Nawat Fes offers fully funded residencies in the eighth-century medina of Fes, Morocco to U.S. and international creators in multiple disciplines. The initiative engages art to cultivate understanding among multifaceted cultures through the exchange of ideas. Hosted by the American Language Center Fes / Arabic Language Institute in Fez, a member of the American Cultural Association, Nawat Fes is a new program that hosted its first residencies in May 2022. Residencies are free, and artists receive a living stipend.
Artist residents live and work in the ancient medina of Fes, which is considered one of the most extensive and best conserved historic cities of the Arab-Muslim world. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fes medina is one of the world’s largest pedestrian zones, containing narrow alleyways leading to ancient architectural treasures, traditional houses, artisan workshops and open-air markets. Within this unique setting, Nawat Fes provides a supportive environment for research, reflection and artistic practice, allowing artists from around the world to experience and learn from Moroccan culture, and to contribute to the local cultural conversation.
2 rue Ahmed Hiba
Residency Program Information
Residency Program Summary
Eligibility & Artistic Media Supported
Nawat Fes welcomes both established and emerging artists, including writers (fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting/screenwriting, and literary translation), filmmakers, visual artists, conceptual and performance artists, musicians, composers and sound artists.
- Artist collectives of up to three people are accepted and should submit a single application.
- Because a major aim of the program is to bring new international voices to the Moroccan community, preference will be given to applications from artists who are not already residing in Morocco.
- It is not possible for artist residents to be accompanied by spouses or partners unless the spouse/partner applies and has been individually accepted to the program. If spouses plan to visit, we request that theThe program cannot accommodate children.
- Our initial facilities have some limitations for visual artists and artists working in sound. Please see website for details.
Application and Notification
The application deadline for Nawat Fes residencies starting from Summer 2023 is February 15, 2023 at 11:59 pm Casablanca time. The application will be available at www.alcfes.org/nawatfes in late December 2022. Notification of artist selections will be in late Spring 2023.
Artists will be selected by a jury. We value diversity highly within our community of artist residents. Residencies are awarded based on the quality of work submitted, diversity of cohort, the proposal for intended new work, and the fit of the artist within Morocco and the Fes medina. A high value is placed on linguistic exchange between the artists and the Moroccan community in Fes, which participates in American Language Center programs in English, so artist applicants must have good conversation skills in English. Arabic and French are helpful but not required.
Nawat Fes offers residencies of roughly two months each. Artists are expected to arrive at the beginning of each residency period and to stay through the end of the residency period. Please see website for updated residency periods.
There are no fees. Residency is fully funded.
Stipends and Other Support
Residencies are supported by the American Language Center Fes, which provides housing at no cost to artist residents, along with a 200-dirham/day living allowance (depending on the exchange rate, this normally ranges from 16-20 USD/day), from which artists will provide their own food. Half of the stipend is provided on arrival, and half at the midpoint of the residency. We can recommend some excellent local cooks who can come to Dar Bennis to prepare a variety of meals, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, as well as traditional Moroccan dishes. Artists can use their stipend to pay for this service. The ALC will host occasional community meals including other members of the Fes community.
ALC-ALIF staff and volunteers will be available on a limited basis to help artists engage with the local community. Artists will also be offered the option of a complimentary course in Moroccan Arabic, as well as optional translation services into Arabic for their descriptive and biographical material. Artists support the cost of their own travel, travel medical insurance, artist materials, any cost for mailing finished work out of Morocco, and all other costs.
The Fes medina is a pedestrian zone constructed on sloping hills paved with cobblestones, and it requires a lot of walking on uneven surfaces. Artists reach Dar Bennis by walking 10 minutes downhill on one of the two main streets of the medina. It is easy to find once one is oriented to the basic layout of the medina. Dar Bennis is constructed on four levels and the staircases are narrow. There is no elevator in Dar Bennis.