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The Santa Fe Art Institute Thematic Residency Program supports dynamic creative practices that engage complex social issues, inspire individual transformation, and inform collective action. SFAI welcomes local, national, and international applicants of all backgrounds. SFAI is especially committed to supporting marginalized and underrepresented artists, including Black, Indigenous, and artists of color, disabled, LGBTQ+, women, and immigrant artists.
2024 Sovereignty ThemeResidency FAQs


  • 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: Families are integrated into the annual International Thematic Residency, in July only.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 practitioners who have a dedicated studio practice and professional demeanor.
  • Accessibility: SFAI is committed to accessibility as an integral aspect of both diversity and inclusivity, in all that we do. Read more about our commitment to Accessibility here.
  • BIPOC Award: SFAI seeks to better support regional BIPOC artists through our Thematic Residency Program. Through the BIPOC Award program, SFAI intends to award a $500 stipend to BIPOC artists who are selected for a residency. In order to be eligible for this stipend program, applicants must:
    • Meet all the eligibility requirements listed above.
    • Self identify as Indigenous, Black, or a Person of Color.
    • Apply as an Individual. Collaborations and applicants to the Family Residency are not eligible for the stipend program.
    • Not be enrolled in school.
  • Indigenous Award: As part of the 2024 thematic residency program, SFAI will award up to ten (10) $500 grants to American Indian, Native American or U.S. Indigenous applicants who are selected for the 2024 Sovereignty thematic residency program, in addition to the BIPOC Award. In order to be eligible for this grant program, applicants must:
    • Identify as Indigenous
    • Apply as an Individual. Collaborations and applicants to the Family Residency are not eligible for the stipend program.
    • Not be enrolled in school.


  • 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 only eligible to apply for residency every other year. For instance, 2023 Changing Climate residents would not be eligible to apply for the 2024 Sovereignty residency.

How to Apply

SFAI only accepts applications once annually (due in April) online through SlideRoom.

Required Application Materials

  • Up to 10 digital work samples (which may be any combination of still images, video, audio, and writing
  • 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)
  • SFAI is not requiring references as part of the initial application process. Please note that you may be requested to provide references and/or letters of recommendations if you advance in the selection process.

What to Expect

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.

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 About.

Residency Duration & Schedule

SFAI offers Individuals and Collaborations residencies from a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 3 months.

The months available for Individuals and Collaborations are January, February, March, May, June, September, October, and November. 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. If you are not a parent-artist / legal guardian of a child, you are not eligible for this program. Please note, we do not allow partners / spouses or children to accompany residents during any other month.

We do not host residencies in April, August, and December.

The exact start and end dates of each residency month are always listed in the annual application.

In the application you will be asked how many months (1, 2, or 3) you would like to be in residence, if you prefer consecutive or non-consecutive months, followed by which months you are available.