Beginning with “Equal Justice” in Fall of 2017, SFAI will award up 80 sponsored residencies to artists and professionals of all disciplines. Our initiative to sponsor residency fees is a direct response to a global rise in intolerance and division, and the increasingly critical role for institutions like SFAI to foster social equity. We believe that together we can create a more just society.

We seek to broaden the residency experience and increase collective knowledge by bringing together artists with other innovators in disciplines such as architecture, planning, policy, education, science, health, law, and activism. We strategically integrate artistic experimentation, scholarship, collaborative research, and community engagement to transcend the limits of traditional disciplines and create new forms, narratives, and approaches to address the central issues of our time.

Together, we can cultivate creative leadership and invest in community, culture, and place to re-imagine a more equitable world.

From September 2017 through July 2018, SFAI programming will explore the following questions within the context of Equal Justice:

  • How can art be used to engage systems of power and foster social and racial equity?
  • How can community action creatively address accountability and responsibility for equal justice within legal, financial, and social systems?
  • How can creative practices bear witness and give testimony to those who suffer injustice, and in the process help to transform systems of structural oppression?



Since 1985, SFAI has hosted over 1250 total residents, including over 400 international and 180 local residents. The SFAI Residency Program offers an integrated and responsive environment for artists and creative practitioners to explore their work and its impact.  Alumni include Richard Diebenkorn, John Baldessari, Susan Rothenberg, Coco Fusco, Postcommodity, Helen Frankenthaler, Guillermo Gomez Peña, Judy Chicago, Erika Harrsch, Donald Sultan, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Nathan Oliveira.

Through the sponsored thematic residency, SFAI offers living and working space for one to three months in our beautiful, Ricardo Legorreta designed building within Santa Fe. Each residency includes a fully furnished private apartment and bath, a semi-private studio, communal kitchen, dining, and living room areas, laundry facilities, gallery / installation / event space, access to outdoor spaces and interior courtyards, a contemporary art library, basic foodstuffs, and bicycle access. SFAI subsidizes all the above at no cost to residents in our commitment to supporting individuals dedicated to positive social change through creativity.



At SFAI, we are artists, innovative thinkers and engaged citizens. We cultivate creative leadership and invest in community, culture, and place to re-imagine a more equitable world.

SFAI implements yearlong thematic programing that addresses pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities. By hosting residencies for creative practitioners, fostering partnerships with regional cultural and educational organizations, and integrating social entrepreneurial and education initiatives, SFAI aspires to transform Santa Fe into a hub for positive social change that reflects the greatest needs of our times.



Please visit our Residency Information Page, our Facilities Page, and our Residency FAQ Page. For more information about applying for a residency or how your organization can engage as a community partner, email the Residency Program Manager at, or call 505.424.5050.





The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to announce Equal Justice as its next residency and programmatic theme. SFAI believes deeply in the transformative power of art and working in community to provide creative solutions to complex problems. We are committed to employing the arts to promote greater equity, sustainability, and interconnectedness. We support artists, designers, and innovative thinkers who seek collective, creative action to bring awareness to the root causes of injustice and to drive systemic change. Equal Justice at SFAI will explore and address systemic and structural issues of social inequity, both historically and in contemporary society. Equal Justice is often thought to be the basis of democratic society–yet as democracy has developed around the world, there are many governmental, societal, and trade barriers to equality such as segregation, racial profiling, gender discrimination, xenophobic policies, mass incarceration, and forced cultural assimilation. We ask, how can an exploration of true equal justice and democracy lead to an international dialogue? How can art be used to engage systems of power and foster social equity? How can community action creatively address accountability and responsibility for equal justice within legal, financial, and social systems?



The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to announce Water Rights as its 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?



From September 2015 through May 2016, SFAI and its community partners explored 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?



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, we explored 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.



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