PLAYA Residency

Photo Credit: Dustin Hamman

Awarded Residencies 

Awarded residencies are funded opportunities available through an application process and awarded to people working at the intersection of art and science. Wide open vistas and opportunities for field exploration in the high desert’s living laboratory provides rich inspiration. Residents stay in their own cabin, free of charge, and are responsible for their own travel costs and food while they are in residence. PLAYA is open to international and domestic applicants as long as eligibility requirements are met.

Applicants may choose a 5, 12 or 26 day session. All residency sessions begin on a Thursday and end on a Monday. Applicants must choose from the dates available. We cannot accommodate custom residency dates. 

2024 Residency Dates:

Jan. 4-29, 2024 | 26 days
Feb. 1-12, 2024 | 12 days
Feb. 15-26, 2024 | 12 days
Feb. 29- Mar. 4, 2024 | 5 days
July 18-29, 2024 | 12 days
Aug. 1-26, 2024 | 26 days
Oct. 17-28, 2024 | 12 days
Dec. 5-16, 2024 | 12 days


PLAYA recognizes that living in a remote and rural community can be challenging. If you have any questions about whether PLAYA is the best fit for you, questions about the residency accommodations or the application process listed below, please call  541.943.3983 or email info@playasummerlake.org.

Application Link & Deadline

PLAYA uses SlideRoom for the application portal. Applications will be evaluated on how aligned the proposed project is with PLAYA’s mission, the quality of the work samples and how likely the work will evoke dialogue and positive environmental change.  We do not accept residency applications by email, regular mail, or fax. Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. Please apply before 11:59 pm on May 31, 2023, by following the link below. We highly encourage you to read the application information and instructions carefully. Please note that the application questions will help the jury choose residents whose work is in alignment with PLAYA’s mission and whose work or project would most benefit from the natural science assets and living laboratory that PLAYA has to offer.

Apply Here

Application closes May 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST


PLAYA’s residencies are open to the global community of scientists and artists whose work promotes dialogue and positive change in the environment and the world. We encourage naturalists, biologists, musicians, designers, sustainability leaders, social practitioners, musicians, visual artists, writers and performing artists to apply. PLAYA welcomes applications from both emerging and seasoned professionals.  Applicants must demonstrate how their work aligns with our mission and how they, or their project, will benefit from time at PLAYA. All residents must be 18 years old or older. Residents’ work must be compatible with PLAYA’s available studio spaces, facilities, and resources, and with PLAYA’s rural setting and community (see below). REAPPLICATION: Past residents or applicants must submit new and complete applications. Past residents must wait two years after the date of their last residency to re-apply to PLAYA.


A rotating panel of artists, writers, scientists, and other professionals review proposals and recommend applicants for residencies. Applicants are assessed and admitted based on how closely their work or project aligns with PLAYA’s mission, how well the applicant, or the project, will benefit from immersion in the PLAYA landscape, the quality fo the work, and the likelihood of evoking dialogue and positive environmental change. Final awards of residencies are at the discretion of PLAYA.


Your application must be accompanied by a $40.00 non-refundable processing fee. Payment will be collected when you submit your application. If this fee prohibits you from applying, please email us to request a waiver at programs@playasummerlake.org. If you are applying as a collaborative team, each person must submit an application, a $40 fee and indicate in the questions section who you are applying with and your living accomodation needs.


We are unable to reschedule cancelled residencies. If you are accepted and you can not make your residency, for whatever reason, we consider that a cancellation. If you accept a residency and leave early, we consider this a cancellation as well.

Session Schedule

While every effort is made to accommodate applicants’ schedule requests, we are not always able to grant your first choice. We schedule based on the dates you pick at the time you applied. We cannot promise to reschedule you if your availability changes at the time of registration.


If applying as a collaborative team, all members must submit an application and the $40 fee. Indicate in the questions section the names of the collaborative partners and your specific needs for lodging and workspace.


Couples may apply individually for concurrent residencies, with the understanding that one applicant might be accepted and the other not. If requesting accommodations as a couple, awarded residents will have an opportunity to indicate housing details after they’ve been accepted.

Work Sample Requirements

All Disciplines: You will be asked to provide 3-15 work samples. Quality is more important than quantity. Submit enough samples that the jurors can get a sense of your work. Work samples can include any combination of photos, audio, slide decks, video, and text. If you are a couple or collaboration please provide a portfolio of work samples especially of what work you have done together.

Interdisciplinary: If you are working in multiple disciplines or have your work archived in multimedia, you are welcome to submit a portfolio of works as long as it is within the submission guidelines. For example, you could submit 5 minutes of video, 10 minutes of audio, and 5 images. If you are new to interdisciplinary work, submit your best, current work in your primary discipline and describe your plans to work in a cross-discipline manner.

Installation Art: If your work at PLAYA includes any processes that may result in changes (immediate or long-term) to the visual, physical or aesthetic environment of PLAYA, you must first receive prior approval from the Executive Director once you are here. Activities include, but are not limited to relocating earth (rocks, sand or other), cutting or removal of plants, and/or using technology that might adversely affect biotic species (or the tranquility of the Playa experience). Note: We do practice leave no trace ethics and proposals will need to reflect how works will adhere to that.

Visual Art: Provide 10-15 images

Writing: Please provide 3-5 writing work samples with a total of no more than 10 pages.  Your writing samples should be representative of the genre in which you plan to work while in residence. Please make sure the total number of pages submitted does not exceed 10.

Music + Performance: Provide 3-5 separate works totaling no more than 15 minutes in audio or video format.

Science/Naturalist/Creative Research: Provide one document or presentation slides that contain up to 10 pages of abstracts or other examples that are representative of your work.  Any combination of elements that can effectively illustrate your research.

Other: If your project does not fall clearly within one of the above disciplines such as new genre or multidisciplinary, please select the closest category. If you are new to interdisciplinary work, submit your best, current work in your primary discipline and describe your plans to work in a cross-discipline manner. Please note that you can provide a portfolio of work samples such as photos, audio, video, and writing as long as each sample doesn’t exceed the limits set for each file/media type. Please curate for quality, not quantity. Be aware that more isn’t better. If you are a couple or collaboration please provide a portfolio of work samples especially of what work you have done together.

Studio Work Spaces

  • Sandhill Studio – Printmaking, Book Arts, and Visual Arts -Well equipped studio with 3 manual etching presses and blankets. Accommodates work on paper up to 22” X 30″
  • Avocet Studio – Multi-Purpose Visual Art Studio
  • Wildcat Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
  • Diablo – Multi-Purpose Studio
  • #10 Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
  • Dance, Yoga, Movement Studio in Commons
  • Moonglade: Music & Multipurpose Studio  – Please see the Studio section for more information.
  • PDF of studio specs – Click to download

More about our Studios and Equipment under the “Residency” section.

Tips for Applying for Residencies

Provide Quality Work Samples: The single most important factor in being accepted into a residency is the quality of your work samples. Here are some tips:

  • Use a professional photographer, audio engineer, videographer, etc., to ensure your work is well documented.
  • Select your strongest recent work. Have a friend or colleague you trust to look over the samples you have chosen to give you feedback. If you are moving in a new direction in your work but do not yet have good examples of your new work, choose work samples that demonstrate your strongest work and then discuss the new ideas in the narrative parts of your application.
  • Select a coherent set of work samples. Too little variety seems like you are stuck; too much variety seems like you are scattered – try to find a happy medium. The jurors don’t need to know that you are interested in everything; they just want to know what is most compelling and that you have enough depth in your creative practice to explore ideas.

Articulate Your Interest in This Residency: Demonstrate in the questions section that you have done your homework and know why this particular residency is of interest to you. Perhaps you are drawn to its location, its history, its technical equipment and facilities, the surrounding community, the other kinds of artists that attend, the organization’s values, etc. – whatever the reason, find a way to connect with the residency program in a meaningful way.

Show Appropriate Project Plans: Project proposals are used to help the residency staff and jury better understand your thought process, your ability to imagine the possibilities of a residency and your recognition of what is appropriate for this particular residency. For example, an artist applying for a rural, isolated residency whose work normally involves urban landscapes should discuss how a new environment will further their work. Project proposals also allow the organization to plan what facilities or equipment you might need and whether they can accommodate your needs.

Choose Your References Wisely: PLAYA only requires contact information for references, no reference letters required. These are primarily used to determine how well you will be able to function in a self-directed environment and in community with others. Be sure to list references from people who can speak to these things, rather than seeking references who have a cache but don’t know you well; if you have attended other residencies, consider the residency director as a reference.

Not sure about something? Ask!: Applying for a residency, especially if it is your first time, is nerve-wracking. If you are unsure what is being asked of you, whether you might be a good fit for the program, whether you should apply in one discipline or another if your work is multidisciplinary, which application deadline is more competitive, if the site can accommodate your workplace needs, or other questions, just email the residency or program director. Be as clear and concise in an email as possible as to what your concerns are, and solicit feedback well in advance of a deadline. And if you are not accepted, ask for feedback. Not every program offers this, but it can’t hurt to ask!