Awarded Residencies are offered through a juried application process and provide 26 or 12 day residencies free of charge. PLAYA’s awarded residencies are offered to people who are actively working to promote dialogue and positive environmental change. Alumni are welcome to apply if it’s been more than 2 years since your last awarded residency at PLAYA. The 2025 application portal will open on Feb. 14 and close on May 30, 2024. The application fee is $30.00. Learn More Here.
* Please Scroll to the bottom to read all residency policies and provisions *
Located at the edge of the Great Basin in the remote Oregon Outback. PLAYA’s residency programs encourage investigation, immersion, and exploration of the high desert’s living laboratory and nautural science assets.
PLAYA’s residencies are open to the global community of scientists, naturalists, biologists, musicians, 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 participants– from emerging scientists and artists to those with an established history of accomplishment.
PLAYA is in a remote, rural area of Oregon with wide open vistas and opportunities for field explorations in rich natural settings. Lake county, the county PLAYA exists in, has a population of 7,895 and is 8,358 sq miles (200 sq miles smaller than the state of Rhode Island). Bend, Oregon, a burgeoning city, is two hours away, the county seat, Lakeview is one hour from PLAYA. Paisley with a population of 225 is 17 miles from PLAYA. The town of Summer Lake, population 100, consists of a gas station, small market, post office and rest area.
PLAYA’s 76-acre campus sits alongside an intermittent desert lake which is 10 miles wide and 20 miles long. The campus is made up of the Commons building (where the only wi-fi on campus can be accessed), 6 cabins, 2 live/work units, 2 homes for staff, three studios, and a small music studio.
Photo Credit: Dustin Hamman
Residents must uphold general standards of decorum and decency to insure a positive experience for themselves and each other. Residents are not allowed to visit one another’s studios or living quarters without an invitation. Music must be played at a considerate level. Quiet hours are observed from 10 pm to 7 am.
To ensure that everyone can enjoy a peaceful and productive residency, PLAYA has a zero-tolerance policy on activity that violates general standards of decorum and decency. The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol is prohibited. PLAYA does not provide alcohol; however, residents may bring their own alcoholic beverages to enjoy and share. Firearms, fireworks, or any other explosive materials are not permitted on PLAYA property. Unwanted sexual overtures or disruptive behavior may lead to the immediate termination of your residency.
PLAYA is unable to accommodate residents’ pets. If you require a service animal, please disclose this information in your application so that we may accommodate you appropriately.
Smoking, Candles, Incense
PLAYA’s grounds and buildings are smoke free. Burning candles, incense, or other materials in or around your cabin is not permitted.
PLAYA amenities and facilities are intended for residents accepted through the selection process, and are not to be extended to family members, friends or other guests without prior permission from PLAYA staff. Residents may invite guests to visit during daytime hours between 8 am and 5 pm. Visitor requests should be kept to a minimum, and must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Residents’ visitors must be accompanied by the resident at all times and are not allowed to stay overnight—no exceptions.
Collaborative teams are welcome to apply but each member must fill out an individual application and be accepted on their own accord. Once accepted, PLAYA will schedule collaborative teams together. Please refer to the application page for more instructions on collaborative applications.
Living Quarters, Studio, and Workspace Maintenance
All living quarters, studios, and workspaces will be cleaned prior to your arrival. Your self-sufficiency at PLAYA includes looking after and keeping your living quarters, work or studio space, and linens clean during your stay. Cleaning supplies, including a vacuum, are available for you in your cabin, and washing machines and laundry soap are available in the Commons and the south laundry room. Residents are expected to clean their accommodations and workspaces before they depart.
PLAYA staff keeps shared spaces clean and maintained. However, we expect residents to tidy up after they use public spaces. PLAYA staff does not clean private living quarters when residencies are in session.
Facilities and Grounds Maintenance
PLAYA makes every effort to maintain its facilities at all times. Due to its physical setting, ongoing routine maintenance is required to keep ahead of the climatic impact. Spring through fall, we will be watering, planting, and mowing the grounds. Fall or spring means window washing and sometimes planting and mowing the grounds. Winter promises snow removal machinery on the roads and parking lots. Staff will try to accommodate special work times whenever possible.
Fire danger is very real at PLAYA. You will be told about the safe use of the fire pit outside the Commons and the outdoor BBQ grill. Campfires are not permitted anywhere on the property.
If you have questions about PLAYA’s facilities or policies before you arrive, please do not hesitate to send an email. We will be happy to assist you.
Each resident is provided housing with a kitchen, and a place to work, either a studio or a desk area in their cabin (including one shared living quarters cabin). All meals and provisions are the responsibility of the resident. PLAYA will provide 4 group dinners during a 26-day residency, two dinners during a 12-day and 1 dinner during a 5-day residency. The most current covid safety protocols will be communicated prior to your arrival. Living, work, and studio spaces have standard utilities, abundant natural light, open vistas in an expansive landscape, and are free of telephone, television, and internet. PLAYA has two laundry rooms resdienct can use during their stay.
- Cabins with bathroom, beds, dining area, and full kitchens or kitchenettes
- Comfortable furnishings
- Linens, blankets, towels, washcloths, pillows and a warm duvet
- Pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, etc.
- A drip-style coffee pot and paper filters
- Dish soap, paper towels, and toilet paper
- All natural, biodegradable laundry detergent
- Regular mail delivery and pick up
- Phone for local and long distance calls within the US
- Limited Internet access
- A safe, peaceful, quiet working and living environment
- A beautiful landscape
- Some meals as listed for Awarded Residencies and Workshop Retreats only. No meals are included for Self-Directed Residencies.
We make every attempt to ensure that your living quarters and workspace are suitable for your needs. However, we cannot guarantee absolute satisfaction. PLAYA’s private living quarters and studios are unique and variable and assigned with the intent to balance the needs of the residents with available space. Switching spaces is not possible. If your residency’s purpose or specific project requires overnight excursions off-site, these must have been described and explained in your application.
The Commons building is available to all residents 24 hours a day. There, residents share living, lounging and dining areas, kitchen, and laundry. The Commons building has a commercial kitchen, a space for yoga or dancing, a loft work area with a projection screen, and a library. Wi/fi can be accessed in the Commons as well as a telephone for residents to use, with free long-distance calls within the United States.
Studio Work Spaces
- Sandhill Studio – Printmaking, Book Arts, and Visual Arts – Well Equipped Print Studio can work up to “22 W X 30” L
- 3 Manual Etching Presses (Small, Medium, Large)
- Small tabletop 26’’ W X 48 ‘ L
- Takach tabletop 29 7/8 “ W X 48 1/2” L
- Large floor Model Flywheel bed size 32’’ W X 72” L
- One Roller
- A book press
- Cooking Oil
- Hot Plate
- 4 printing boards
- Large tub for soaking
- Avocet Studio – Multi-Purpose Visual Art Studio
- Outdoor Ceramic Studio – We have one wheel, and one kiln with manual controls – Duncan – Not to go over Cone 06
- Wildcat Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
- Diablo – Multi-Purpose Studio
- #10 Studio – Multi-Purpose Studio
- Movement Studio in Commons
- Moonglade: Music & Multipurpose Studio (When in doubt, bring it)
- One keyboard stand
- One Keyboard 61 key M-Audio Keystation 61 II | 61-Key USB MIDI Keyboard Controller with Pitch-Bend & Modulation Wheels
- One mic stand
- Two Rokit 6 Speakers with stands
- RCA or 1/4’’ adapter
- Various Adapters for Rokit Speakers
- Baby Grand – available on a schedule (in common space)
- Upright Piano – available on a schedule (in common space)
- To see the dimensions of the space please reference the PDF below
- PDF of studio specs – Click to download
Studios are available to accommodate printmaking, dance, music composition, visual and video arts, and certain areas of scientific research. Studios are equipped with worktables, chairs, stools, a utility sink, cabinets, shelving, and track lighting. Blinds allow individuals to control the amount of outside light. Several walls in each studio are covered in fiberboard; nails, staples, etc. and metal stripping for use with magnets may be used to hang work-in-progress on these surfaces. Standard, stocked items for each studio are cloth rags, stepladders, disposal bins and individual toolkits including hammers, pliers, wire cutters, a straight edge, levels, and an assortment of nails and brads. T-squares, heavy-duty extension cords, and a variable speed drill are available. A few easels and additional worktables are also available upon request. Upon arrival, PLAYA staff will orient each artist on proper hazardous waste disposal.
Residents are urged to bring an adequate stock of materials and supplies for their session. Please bring any tools or pieces of equipment needed on a continual basis. Bring your favorite art or tool supply catalog as well in case you need to mail order additional specialized supplies while at PLAYA. UPS, Fed Ex, and USPS are prompt in delivery.
Writers’ Work Spaces
All cabins have a desk and an office chair. Standard stocked desk items are: a stapler, push-pins, paper clips, a bulletin board, and a small bookcase. Writers are responsible for bringing their own writing tools, materials, and equipment, such as legal pads, laptops, printers, and plenty of paper.
Residents using electronic media to view, generate and print work need to bring their own hardware and software.
Safety and Security Precautions
The main door to each private living area has a lock, and each resident will be given a key upon request. PLAYA does not carry insurance on residents’ personal property. We urge you to have your own coverage if you feel that you need it, as well as adequate health insurance.
What To Bring
What You Should Bring:
- Specialized professional equipment
- Computer, printer, and paper
- Writing materials and office supplies
- Stationery and postage stamps
- Art materials and supplies, tools, special paper, inks, etc.
- Food to last for at least two weeks
- Personal toiletries
- Good hand and body lotion as well as lip balm for our dry climate
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Good walking and muck-proof shoes
- Good studio shoes or slippers for wooden floors
- Comfortable, casual clothing that can be layered
- Warm jacket, sweaters, long pants, warm hat, scarf and gloves
- Swimsuit, for use at the Summer Lake Hot Springs- * currently closed due to Covid-19
- If you bring your bicycle, also bring extra tubes and repair tools
- Flashlight/headlamp for night walks (and extra batteries)
- Music and means to play it
- Credit/debit card
- Alcoholic beverages, if desired
- Any art supplies that your require
Arrivals, Departure, and Transportation
PLAYA is notable for its isolation. Few people live in this part of the country, which makes it quiet, peaceful and difficult to find the services and items you may be accustomed to. Expect to be self-reliant, and plan on bringing any special supplies you may need. The towns that are within easy driving distance are very small: the population of Paisley is 250. Summer Lake and Silver Lake are considerably smaller. Do not expect to be able to buy more than the basic necessities in the local area.
Accepting a Residency means making a commitment to arrive on the first day, and remain at PLAYA through the last day of the residency you are awarded. We prefer it if you arrive between 2 p.m and 4 p.m. on the first day (refer to your award notice for the exact date). When you arrive, park outside of the Commons, which is the biggest and most central building on the property, and step inside to begin your orientation.
If your arrival will be unexpectedly delayed, please let staff know as soon as possible by calling 541-943-3983.
If you are driving, DO NOT use Google maps, Mapquest or GPS devices to locate PLAYA; they are often inaccurate or unreliable. PLAYA is located on Highway 31 between mile markers 81 and 82, about 10 miles south of the Summer Lake Post office. If you are arriving in the winter months expect ice and snow. All-season tires, snow tires or carrying a set of chains is recommended.
If you are flying, the nearest airport is Bend/Redmond (RDM), and is two and a half hours away by car. You will find rental car agencies at the airport. In addition, there is a shuttle service that will transport residents to PLAYA from the airport for around $175 (one way): Enviro Shuttle (541-598-5384, www.enviroshuttle.net).
You should plan to depart by noon of the last day of your residency. Please refer to your invitation letter for the exact date. We request that you vacate studios and private living spaces no later than 12:00 p.m. Your consideration of this schedule is appreciated.
When you arrive, a PLAYA staff member will help you check into your living quarters and give you a brief orientation to the campus. Those residents requiring a studio will also be shown their specific workspace. A more in-depth orientation takes place the following morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Commons.
Meals & Food
PLAYA will provide 4 group dinners during a 26-day residency, two dinners during a 12-day and 1 dinner during a 5-day residency. Please refer to your retreat agenda for meals provided during Workshop retreats
Residents’ Food and Drink
Residents are expected to prepare all other meals using the food and supplies they bring with them. Each cabin comes equipped with its own kitchen or kitchenette. It is recommended that you arrive with at least enough food to feed yourself for two weeks. However, if you are missing an ingredient for one of your meals, PLAYA might have it on hand, so feel free to ask a staff member for assistance.
PLAYA has a “BYOB” policy for alcohol. Beer and wine are for sale at the Summer Lake Store as well as spirits at the Paisley Mercantile, but selection is limited. If you want to have these beverages on hand, it is recommended that you bring them with you.
When you arrive you will be given information on places to shop, eat, and fill your gas tank. Be advised, in a remote area prices tend to be higher than in larger surrounding towns, and selection is limited.
The town of Bend, Oregon, is 102 miles from PLAYA, approximately two hours away by car. If you fly into the Bend/Redmond airport you will drive through Bend on your way to Playa. In Bend you can find most of the food and supplies you need to provide for yourself at Playa. In fact, on the corner of Hwy 20 (also known as Greenwood Ave) and North 27th St., a Costco is located next to a Whole Foods and a Safeway.
There is a small Safeway one hour south of PLAYA in the town of Lakeview, Oregon.
Overall, we recommend that you plan ahead and bring most of the food you need. Once you are at PLAYA we can help you figure how and where to resupply when necessary. Should you find that the refrigerator and freezer in your living quarters are not adequate to store your perishable supplies, we should be able to accommodate extra food in the Commons.
Internet, Phone, and Mail
Internet Access at PLAYA
PLAYA provides wi/fi in the Commons only. If you need internet in your cabin or studio consider bringing an AT&T mobile hotspot.
There is a telephone landline in the Commons building available to residents with free, unlimited long-distance calling within the U.S. Cellular reception is sporadic and unreliable at PLAYA. Cell reception can be unreliable and differs between carriers at PLAYA. AT&T and T-Mobile work well, Verizon does not.
Residents’ Phone Number
For incoming long-distance calls from family and friends, the phone number is (541) 943-3983. This phone, the only landline at PLAYA, is located in the Commons building and is shared by all residents and PLAYA staff. There is no fax service at PLAYA.
Please give family, friends, and other correspondents the following address for mail delivery to you while at PLAYA: (Your Name), PLAYA Residency Program, 47531 Hwy 31, Summer Lake, OR 97640. Mail sent without your name and “PLAYA Residency Program” will take longer to get to you.
Supplies may be shipped one week in advance of your arrival via FedEx, UPS or USPS. (Note that FedEx can be unreliable.) PLAYA recommends UPS. Please be considerate of staff by packing your materials in boxes of a manageable size and weight. Your shipment will be held for you until you arrive. Whether you use FedEx, UPS, or USPS, use the street address: (Your Name), PLAYA Residency Program, 47531 Hwy. 31, Summer Lake, OR 97640.
The town of Paisley (population 250, located 17 miles south of PLAYA) has an ATM machine inside the Paisley Mercantile. You may use a credit or debit card with local merchants in Paisley, Summer Lake, and Lakeview. PLAYA does not provide check-cashing services and does not keep cash on hand.
There are gas stations in Summer Lake and in Paisley. There is AAA service at Summer Lake; however, they come from either Bly or La Pine and take a few hours to arrive.
The Summer Lake basin, in which PLAYA is located, is subject to storms and high winds with gusts up to 65 mph. In the summer months, the temperature ranges from close to 90 during the day to 50 at night. In winter, the average highs are in the low 40s to mid 30s, and the lows may dip well below freezing. All seasons can vary in temperature and level of precipitation. Don’t let the name fool you, winter comes to Summer Lake with gusto, and the wind can be strong in any season. If your residency is during the cold months (November through March), be sure your vehicle is equipped with appropriate tires and chains. Please check road condition cameras at tripcheck.com
Miles of trails and Forest Service roads offer varied views of the Summer Lake valley and are appropriate for walking, hiking and mountain biking. You may swim in the pond during warmer months. Winter residents can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when there is snow on the playa. PLAYA has available canoes and paddles for use on the pond. Residents must bring all other outdoor gear. There are no gear rental stores in the immediate area.
At PLAYA, extreme weather changes may occur within the same day. Layers of clothing are the best way to meet the challenges of the changing weather. Residents are expected to arrive with adequate clothing for the duration of their stay. Comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots are handy. Sturdy, waterproof boots are a must during winter for access to the muddy lakebed.