An artist residency is a program in which an artist is provided with time and resources in order to work on their creative projects.
These programs are run through a variety of different institutions, and each has slightly different lengths, requirements, and benefits.
Whether or not you are accepted for an artist residency program often depends entirely on your artist residency proposal — so you’re going to want to write a good one!
Your proposal is your first impression to the people who will determine whether you get accepted or not.
So, how do you write a good artist residency proposal?
That’s where we come in. Discover how to write the perfect artist residency proposal by reading this article, because we cover everything you need to know in order to take your proposal to the next level.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at:
- What is an artist residency proposal?
- How to write an artist residency proposal?
- Frequently asked questions.
Let’s go ahead and jump right into it!
What Is An Artist Residency Proposal?
An artist residency proposal is a proposal that is sent off to the institution of your choice and acts as a form of application for the residency position.
You will outline why you would be a good fit for the residency program, what project you would be working on, and your goals in terms of project completion.
These artist residency proposals often have a few key requirements, such as an essay outlining your artistic goals as well as a sample of your work.
A well-crafted proposal can open the door for incredible opportunities when it comes to working on your creative project.
How To Write An Artist Residency Proposal?
So, how exactly do you go about writing an artist residency proposal? What specific information do you need to include? There are a few key factors that you’re going to want to make sure you include.
From the proposal itself to the work sample, we’ve got everything you need to know about writing an artist residency proposal.
Let’s go ahead and break down how to write a great artist residency proposal, step-by-step:
1. Be Specific
When writing your proposal, you’re going to want to ensure that you are being specific. This means detailing the project you are working on, why you would be a good fit for the program, and what you intend to have completed by the end of it.
There is no use sending in an artist residency proposal that isn’t clear about your project or what can be expected from you in terms of output.
These programs want to know what they can expect to see by the end of the residency, so be as specific as possible about your project.
2. Include a Strong Work Sample
The sample that you include in your artist residency proposal is going to be the first impression of your artistic practice, so it is vital that you choose your strongest work!
Make sure that you select your absolute best pieces for your work sample. Not only that, but it is a good idea to make sure that the layout of your work sample is clean and flows well.
Take special care with your work sample and try to look at it as though seeing it for the first time to gauge whether or not it is the best reflection of your work.
Selecting something you have gotten positive critical feedback for, and has gotten a good response from your peers, should help to determine what assessors will respond best to.
3. Be Reasonable
When making your artist residency proposal, make sure that you are not asking for too much — or alternatively, too little. In terms of outlining the resources and support that you will require during your residency, be sure that it is an accurate and reasonable reflection of what you need.
What these programs are likely looking for is an accurate representation of what will be expected of both you and them. Consider what support and resources you will require during your residency, and ensure that your requests are reasonable.
4. Personalize the Pitch
These programs likely receive a huge influx of artist residency proposals, so making your proposal stand out from the crowd is essential.
Personalize the pitch in your artist residency proposal by adding a bit of your own style and personality to it.
This can be done through the word choices of your written component, the formatting and style of the proposal itself, and the work sample that you include.
A generic pitch that doesn’t include specific details of the institution you’re applying to will come off as underresearched, and portray you as someone who is trying to get any residency they can.
In contrast, personalizing the pitch in your artist residency proposal to suit both your personality and the style of the program you are applying for is a great way to stand out.
5. Be Persistent
Don’t give up right away if your artist residency is not immediately accepted by your first choice of program. Be persistent! Submit your artist residency proposal to multiple programs for a better chance of being accepted.
If you have your heart set on one specific program, try reworking your proposal and trying to resubmit any time that they have a spot open. Changing up your proposal and constantly working on improving it will mean that you have a higher chance of acceptance when submitting again.
One way to improve your own proposal is to research successful proposals from previous submission periods. Sometimes successful applicants will share their own experience and materials online for others to reference.