Note: This page is for archival purposes. Click to read about the selected 2020-2021 Artist in Residence.


Call for Applications: Belonging Artist-in-Residence 2021

APPLICATIONS DUE AUG 20th, 11:59pm PST (Application Form)

Tower & Dungeon Oakland meeting, Complex Movements, group gathered around a table and video chatImage: 2020 AIR Complex Movements' Oakland dialogue with Aneb Kgositsile

Residency Vision

Stories, symbols, relationships and rituals are at the root of authentic belonging. Belonging speaks to who we are and who we can be. But it also requires a reshaping of social and economic practices, and the systems, structures, and institutions that govern our lives. Artistic and cultural practices frequently hold radical insight into reshaping these systems and practices - but only if we are attuned to notice those insights. Audre Lorde said it like this:

“The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are, until the poem, nameless and formless-about to be birthed, but already felt.” (Poetry is Not a Luxury)

The third year of our Artist-in-Residence program supports one artist or artist collective to shift the quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives in order to illuminate understandings and practices of belonging. We are seeking applications from an artist whose work can offer deep insight into the radical transformation of elements of society towards belonging. We recognize that the transformation of systems and structures is most powerful when it builds from the personal, intimate and interpersonal. In particular, we are interested in works that bring people together for dialogue and connection. In the context of Covid-19, this is unlikely to be about physical gathering, but may include other types of exchange and the nurturing of new connectivities.

While the residency may be used to deepen or expand on a project that extends beyond the residency period, we are looking for the development of discrete activities, outcomes and reflections that respond to this vision.

What the Residency Entails

Your residency with us brings you into connection with a leading social science research Institute and our interdisciplinary partners, collaborators and community that hail from sectors as diverse as academia, government, nonprofit, law, the arts, philanthropy, faith-based communities, science, policy advocates, community organizers and interested individuals. You will work in close collaboration with the Institute’s Arts and Cultural Strategy Coordinator to develop a work plan, budget and process for documenting your time. The artist(s) may work remotely for the bulk of the residency period. The program does not provide living space or studio space.

To view the incredible work of our first AIR, Christine Wong Yap, please see her project page here, created for the project. Christine also provided a helpful review of her inaugural residency. Our second resident, the collective Complex Movements, has spent the year deepening their investigation into Tower & Dungeon, the out-of-print work of Detroit scholar/activist Aneb Kgositsile. Through internal and curated conversations with an intergenerational group of artists and organizers, Complex Movements is using the work as a guide into a constellation of creative strategies at the intersection of the prison industrial complex, city planning, and the climate crisis. A conversation on cultural strategy with Complex Movements and our Arts and Cultural Strategy Coordinator will be published this fall.

Through the residency, the artist will have:

  • A platform for sharing completed work through our diverse network 
  • Amplification of the work through our online presence and publications 
  • Support from the Arts & Cultural Strategy coordinator Evan Bissell throughout the process
  • A $15,000 honorarium 
  • Limited materials and travel budget is available based on project concept. 

How the Resident will be chosen

The Artist in Residence will be selected by a diverse panel that represents the Institute’s interdisciplinary approach. And... 

You meet all eligibility requirements:

  • Artists or artist collectives working independently of a 501c3 nonprofit are eligible. If you are working under a registered 501c3, you are not eligible to apply.
  • If you are a collective, you must submit one application. Multiple applications for collectives are not permitted. If you are a collective, you must designate a primary contact who will be responsible for managing the scheduling and communication of your collective.
  • The AIR does not have to reside in the United States.

Your application exceptionally demonstrates:

  • How you will illuminate practices and understandings of belonging that can shape systems and structures  
  • How dialogue and relationship are core components of the process
  • A process and practice of belonging
  • Results in compelling, high quality outcomes
  • Contains elements that can be completed within the timeframe of the residency and shared publicly

Please note in preparing your application: We use the above points as the rubric for assessing artist applications.


APPLICATIONS DUE AUG 20th, 11:59pm PST (Application Form)

  • A 500-word letter or 3:00 minute video of intent that describes your proposed activities during the residency. (To help guide your writing, please see the section above on how the panel will choose the artist)
  • A 500-word or 3:00 minute video artist statement that helps us get to know you and how the residency vision resonates with your work.
  • A CV, or multiple CVs if applying as a collective

Media Sample - Please choose from the following for your submission 

  • 10 images combined in one pdf with max 50 word descriptions per image
  • Up to three minutes of video or audio. 
    • Note: If this is part of a longer video/audio, please indicate the time-stamp. Panelists are not expected to review more than three minutes.
  • Up to five pages of prose or ten pages of poetry
    • Note: You may also combine images, video, audio and writing in the following forms or similar combination:
      • 5 images in one pdf and 90 seconds of video or audio
      • 5 images in one pdf and 5 pages of poetry
      • a similar combination of these

Please note, reviewers will not be expected to review more than 3 minutes on any audio/video submission

Check out the following video links explaining how to upload audio files OR videos to YouTube.
Check out the following video link explaining how to upload videos to Vimeo.

Timeline (subject to change)

July 21, 2020: Call for applications is released
August 20, 2020: Applications are due by 11:59pm (PST)
September 4, 2020: Short listed candidates will be notified and receive request for interview. All other applicants will be notified of decision.
Sept 7-Sept 11, 2020: Interviews with short-listed candidates
September 16, 2020: Chosen Resident notified
September 22, 2020: Public announcement of chosen Resident 
October 1, 2020: Residency period begins. Planning meeting with Arts and Cultural Strategy Coordinator.

The period of the residency will be October 1, 2020 - September 31, 2021.

For any questions about the Artist-in-Residence application process, contact

The Artist-in-Residency program is made possible by the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation.