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Howard Hughes Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence Program

Emerging Program member

The Howard Hughes Corporation, (HHC), in collaboration with the Howard County Arts Council, announces the launch of the Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence (MD AIR) program in Downtown Columbia, MD.  Three artists will be selected from submitted entries and provided with a stipend of $10,000 each to spend up to two months, from June 1 – July 31, 2018, creating a work of art in a medium of their choosing. HHC is committed to transforming a suburban downtown into a dense, vibrant urban core that celebrates Culture and Commerce.  We invite artists to propose a project that captures their vision of the personality of this new urban center. The highest priority will be given to artists who intend to produce works that integrate art, innovation and technology.

The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate in 14 states from New York to Hawaii. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC with major offices in New York, Columbia, MD, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Honolulu. HHC aspires to be the most creatively driven real estate company in the world.

At full build out, Downtown Columbia will include three new neighborhoods – Merriweather District, Lakefront District and Central District – featuring more than 14 million square feet of residential, office, hotel, retail, cultural, and public uses including parks, multi-use pathways and more.  The Downtown Columbia Plan calls for transforming what has been a suburban community into a dense, mixed use, mixed income, walkable area in which residents can live, shop, work, entertain, exercise, and enjoy cultural opportunities in an enriched natural setting. More information is available at

Howard County Arts Council:
The Howard Hughes Corporation is collaborating with the Howard County Arts Council to help design and launch the inaugural Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence (MD AIR) program.  The Howard County Arts Council is a model multi-purpose arts agency that supports a wide variety of programs and opportunities – grants to arts organizations, affordable studio, rehearsal and performance space for artists, classes for children and adults, advocacy and more – that are essential to artistic development in Howard County.  In addition to providing expertise and advice, the Arts Council will have a representative on the artist selection panel, administer the on-line selection process ( and assist with MD AIR open studio activities.

Through the realization of Jim Rouse’s original vision for a true urban center and the Downtown Columbia Plan that is guiding that development, Columbia is becoming a Center for Culture and Commerce for the region.  The themes of art, innovation and technology are infused throughout the vision of Downtown Columbia and are apparent as Downtown is evolving through industry-focused business development, entrepreneurial initiatives, public art, environmentally innovative open spaces, and events and festivals. The iconic Merriweather Post Pavilion, the 50-year-old nationally-ranked outdoor concert venue, is undergoing a $50 million renovation and expansion. The new Chrysalis amphitheater, which was dedicated in April 2017, is nearby in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods. Within walking distance is the state-of-the-art Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Howard Community College.

In October 2017, the OPUS 1 festival took over the Pavilion, the Chrysalis and the surrounding woodlands for an enchanting evening of art, music and technology in the forest, attracting over 16,000 people to an immersive environment of discovery and wonder. OPUS 1’s large scale art installations, mesmerizing music performances and treetop project mapping signaled the Merriweather District’s future as a cultural hub. For more information, visit
The MD AIR program for 2018 will be the first in what will be an annual program to provide an opportunity for artists to spend two months in the midst of this evolving urban center at the vanguard of walkable communities that both nurture and catalyze creativity, vibrancy and equity.  Works by selected MD AIR artists will be considered for inclusion at OPUS scheduled for October 2018.

MD AIR is open to local, national and international artists working in all media including, but not limited to, performance, video, 2-D and 3-D visual arts, dance, music, and the spoken word; priority consideration will be given to artists exploring light, music, technology and/or interactivity in their work and who are interested in having their work considered for inclusion in the OPUS festival.  The final decision for inclusion at OPUS will be made by the festival’s curator.
•    Applications will be accepted until April 7, 2018
•    Collaboration: Applicants must apply and be accepted individually; however, the artist may choose to work with a partner; the team will be counted as one artist for purposes of the stipend and other amenities and benefits.
•    Age: 21 or over

Facilities and Services:
•    Studio: shared studio will be provided to the selected artists.  A small communal lounge and eating area will be provided within the studio.
•    Housing: a private bedroom in a shared housing facility, within blocks of the studio space.  Shared bathrooms (2) and cooking/kitchen facilities included.  Towel, linens, and weekly housekeeping services provided.
•    Meals:  per diem of $75.00 for out-of-town artists for the duration of the residency; meal arrangements will be made for locally-based artists.
•    Wireless computer/internet access: provided in the residential and studio facilities.
•    Stipend: $10,000 each (team will count as 1).
•    Transportation from airport or train station: provided with prior approval of transportation plans.
•    Other facilities and services may be available depending upon the circumstances and needs of the selected artists.

Selection Process:
A selection panel made up of professionals working in the disciplines of the applicants and the OPUS curator and The Howard Hughes Corporation marketing director will review applications and select the MD AIR artists. The selection will be based on the submitted application materials.
•    Quality of work and originality as evidenced by entry concept drawings of proposed work or concept drawings and representations of past public works
•    Ability of the artist to successfully complete the work within the time given based on comparable experience
•    Durability of work with regard to structural and surface soundness and resistance to weather will also be considered in selection for inclusion at OPUS, which is held outdoors
•    April 7, 2018: Call for Entry materials must be emailed or postmarked
•    April 30, 2018: MD AIR program applicants notified of selections
•    May 15, 2018: Contracts due
•    June 1, 2018: MD AIR program begins, studio and residence move-in
•    July 31, 2018: MD AIR program concludes, move-out of studio and apartment
•    October 2018: OPUS

•    Michele Whelley, MD AIR Program Manager,

Download the application here.

Download FAQ sheet here.


Columbia, Maryland: United States

Columbia, MD, is situated in the middle of the Baltimore-Washington region, within commuting distance to jobs in these major cities and elsewhere in the corridor, as well as access to nationally recognized arts and educational institutions. It is an area distinguished by strong population and income growth and highly educated residents. A development of The Howard Hughes Corporation, Downtown Columbia is located at the center of Columbia, MD, one of the first master planned communities in the U.S. founded by legendary developer James W. Rouse in 1967. Columbia is comprised of 14,000 acres, including ten completed residential villages with a population of 102,000. In 2016, Columbia was named the best place to live in America by Money magazine. The city’s core was left underdeveloped until the adoption of the Downtown Columbia Plan in 2010, when The Howard Hughes Corporation assumed ownership of the 391-acre redevelopment site.

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