Wildfire + Water Collaborative Residency

Photo Credit: Dustin Hamman

Wildfire + Water: Artists and Scientists Collaborating for Change

Application period is Closed

PLAYA is proud to announce the call for applications for Wildfire + Water: Artists and Scientists Collaborating for Change, a 10-night immersive residency Oct. 19-29, 2023 in which participants will engage in learning more about the most critical environmental topics in this part of Oregon- fire and water, with time to collaborate, create and respond to the environmental lessons acquired during the residency. The role of all forms of art to interpret, communicate and broadcast stories of change to positively impact our environment has never been more critical. 

Work created in response to this residency will be shared during a community symposium event at PLAYA in April 2024. Each artist will receive a $2,500 stipend to cover the cost of travel for the residency, materials, delivering the work to PLAYA in March 2024 and collecting the work after the symposium. 

Wildfire and water are of critical environmental concern in Lake County. Wildfire has plagued the Summer Lake area and most of Oregon and the surrounding states, while the Chewaucan/Abert watershed is suffering from a drought that directly impacts the migratory birds that find refuge and nourishment from the area. Local and state agencies, U.S. Forest Service workers, Oregon Fish and Wildlife, University researchers and local watershed councils, are working collaboratively to find solutions for dwindling water and share information about wildfire and forest management best practices.  

PLAYA is inviting a cohort of 6-7 artists and storytellers to immerse themselves in learning from 3-4 invited scientists and experts from local agencies. The cohort will experience hands-on field excursions, conversations, and presentations to help document and share critical information with the goal of impacting environmental change. Applications are open to artists of all disciplines who have demonstrated a successful practice of addressing environmental issues in their creative practice. The application will ask artists to provide work samples and an explanation of how past creative work promoted dialogue regarding environmental matters and how this opportunity at PLAYA aligns with their personal creative goals. 

Here is our 2023 PLAYA HANDBOOK- Know Before You Go for more information about our residency program and what PLAYA provides. 

Link to recording of Informational Webinar 

References will automatically be sent a reference form to fill out once the application is submitted. They will have until April 14th to complete the form. 

Application period is Closed


March 1, 2023 Call for Applications Opens
March 31, 2023 Call for Applications Closes (Midnight PST)
April 30, 2023 Artists notified via email of application status
May, 2023 Public announcement of accepted artists
Oct. 19-29, 2023 Wildfire + Water: Artists and Scientists Collaborating for Change Residency at PLAYA
April 22-24, 2024 Artwork delivered and hung at PLAYA
April 25-28 2024 Pop-Up Exhibit at PLAYA and school group tours
April 26, 2024 Exhibit Reception
April 27, 2024 Art + Science Symposium at PLAYA



Both established and emerging artists working in any media (visual, music/sound, literary, journalism, video, interdisciplinary, other) may apply, but a demonstrated practice in addressing environmental issues is expected. We welcome collaborative teams to apply. Each person must apply separately and indicate on the application who they are collaborating with. We will only charge $40 for the first application. The second collaborator can email programs@playasummerlake.org to request a fee waiver. You will have space in the application to describe housing requirements for collaborative partners. We are not able to accommodate families.  PLAYA alumni are welcome to apply regardless of when your last PLAYA Awarded residency occured. 


The jury, comprised of artists, scientists and arts professionals, will judge the applications on the following criteria:

  • Quality of work samples
  • Demonstrated environmental focus of past work
  • Potential of past environmental work to evoke dialogue 
  • How this opportunity aligns with the artists personal creative goals


  • Please describe how your submitted work samples address environmental issues.
  • How did you intend for this work to promote dialogue and positive environmental change?
  • How does this residency and exhibition opportunity align with your personal creative goals?
  • Please describe what collaborative environmental change means to you.


  • Visual Artists:
    • 10-15 images 
    • Image list with title, date, size, media and brief description
  • Musicians/Sound Artists:
    • 3-5 sample recordings of your work not to exceed 15 minutes total 
    • Short description describing your selections
  • Performing Artists:
    • 3-5 video clips of your performances not to exceed 15 minutes total 
    • Script or short description describing your selections
  • Literary Artists:
    • 3-5 samples- not to exceed 10 pages total
  • New Media and Interdisciplinary Artists:
    • Please review other categories to determine what materials to submit


Participants of the residency will be required to create work in response to the learnings gleaned from the residency. This work is to be showcased at PLAYA and be part of the April 2024 community art + science symposium. Our goal is that the art will deepen the audiences’ understanding of local environmental issues and further suggest ways to become active advocates for and partners in addressing them. Size limitations will be shared and ideas discussed during the residency, with follow-up, check-in sessions with the program director during the months leading up to the symposium. 


The core of this project is collaboration, for artists and scientists to learn from each other in a collaborative manner, but also for PLAYA to be a community partner in helping to broadcast stories of local collaboration in addressing environmental change.

The residency will provide ample opportunities for both artists and scientists to share information about their work, as well as engage and learn from local agencies and scientists working on the ground tackling these critical environmental topics. Artists are also encouraged to collaborate with each other. PLAYA’s goal is for artists and storytellers to create work with the intention of affecting positive environmental change.  


Selected residents will receive a $2500 stipend to cover travel, materials, delivering artwork to PLAYA for the 2024 symposium and collecting the work upon conclusion. We will provide an individual cabin, or shared two-bedroom cabin, at least 2 dinners and 2 lunches during the course of the residency, coordinated learning activities that will include guided field excursions, presentations by scientists and local agencies, and opportunities for conversation and collaboration. Residents are expected to cover groceries for meals not provided, personal living expenses, additional materials and supplies, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing work incurred while in the program. Travel and shipping expenses to and from PLAYA for the residency are the responsibility of the artist, as well as delivering work to PLAYA in March 2024 and returning it after the event. 

PLAYA’s program director will check-in with residents throughout the months leading up to the symposium to discuss ideas and make sure that the work is a good fit for the event. It’s the responsibility of the artists to deliver the work to PLAYA and collect the work upon conclusion of the Symposium (in person or via shipping). PLAYA will provide up to 2 nights of housing (TBD) for artists who want to deliver work in person in March. PLAYA will also provide housing during the April 2024 symposium event for any cohort participant who wants to attend. * Attending the symposium is not a requirement for this opportunity. Work will be collected at the conclusion of the symposium by the creators. Creators have the option to ship work to PLAYA with the understanding you are responsible for the shipping costs for the return of the work.

*This opportunity is supported in part by the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, The Ford Family Foundation and The Kinsman Foundation.