PLAYA Residency

Photo Credit: Dustin Hamman

» Application Period Closed «

Applications for residencies between September to December 2020 will open January 2st, 2020. Deadline for this application will be midnight on February 15, 2020.
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Please read this page including “What to Expect” below before you follow the link to submit your application. 

We are open to international and domestic applicants as long as eligibility requirements are met.

Applicants may choose a two-week, three-week, or four-week session. All residency sessions begin on a Monday and end on a Friday. Playa creates residency periods that applicants may choose from. We cannot accommodate custom residency dates. 

PLAYA recognizes that each person is an individual and that each individual benefits from accommodations uniquely suited to their abilities. If you are BIPOC and would like to speak to others that have been in residence here to make sure it is a good fit for you please email info@playasummerlake.org.

We welcome you to contact us with phone calls and emails that allow us to provide the best access possible to our events and programs. Please describe any accommodation that helps your participation. If you have any questions about the accommodations, residencies or the application process listed below, please reach out to Chelsea at 541.943.3983 or chelsea@playasummerlake.org.

Application Link & Deadline

PLAYA does not accept Residency Applications by email, regular mail, or fax. Incomplete, non blinded, or late applications will not be reviewed. Please apply before 11:59 pm February 15, 2020 by following the link below. We highly encourage you to read application information and instructions carefully. Please note that the application questions will prompt you to provide the details we are looking for. We recommend that you read below and also click through the application questions which might help answer some of your questions. 

Deadline

  • August 15 at 11:59 pm –  for residencies occurring between January – June of the following year
  • February 15 at 11:59 pm – for residencies occurring between July – December of that year

Eligibility

PLAYA’s residencies are open to the global community of scientists, naturalists, biologists, designers, sustainability leaders, social practice artists, musicians, visual artists, writers, performing artists, and collaborations and individuals engaged in interdisciplinary work or other forms of creative work. PLAYA welcomes a range of applicants – from emerging scientists and artists to those with an established history of accomplishment. However, applicants must exhibit a recent history of focused work within the discipline for which they are applying. In addition, they must address, in the application, their ability to thrive in a remote, isolated, rural community and be self-directed in their work. Residents with experiences living alone preferred. All residents onsite 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 must submit new and complete applications. Past residents must wait two years after the date of their last residency to re-apply to PLAYA. Example if you were a resident in 2018, please wait to reapply in the year 2020.

Admission

A rotating panel of artists, writers, scientists, and other professionals review proposals and recommend applicants for residencies. Applicants are assessed and admitted based on their demonstrated commitment to their work, and to what degree their creative process and work will benefit from the uninterrupted time and independent living environment that a residency at PLAYA provides. Special consideration will be given to artists who apply with a scientist, and scientists who apply with an artist. Final awards of residencies are at the discretion of PLAYA.

Fees

There are a few costs charged for a PLAYA Residency. Your application must be accompanied by a $35.00 non-refundable processing fee ($70.00 if applying as a collaborative team of two to six/ $140.00 for teams with 6+ members). If accepted, each resident (including each member of a collaborative team) is asked to submit a $150.00 security deposit. This deposit is not refundable if a residency is canceled. As a nonprofit organization, PLAYA relies on donations and encourages those who have the ability to contribute to do so. You may donate online through the website, mail a donation, or donate your $150.00 deposit.

Cancelation

If you are accepted and you can not make your residency, for whatever reason, we consider that a cancelation. If you accept a residency and leave early we consider this a cancelation as well. In both cases, you will forfeit your deposit. Given the long waiting list of alternates we have to fill in cancelations, we will not reschedule you if you cannot make your residency. 

Session Schedule

While every effort is made to accommodate applicants’ schedule requests, we are not always able to grant your choices. Please indicate flexibility and restrictions on your application. We schedule based on the dates you pick and flexibility at the time you applied. We are not obligated to reschedule you if your availability changes at the time of registration.

Collaboration

If applying as a collaborative team, please have one person listed as the main applicant. As a collaborative team, you MUST include the following in your statement of the project: group name (if applicable), a list of all participating members, and your specific needs for lodging and workspace. In addition, each member must supply an individual resume as part of the group application.

Couples

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, each applicant must state this explicitly on their application.

Work Sample Requirements

All Disciplines: Your work sample is the most significant part of your application. Submit an anonymous (blind) sample of your work, a  description of the files you showed, and a Bling CV applicable to your field. 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. 

Blind Submissions: Prepare a blind also known as an anonymous work sample, CV/Resume, work proposal, and work description. We disqualified 20% of our applications last session because these instructions were not followed. Please remove your name, address or other indicators of your name to your work file names, work samples, CV/resume  (remove your name, address, phone numbers, emails, and websites), work proposal, and work description. Work samples bearing personal identifying information will be disqualified. Again, please submit a blind sample of work samples, work description, and your CV. Please follow this link for more information about blind submissions. Scroll down to the part of this page that says “Tips for Applying”.  This is an example of a – Blind CV

Multimedia: If you are working in multimedia 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. 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 out here and proposals will need to reflect how works will adhere to that.

Visual Art: Provide 5 – 10 images in JPEG format along with a document listing the JPEG filename, title, medium, size and year of completion for each piece. JPEG files should be at least 800x600 pixels and formatted to 72dpi. NO TIFF OR PSD FILES ACCEPTED. Each filename must be numbered and correspond to the accompanying work-description document.

Writing: Your writing sample should be representative of the genre in which you plan to work while in residence. Provide one document (12 font size, new times roman, double spaced) that contains a sample as follows: ~Fiction: 10 pages of a novel excerpt, a story, or short stories. ~Poetry: 10 pages of poetry. ~Nonfiction: 10 pages of nonfiction. ~Playwriting: 10 – 15 pages of a play. ~Screen writing: 10 – 15 pages of a screenplay. Include a work description which is essentially a cover page that contains the title(s) of the work and the date of completion. Please make your font size 12 and the font type New Times Roman for all submissions. 

Music + Performance: Provide three to ten separate works totaling no more than 15 minutes in audio or video format along with one document that lists the file name, title, and year of completion for each work, and that clearly summarizes the applicant’s role on the work. Film/video scriptwriters should also send a script.

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. Include in this document a cover page that contains your name, the title of each work, the date of completion, and a description of your areas of 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
  • Outdoor Ceramic Studio – We have two wheels, and one kiln with manual controls
  • 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 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 creative work, not who you know or where you have exhibited/published/performed. Often the jury is reviewing only your work samples, while the narrative part of your application comes into play only after you’ve advanced to the next round. So it is critical that you provide high-quality work samples.

  • 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: Some applications ask for a statement of intent, a project proposal, or an artist statement. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate 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: Residencies can be a time for you to explore new work and experiment, to try new techniques, and to work without expectations of the outcome. So if nobody is looking over your shoulder, why do they ask what you plan to work on during a residency? 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 year-long residency should think beyond a specific short-term project that he/she would like to finish; an artist applying for a rural, isolated residency whose work normally involves urban landscapes should discuss how a new environment will further his/her work. Project proposals also allow the organization to plan what facilities or equipment you might need and whether they can accommodate your needs.

Follow Directions: From requiring work samples in a certain file format to limiting the number of words or pages, to asking for specific information, residency programs spend a great deal of care and thought developing an application process. Most now use an online application service, like Submittable, Call For Entry or Slideroom. And with hundreds or even thousands of applications per deadline, applicants who do not follow directions are often eliminated outright. Not following directions also sends a bad message, when residency directors have to consider whether a resident will follow directions about studio safety, being a good neighbor to fellow residents, and not damaging property.

Blind Submissions: If an organization requests blind submissions or anonymous samples, that means the organization does not want the jury to see any names, addresses, phone numbers, or identifying information.

This strategy can protect you from jurors looking you up.  It can also dissuade a juror from making a decision based on reputation rather than the work sample. Please understand that what information the art administrator can access, and what the jurors aka panels can access are different for a variety of reasons. This is why you will be asked fill in personal information for the administrators, while you will also be asked to create blind submissions which is what the jurors will see. 

Please follow the instructions about which assets of the application the organization is requesting to be blind. For instance, if it is the CV, work samples, and work description, please remove your personal information from all assets. Don’t over complicate it, just remove your name, phone number, address, etc. , any identifying information from the work and the file names.

To be more specific:

  1. Make sure your name and contact name are not on your work samples, descriptions, resume or any file names. 
  2. Save file names as numbers or titles, but remove any names (personal, organizational, troupes, art collectives etc.)
  3. If you are uploading media and your name is all over the performance or sample try to cut out that piece or use different work. 
  4. Make sure to use common sense based on your particular situation and the request for a blind sample. Do not ask the administrator if the samples they requested to be blind need to be blind. They wouldn’t have asked you to do it if they didn’t need a blind sample. These questions raise red flags for the administrators. Such as, perhaps the applicant isn’t reading instructions and/or feels like they are exceptions to the rules?  Are they going to demand exceptional treatment at the residency or during the program?

5) Each medium, genre, or discipline have different ways of sharing work samples, CV’s, and work descriptions. Often organizations fielding applications from many different disciplines have to create broad instructions. If what they are asking doesn’t pertain to your work specifically it might for another medium, so be flexible. This happens with instructions like, “please remove your name from video or audio files.” If you are a poet and submitting a document, do not take this as a request for video or audio files. 

We hope that by knowing the “why” of a request will help you understand the instructions.

Make it Easy on the Jury: If you are given a chance to include information on the context for your work samples (e.g., date, materials, scale, performers, publication, etc.), do so. If there are gaps in your resume (e.g., a lapse in your creative output while you raised a family), bring it up. Have someone you trust to review your materials before you submit (preferably someone who has served on a selection panel before) – if there are red flags, don’t shy away from them!

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!