Residency Eligibility & How to Apply

The Santa Fe Art Institute accepts applications once a year for our annual International Thematic Residency Program, which includes our Family Residency Month in July.

Applications for the 2020 Labor Residency are now closed.


The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) welcomes local, national, and international applicants of all backgrounds.

  • Applicants must be 25 years or older.
  • SFAI accepts applications from Individuals, Collaborations, and Families.
  • Collaborations: Collaborations are between two people. Preference is given to collaborators with a history of successfully working together, but new Collaborations will be considered. Only one application is required per Collaboration and applications must reflect the work of both members.
  • Families: The Family Residency is for just one month each year, in July only. Applicants who are not parents / guardians of a child are not eligible for this program. Parent-artists are welcome to bring one or two children between the ages of 2 and 17 with them to the July Family Residency.
    For the July Family Residency, we only accept applications from Individual parent-artists and Collaborations between parent-artists who are partners / spouses. This means either:
    1) Only one parent / guardian is an artist and applies for a residency as an Individual, and their spouse / partner and up to two children can accompany them. OR 2) Both parents / guardians are artists who work together on a mutual project, apply for a joint residency and they can bring up to two children with them.
  • Disciplines: Our International Thematic Residency Program is open to all artistic disciplines (e.g., visual arts, writing, performance, new media, etc.) and other creative practices including, but not limited to, curation, design, architecture, and education. We strongly encourage applicants with interdisciplinary and non-traditional creative practices.
  • Education / Training: We do not require any particular level of education or training to apply. Our residency program is open to emerging, mid-career, and established artists and creative practioners who have a dedicated studio practice and professional demeanor.
  • Accessibility: All of SFAI’s facilities are located in one single-story building, without any steps. Our studios and common spaces (kitchen, dining room, lounge, laundry room, library and interior courtyard) are barrier-free. We have two ADA compliant rooms each with enlarged living spaces, roll in bathrooms/showers, and a second bed for a personal care attendant. All of our outdoor pathways are paved and connect via ramps to accessible parking spaces at our front and rear entrances. To learn more about and see photos of SFAI’s building, please visit our Facility & Space Rental.


  • Please note that SFAI cannot accommodate artists who work solely in oil paint, and we enforce a strict ban on solvents and other noxious and/or toxic materials in the building. Spray paints and spray adhesives can be used with care in our outdoor workyard only.
  • While we welcome dancers, musicians, and composers, as well as performance / movement artists, SFAI does not have any specialized facilities or equipment such as a sprung floor, soundproof rooms, or instruments.
  • We ask all potential applicants to carefully consider if SFAI is a good fit for their needs and/or how they may adapt their practice to flourish in the context of SFAI before applying.
  • Alumni: Alumni are not eligible to apply if they participated in the theme immediately prior to the current open call for applications. For instance, Truth & Reconciliation residents are not eligible to apply for the 2020 thematic residency.


SFAI only accepts applications online through SlideRoomWe require a $35 online payment to submit your application.

Required Application Materials

  • 10 digital work samples (which may be any combination of still images, video, audio, and writing samples)
  • Project proposal (describing the materials and methods of your work and how you would use them to engage the annual theme during a residency at SFAI)
  • 250-word biography (preferably written in the third person)
  • Two-page resume (highlighting education, work experience, awards, and exhibition history)
  • Two professional references (who are familiar with you and your work)

Application & Residency Schedule

  • Applications are open once annually for 12 weeks, beginning in January and closing in March.
  • All applications are reviewed and ranked by a panel of jurors in April. (Visit the Residency FAQ for more information about the application review and selection process).
  • All applicants are notified of the results of their application in May (within 8 weeks from the close of applications).
  • Registration and scheduling of residencies takes place in June.
  • Awardees are announced on our website and in our newsletter in August.
  • Residencies begin the following year, and are offered every month except April, August, and December. July is reserved expressly for the Family Residency.
  • Please note that each residency month has a specific arrival and departure date that does not necessarily correspond to the first and last days of each calendar month. SFAI will provide the arrival and departure dates to residents at the end of the registration and scheduling period.


The Internal Culture of SFAI

The core of SFAI’s International Thematic Residency Program is a curated community of diverse creative practitioners living and working together within a shared space, and which requires good interpersonal abilities. All of our programming and partnerships are designed to support thought-provoking conversations and inspire action around social justice, cultural freedom, and environmental responsibility in a safe and supportive space where the sharing of diverse experiences and approaches is celebrated.

SFAI has a zero tolerance policy on discrimination and is deeply committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, spiritual beliefs, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, affectation, and expression, physical ability or disability.

SFAI asks our staff, residents, fellows and board members who identify as white to openly acknowledge our privilege and take responsibility in educating ourselves – not to rely on people of color, LGBTQ+, disabled, or otherwise marginalized, underrepresented or oppressed communities to do the work for us – and instead to actively cultivate our sensibilities and behaviors as true allies.

Before applying, we ask all applicants to consider their own cultural sensitivity, emotional intelligence, and the ways in which they will personally contribute to and benefit from engaging in this environment.

To read more about SFAI’s values and ongoing efforts to foster inclusivity, please visit our About.

Residency Duration

SFAI offers Individuals and Collaborations residencies from a minimum of 1 month, to 2 months, or a maximum of 3 months. Our program cannot accommodate shorter durations and all residents are expected to be present for the duration of their awarded residency.

Be advised that residents may not be awarded the total number of months requested in their applications.

Residency months do not have to be consecutive (e.g., applicants may elect to come for a month in the spring and then return for another month in the fall).

The Family Residency is for just one month, in July only. We do not allow partners / spouses or children to accompany residents during any other month.

Collaborators must attend the entirety of their residency together. If one member of a Collaboration cannot participate in the entirety of the awarded residency for any reason, then the entirety of the residency is automatically cancelled for both members. This means, SFAI will not offer an individual residency to an applicant who was accepted as part of a Collaboration, nor can either member of an approved Collaboration be replaced, and partial participation by one or both members of a Collaboration is not acceptable.

Room and Studio Assignments

Local applicants who live within a one-hour drive of Santa Fe are not given a room on site, but are provided a studio, 24/7 access to the building, and included in all residency programming.

Non-local (i.e., National and International) Collaborations will be assigned either one or two rooms, depending on your members’ needs, but both members of a Collaboration always share one studio.

Applicants for the July 2020 Family Residency may request one additional room for their children. Additional room assignments are not guaranteed and will be determined based on the overall composition of each year’s Family Residency and each family’s needs. Additional rooms are typically assigned to parent-artists who are either: 1) bringing two children with them, 2) bringing a child or children with special needs, 3) bringing a child who is 12 to 17 years old, 4) bringing their spouse / partner with them, or 5) some combination of the above.

Please visit the Residency FAQ for additional detailed information about our International Thematic Residency Program.