform/e.g. writer or actor] + Residency” – and you’re ready to go!

Have you tried being a residency artists or do you feel like trying it out now? Let me hear about your adventures in the comments!

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