Cultural Immersion Southwest Louisiana March 1, 2023 - May 30, 2024

Cultural Immersion

The purpose of The Whirlybird Compound Artist in Residency of Acadiana, run by Christy Leichty and Jim Phillips, is to enhance the creative process of artists through cultural immersion.

Christy & Jim provide 6 artist in residence accommodations in a secluded and inspiring setting in South Louisiana, complete with a residence, studio spaces, gallery, performance spaces, kitchen, laundry and basic amenities, allowing artists to fully immerse themselves in the unique cultural experiences and traditions of the region.

Artists are responsible for their own food and transportation, Christy & Jim offer weekly shopping trips for those without vehicles and spontaneous cultural and artistic events. Artists are expected to follow the The Whirlybird Compound rules, which are simple: no pets, no non-working partners, no indoor smoking, and no alterations to the property. Christy & Jim offer a unique opportunity for paying it forward which they call Community Lagniappe (in Cajun and Creole culture, lagniappe is a small gift given or obtained by way of good measure) – where the artists are expected to contribute to the community through a project, such as a reading, a workshop, a recital/gig/jam or an art show. Lagniappe does not have to be complicated or a major focus of the residency, simple contributions are preferred.  And, we love to have feedback at the end of the residency.

Residencies of 4-6 weeks or more are preferred, but shorter stays of up to 1 week will be considered.

There is no application deadline
Residency Length
1 week - 12 weeks
Average Number of Artists in Residence at a Time
Collaborative Residency
Must apply and be accepted individually
Interdisciplinary Arts
Mixed Media
Visual Arts
Costume/Fashion Design
Fine Metals/Jewelry
Installation Arts
Paper Arts
Literary Nonfiction
New Genres
Performance Art
Moving Image
Multimedia Arts
Graphic Design
Industrial Design
Environmental Arts
Landscape Architecture
Public Art
Social Practice
Art Conservation
Art Education
Art History
Pets are not allowed
Country of Residence
Open to artists based anywhere in the world
Family Friendly
Stage of Career
Any stage of career
Additional Expectations/Opportunities
Donate a work of art
Participate in public programming
Participate in open studio with fellow residents
Give artist talk or presentation
Teach in studio
Lead workshop for the public
Lead workshop for fellow residents
Lead a skill share
Accessible Housing
Meals Provided
No meals are provided
Studios/Special Equipment
Exhibition / Installation Space
Performance/Presentation Facilities
Dance Studio Without Sprung Floor
Studios/Facilities Accessibility
Type of Housing
Private housing on campus (individual apartment/cabin/house)
Additional Eligibility Information

The Whirlybird Compound Artist Residency Program invites professional and emerging artists of all disciplines to apply starting Feb 15th, 2023 for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Residencies of 4-6 weeks or more are preferred and can be for up to 12 weeks, but shorter stays of a minimum of 1 week will be considered for certain circumstances, but not encouraged.

Although our accommodations offer six private bedrooms, we will not always have six artists in residency at the same time. We will collaborate with the applying artists and prioritize balancing their needs with our program's requirements. The number of residents at any given time, as well as the specific accommodations requested, will also be taken into account.

Y’all, we’re old school, so application materials should be sent via email to (for large digital media files, use Box or Dropbox – or old fashion snail mail for “hard copy” to 4072 Hwy 182, Opelousas, LA 70570). There is no fee to apply.

To successfully apply for a residency at The Whirlybird Compound, it’s important to showcase your passion for your work – tell us why you’re seeking this opportunity. Detail what you hope to achieve during the residency and how the program will support your growth as an artist. Your portfolio should be well-organized, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, featuring high-quality images or recordings of your work along with relevant information such as dimensions, materials, and creation dates. Residency at The Whirlybird Compound requires artists to contribute to the community through a project like a reading, workshop, presentation or art show, so be specific about your goals and plans and explain how the residency will support your project. Please obtain letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your work who can speak to your abilities and the residency. Submit all required materials in a timely fashion and double-check everything before submitting. And, it is appropriate to follow up with the residency program after submission to inquire about the status of your application, of course, being respectful and professional in your inquiry.

Application Requirements:

  1. Letter of Intent: This document should include your personal information (address, phone, and email), your background in art, your goals for the residency, letters of recommendation, desired residency dates, and preferred accommodations.
  2. Resume and Portfolio: Your resume should highlight your background and experience in your field. Your portfolio should showcase your work and be well-organized, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. If you are a writer, include published works or works in progress. If you are an artist, musician, or dancer, include 3-5 images, recordings, or videos of your work.
  3. The Community Lagniappe (LAN-yap) Proposal (in Cajun and Creole culture, a small gift given or obtained by way of good measure): In the spirit of paying it forward, we expect applicants to contribute to the community through a project we call Community Lagniappe, such as a reading, workshop, presentation, or art show. This does not have to be complicated or a major focus of the residency, simple contributions are preferred.

Finalists will be invited for an interview (via Zoom or Skype or regular old phone call) within a couple of weeks of submitting the application. Acceptance notifications will be sent within 30 days – or earlier if the request for residency is before 30 days from applying. A 50% deposit is required for confirmation of residency and must be made within 10 days of acceptance. A 5.5% St. Landry Parish occupancy tax will be added.

  • Cancellation Policy: A $100 fee will be deducted from the deposit if canceled before 30 days before the start date. Refunds for cancellations within 30 days depend on a medical emergency or finding a replacement.
Number of Artists Accepted in Most Current Year
Total Applicant Pool in Most Current Year
Artist Stipend
Travel Stipend/Material Stipends
Residency Fees
US Dollar (USD)
Fee Details

Again, our accommodations offer six independent and unique bedrooms, but we will not necessarily have six artists in residency at any given time. We will work with the artists as they apply and try to balance their needs with those of our program, taking into consideration the number of residents and the location of their accommodations at any given time.


Welcome to The Whirlybird Compound Artist Residency Program – a place where artists can create and flourish in a supportive, uplifting and culturally submersive environment. Founded by Christy and Jim, who are artists themselves, the Folk Art-inspired compound features three spacious repurposed buildings and an outdoor bandstand, all designed to provide artists with everything they need to succeed.

Accommodations offer tiered pricing based on size and private/shared bathrooms. All residents share the kitchen in the Whirlybird and Tower Lounge. Grocery store trips are available for those without transportation. We're community-minded and support artists through a scholarship fund.


Accommodations at The Whirlybird Compound include:

Whirlybird Honky Tonk

  • Two private bedrooms (Kingdom of Zydeco and Esquire Ballroom) each with a full private bathroom
  • A 20 ft. folk art museum bar
  • A shared kitchen (The Whirlybird)
  • A complete dance hall and stage
  • A large shared screened-in porch
  • Mig’s Bandstand to be shared
  • Ramp access

Kingdom of Zydeco (larger room with Western-oriented windows looking into pecan grove) rents for $350/week, $500/2 weeks, $650/3 weeks, and $850/month. Esquire Ballroom rents for $250/week, $400/2 weeks, $550/3 weeks, and $700/month.

Folk Art Tower

  • Two private bedrooms (Renella Rose and Fiddlers Green)
  • Two private toilets with enclosures and four showers in two separate shower rooms
  • Three sinks in the bath house
  • A shared kitchen (in the Whirlybird Honky Tonk) for cooking
  • A large lounge with a kitchenette for snacks and drinks
  • A gallery and studio space
  • A very large porch
  • Mig’s Bandstand
  • Ramp access
  • Five new mini-splits for AC/heat

Both bedrooms in The Tower (Renella Rose and Fiddlers Green) rent for the same price: $150/week, $250/2 weeks, $350/3 weeks, $500/month.

Vintage Campers

  • Two vintage campers (1966 Fireball and 80’s Shasta Camper) available for adventurous artists
  • Each camper features a double bed, table, electric AC/heat, and necessary bedding and amenities
  • Artists in the vintage campers share the Whirlybird kitchen and The Tower bath house

Both vintage campers (1966 Fireball and 80’s Shasta Camper) rent for the same price: $100/week, $200/2 weeks, $300/3 weeks, and $400/month.

Grant/Scholarship/other Funding Support
US Dollar (USD)
Grant/Scholarship/Other Funding Support Details

The founders are dedicated to setting up a scholarship fund to support even more artists in the future, but, there is no such fund at present.

Application Fee
US Dollar (USD)
Application Type
Open application