Artist residencies (also called artist communities, colonies, retreats, workspaces, and studio collectives) provide dedicated time and space for creative work.
Residencies can be found in urban and rural areas, provide support for artists of all disciplines, and serve one or more artists for a temporary period spanning several weeks to many years.
According to the Alliance of Artists Communities, some residencies support one artistic genre while most are interdisciplinary, welcoming visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, scholars, and other creative individuals. There are programs that are active centers for public programs and others that offer solitude and retreat. Many provide room and board as a home-away-from-home; others offer not a place to live, but a community for local artists in which to work and be supported in the creation of new art.
(All facts and figures provided by the Alliance of Artists Communities)
An estimated 500 artists’ communities are in the U.S. and more than 1,500 are worldwide.
30,000 artists are provided residencies each year (approx. 10,000 in the U.S.).
Residencies in the U.S. provide an estimated $40 million in support to artists annually.
70% are multidisciplinary, serving visual artists, writers, composers, filmmakers, choreographers, and others.
60% are in rural areas and small towns, while 40% are in urban areas.
90% have public programs that engage the local community.
Initially, Riverside Rising will house its Artist Residency Program in a building located at 302 Bruce Street in Rosedale to be within walking distance from both museums and the Perry Martin Distillery. The furnished studio apartment will be in the back half of the building, and the front half of the building will feature artist studio space, communal seating for events, and a small gallery.
To garner interest in the Artist Residency program, Riverside Rising will promote the program online through existing arts-based non-profit organizations and social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
The screening process will be conducted online during the months of June-September of 2020 and will cost each artist $25 per application. The Board of Directors and Program Manager for Arts & Culture will review all applications and make the final artist selection in October. The Artist Residency program will begin in January and conclude in June each year.
Programming for the Artist Residency will consist of the following categories:
The gallery will feature the work of the artist-in-residence and will also host the work of artists from the Mississippi Delta region. All work will be for sale with proceeds going directly to the respective artist and some to Riverside Rising to help the organization support the residency program. Additionally, local merchandise from the four-county region will be sold in the gallery to support artisans of all disciplines.
The gallery space will be multi-use allowing for the artist-in-residence to host art classes and workshops but will also be available to rent for various events.
Activities can include:
- Gallery Opening & Artist Talk
- Paint & Wine (paint can be replaced with any artistic discipline)
- Design Workshop
Riverside Rising believes the most impactful component of an artist residency program is arts education. The artist-in-residence will teach classes after school to K-12 students and host day camps to provide students, adults, and visitors alike with hands-on learning experiences in their artistic discipline. After school classes will last one hour and will take place twice per week. Day camps will last three hours and will take place one Saturday every month.
As part of the residency program, each artist will design one piece of work based on regional themes curated by the Program Manager for Arts & Culture. Each piece will be displayed publicly and will be left behind as the artist’s contribution to the program and the Mississippi Delta region. The public art pieces will vary in style and design based on each artist’s discipline, but all pieces will pay homage to the area and will provide residents with a stronger sense of place and cultural identity.
Riverside Rising will develop partnerships with the Mississippi Arts Commission, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and National Endowment for the Arts to learn best practices, expand programming, and solicit funding opportunities. These practitioners, and more, will be able to provide clarity and insight to Riverside Rising as the organization expands its artist residency program to all four counties in its target region.
Riverside Rising will host one artist-in-residence per year for a six-month period. If the artist provides value to the community and region by producing art, teaching art classes, and hosting social events at the gallery, Riverside Rising will expand its program to host two artists per year (January-June and July-December).
If demand for a residency spot in the Mississippi Delta is higher than anticipated, Riverside Rising will opt to host four artists per year for a three-month period (January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December) to accommodate the applying artists and participating Delta communities.