Residency Information

The competitive selection process for residencies at SFAI is primarily based on the applicant’s ability to creatively and critically engage with the theme of the residency season for which they are applying. The selection focuses on the professional experience of the artist, the quality of their past work, and their potential to sustain productive residency at SFAI. The selection committee is comprised of successful artists, gallery owners, art instructors, writers, and other creative professionals from Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. SFAI supports more than 60 residents per year and offers a cohesive, theme-focused creative environment and supportive working conditions. Residents are housed in well-appointed individual rooms with private baths. Those with studio-based practices will be accommodated in large, semi-private studios. All residents share a kitchen, lounge, computer lab, and collaborative production space. The overall physical layout of the residency space encourages daily interaction and fosters communication amongst residents.

Water Rights Residency Theme 2016-2017

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to announce Water Rights as its next residency and programmatic theme. Northern New Mexico is comprised of many cultures that are distinct in their traditional and evolving relationship to water and water use. Additionally, New Mexico is at the forefront of water conservation,  framed in the context of corporate, environmental, and cultural controversies. Because water is seen, now more than ever, as a contested resource, SFAI is committed to bringing together local, national, and global thinkers and creators to collectively expand and revise our knowledge of what we think we know about water rights. From September 2016 through June of 2017, SFAI and its community partners will explore several questions: How do we describe and define the contested space around water? If water use is often parallel to culture, how can cultural activities result in greater models of equity in our water systems? How can diverse practices, from poetic to practical to political, create greater access to these and other parallel resources?

Immigration/Emigration Residency Theme 2015-2016

From September 2015 through May 2016, SFAI and its community partners will explore several questions: Who immigrates/emigrates and why? How do the journeys of migrants contribute to who we are as a collective community? What happens when diverse communities come together with local and global advocates, activists, and policy makers to explore alternative models, narratives, projects, and interventions relating to the complex terrain of immigration and emigration? How can SFAI cultivate participatory discourse between invested local stakeholders and creative practitioners that examines complexities and inequities in current and historic immigration systems in the United States?

Food Justice Residency Theme 2014-2015

SFAI inaugurated our thematic residencies and programming with the topic of Food Justice.  From July 2014 through June 2015, SFAI encouraged creative minds to come together and examine the territory of food justice.  Together we asked, how can we use diverse creative practices to confront inherent social, cultural and economic problems in our food system?  Further, how can we bring together insights from creative fields, environmental sciences, sustainable agriculture, critical theory, and food studies to have local, national, and international impact?


Residency Length and Availability

SFAI provides residencies for creative practitioners from all over the world.  Applications are received online, on a rolling basis. The length of residencies varies from one month minimum to three continuous months, maximum. Residencies are not available during the months of January and February. Residency and program themes run from July through June.

Application Requirements

All applications must be uploaded here.

CV/Resume (up to 6000 words)

Residency Proposal (up to 3000 words)

Statement (up to 3000 words)

Short Narrative Bio

Two Letters of Reference (can not be reused)

Visual Artists: 10 still images, or 5 minutes of video

Writers: 10 pages of prose or 10 poems (not to exceed 15 pages total)

SFAI will accept a composite of written and visual materials for creative practices that result in diverse forms of documentation

Residency Fees

Application Fee: $35, non-refundable

Residency Fee: $1,000.00 per month

Residency Application Deadline

Deadline for the application is December 31 of each year, with residencies scheduled  after July of the following year.


SFAI does not accept residency applications by email, regular mail, or fax.

Apply here.

Financial Aid

SFAI offers limited financial aid in the form of need-based scholarships made possible by the generosity of the McCune Foundation, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rauschenberg Foundation, and the Burnett Foundation. Application for and allocation of all scholarships will be awarded once the applicant has been accepted into residency. Need-based scholarships are decided at the discretion of the SFAI, based on tax returns and letters of financial necessity. With any further questions please contact the Nina Elder, Residency Program Manager, at