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Santa Fe Art Institute : Truth + Reconciliation Residency

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is a hub for creative engagement and social change. At SFAI, we are artists, innovative thinkers, and engaged citizens. We cultivate creative leadership and invest in community, culture, and place to re-imagine a more equitable world.

We fulfill our mission through our artist residency and fellowship programs, workshops and trainings, community projects, and events. Much of our programming relates to an annual theme, which is focuses on relevant social issues such as Equal Justice, Water Rights, and Immigration / Emigration.

SFAI sponsors more than 80 residencies and fellowships per year for creative practitioners from all over the world, and offers visionary, social justice theme-focused programming that addresses pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities. Our award-winning facility and dedicated staff support our residents alongside other innovative institutional programming.

As part of our sponsored international thematic residency program, SFAI offers, at no cost to residents, a furnished private room and bath; communal kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry facilities; semi-private studio, common work spaces, gallery/event space and art library; wireless internet, breakfast foods and bicycles. SFAI does not have specialized facilities, but provides basic tools and a membership to MAKE Santa Fe.

From September 2018 through August 2019, SFAI is asking artists, content experts, and cultural leaders to explore how uncovering and acknowledging the truth can be used as a means of reconciliation. We seek creative projects, conversations, and processes by which the investigation of truth and steps toward meaningful reconciliation can occur. SFAI believes that the process of truth-seeking and reconciliation are deeply creative acts that can bring people together, heal divisions, and build a better world.

For more information and to apply, go to: Applications for Truth & Reconciliation due February 15, 2018.

Our sponsored, international, thematic residency program is open to all artistic disciplines (visual arts, writing, performance, new media, etc.) and other creative practices including, but not limited to, curation, design, architecture, education, humanities, social sciences, law, medicine, and science. We strongly encourage applicants with interdisciplinary and non-traditional creative practices.

SFAI welcomes local, national, and international applicants. We accept applications from individuals, collaborations (2 people), and collectives (3 to 12 people).

SFAI offers a semi-structured residency program so that residents can initiate, continue, and/or complete creative work that expands and enriches their professional practice. We provide a level of access to and support from staff and community partners, and nurture critical engagement with the annual theme. However, residents are expected to be largely self-directed.

SFAI conducts an annual, competitive selection process for residencies that is primarily based on the applicant’s ability to creatively and critically engage with the encompassing theme of the residency season for which they are applying.

The selection criteria for our international thematic residency program also focus on: the applicant’s personal and professional merit, including the applicant’s experience and the quality of their past work; the applicant’s capacity to grow through risk-taking new work and their ability to sustain a productive practice in a semi-structured environment; the applicant’s potential for professional development through access to a sponsored residency; and the creative excellence of the application along with the potential for the applicant’s proposed project to engage community and effect tangible, positive social change.

The selection committee changes each year and is comprised of esteemed artists, content experts, educators, community stakeholders and other creative professionals from Santa Fe and around the world, as well as SFAI’s diverse board and staff members.


Santa Fe, New Mexico: United States

Santa Fe was the first city in the US to be designated as a member of the creative-cities network by UNESCO. SFAI residents have unprecedented access to some of the most diverse arts and cultural activities in the US. Widely known for a thriving gallery scene, virtually every weekend of the year residents can attend museum or gallery openings showcasing Santa Fe's considerable support for the traditional arts and visionary contemporary art. Santa Fe also provides a unique geography, with hikes, hot springs and a wealth of natural offerings for residents. Our residency program is housed in a distinctive, all-inclusive 17,000 square foot facility designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta. National and International residents live on-site in a fully-furnished individual room with private bath and exterior patio. Each resident is also provided a semi-private studio along with access to communal work areas and a collaborative research space that serves as the annual thematic headquarters and archive. All residents share a kitchen, dining room, lounge, laundry facilities, and contemporary art library, and there is wireless internet throughout the building. The overall physical layout of the residency spaces encourages daily interaction and fosters collaboration among residents.


  • Residency Length: 1 month (min) to 3 months (max)
  • Average number of artists in residence at a time: 12
  • Number of artists accepted in most recent year: 80
  • Total applicant pool in most current year: 228


  • Application type: Open application
  • Collaboration: May apply as a team
  • Geography: Open to US artists, Open to non-US artists
  • Additional eligibility information: 

    Applications accepted online only through our SlideRoom portal:

  • Application deadline: February 15
  • Application Ongoing: No
  • Additional deadline info:
    Finalists will be interviewed before acceptance into the program.

Past Residents & Quotes

At SFAI, I was so fortunate to be surrounded by artists from diverse backgrounds, working within a variety of genres and media. Being exposed to such wealth of work, ideas, and experiences made me pause, sometimes at length, and absorb as much as I could. My encounter with these amazing artists tapped on many abilities I never thought I had, or had the courage to manifest.
— Lida Nosrati
A residency at SFAI is an incredible opportunity for creativity, artistic production, and community engagement. Working with such an innovative institution allows for collaboration with diverse organizations, cultural practitioners, and a larger community to address critical issues. SFAI cultivates generative conversations, projects, and initiatives that have a local, national and international impact.
— Toni Gentilli, Residency Program Manager

Facilities & Services

  • Housing: Private bedroom in a shared housing facility
    Each residency includes a fully furnished, private room with full bath, communal kitchen, dining, and living room areas, laundry facilities, gallery / installation / event space, access to outdoor spaces and interior courtyards, a contemporary art library, basic foodstuffs, and bicycle access.
  • Meals: Residents make own meals/groceries provided
    We provide basic foodstuffs (such as, olive oil, bread, cereal, peanut butter jelly/jam, coffee and tea), however residents are responsible for all other groceries and preparing their own meals.
  • Computer/internet access: Wireless Internet, Ethernet provided in living or studio area
  • Accessibility: housing/grounds/studios are accessible
    SFAI’s facility meets all ADA requirements with complete accessibility for wheelchairs to studio and living spaces. Two resident apartments are equipped with bathroom facilities for wheelchair access. The entire building has no stairs or barriers. All signage is presented in large clear type (English and Spanish).
  • Studios/special equipment: Exhibition / Installation
  • Additional studio information: 
    Residents are provided with a semi-private studio space, use of our library for writing and reading, as well as their own private rooms which are equipped with desks. We also have an outdoor workspace and an interior work room with a slop sink for working in a variety of media. We have a few basic tools available for resident use onsite and provide each resident a free membership to MAKE Santa Fe. Residents are responsible for providing all other tools, materials, and equipment necessary to their practice.
  • Other facilities and services: We have an agreement in place with MAKE Santa Fe that offers SFAI residents discounted access to their orientations/workshops and extensive facilities (e.g., woodshop, laser cutter, 3D printers). Residents also have free access to the library and gym as well as discounted access to the movie theater all on the adjoining University of Santa Fe Art and Design campus.

Residency Fees

Costs include a $35 application fee and we require a $150 refundable security deposit. All materials, equipment, travel and other expenses are residents' responsibilities.

Stipends / other support

Each sponsored residency includes a furnished private room and bath with linens; communal kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry facilities; semi-private studio, common work spaces, gallery/event space and art library; wireless internet, breakfast foods and bicycles. SFAI does not have specialized facilities, but provides basic tools and a membership to MAKE Santa Fe. SFAI subsidizes all the above at no cost to residents in our commitment to supporting individuals dedicated to positive social change through creativity.

Additional expectations / opportunities

Aside from a few required activities geared toward orientation and community building, residents are free to spend their time at SFAI as they see fit, be it making in their studios, quietly contemplating in their rooms, reading in our library, self-organizing studio visits or discussion groups with their fellow residents, out in the field exploring New Mexico while researching and/or gathering materials, interfacing with our diverse community, visiting local museums, or attending one of the many cultural events unique to Santa Fe. Project proposals give structure to a resident’s time at SFAI; a focused way in which to engage the annual theme and facilitate community engagement with established partners. However, SFAI realizes that the creative process is not linear and is often influenced by the resident’s experiences with the people and places of northern New Mexico once here, as well as their conversations with their cohort and SFAI staff around the residency theme. Therefore, we do not require a finished project, nor do we expect that residents follow their project proposals exactly as they were outlined in their application. SFAI requires that all residents submit digital materials/content for our online Resident Archive and annual thematic residency publication prior to or within one month of their departure.

Contact Information

PO Box 24044
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
United States
Tel: 505 424-5050