The Watermill Center's longest-standing program, The International Summer Program unites a community of international artists for a creative intensive at our East End Campus each summer. It offers a unique opportunity to advance one’s artistic practice in a communal and experimental environment and work alongside established arts professionals worldwide.
Culminating in our Annual Summer Benefit, the Summer Program provides the time and space for emerging artists to develop new works that push the boundaries of contemporary creative practice. The artists – from different disciplines, countries, and backgrounds – share meals, exchange ideas, collaborate on projects, attend workshops, and participate in the daily life of The Watermill Center.
Artists-in-Residence are immersed in an extensive collection of resources, including; 20,000 square feet of multi-purpose interiors and outdoor stages; a theater production archive; The Watermill Center Library; The Watermill Center Collection; and ten acres of landscaped grounds and sculpture gardens.
Residency Experience Summary
Q: How are artists selected to participate in the Summer Program?
A selection committee, including Robert Wilson, chooses the Summer Program participants. Participants are selected based on their artistic abilities and objectives, achievements, and creative potential, as well as how they might be served by, and contribute to, the Summer Program at The Center. Selection is also determined based on the needs of the particular year’s workshops and activities and the need to maintain a diverse group of participants from varying disciplines, countries, and professional and artistic backgrounds while aiming to ensure a balance between new and returning artists.
Q: Who is typically admitted to the Summer Program?
Each year differs, but we generally select artists we are confident will be able to complete an engaging performance or installation during the program. We complement this group by inviting a select number of artists, technicians, and performers who will assist in the construction and presentation of accepted proposals. Artists from all disciplines and backgrounds are welcome to apply.
Q: Is there an age limit? What is the average age of participants?
Any artist over eighteen years old is welcome to apply. On average, artists tend to fall between 20-40 years old.
Since 2008, the tuition for each International Summer Program artists has been provided in full by the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation. The Foundation covers housing, food, local transportation, materials needed for work in the program, and the facility’s operating cost. The Foundation raises these funds through sponsorships from foundations, as well as individual benefactors who support the mission of The Center by joining the Watermill Mentor Program.
Artists are required to pay the costs of their travel to New York and The Watermill Center. We encourage you to find individual funding through scholarships, foundations, and grants if needed. The Watermill Center provides a modest stipend to help offset travel costs and personal expenses.