Sacatar from the sky

Sacatar from the sky

View of the studios in the coconut grove

View of the studios in the coconut grove

Estúdio Ar - the theater and dance studio

Estúdio Ar - the theater and dance studio

Fellows perform - costumes by Pat Oleszko

Fellows perform - costumes by Pat Oleszko

The "Casa Central"

The "Casa Central"

Music and Dance Studios / "Casa Central"

Music and Dance Studios / "Casa Central"

Fellows perform in the town of Itaparica

Fellows perform in the town of Itaparica

Estúdio Esfinge - for writers, photographers, digital artists

Estúdio Esfinge - for writers, photographers, digital artists


Itaparica, BA, Brazil

THE INSTITUTO SACATAR, a non-profit corporation founded in 2000, runs an artist residency program on the island of Itaparica across the bay from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Sacatar occupies a sea-side estate, formerly the retreat of a Catholic girls´ school. The artists have their own bedroom/bathroom suites and separate individual studios suitable to their creative disciplines.


The Casa Central, a large house with a central courtyard, has five bedroom/bathroom suites and a wide verandah that faces the bay. The Casa Pequena, a century-old house renovated in 2021, has four bedroom/bathroom suites. To the east of the Casa Central, five studios surround a coconut grove and serve the visual arts, dance/theater, music and creative writing. There are an additional two studios in the Casa Central. Simple hand tools are available in a shared wood shop. The beach is secluded, with calm waters. It is a short walk to the historic village of Itaparica and an hour boat ride to Salvador, the first capital of Brazil.


A Sacatar residency  can take artists out of their comfort zone, placing them in a low income community deeply rooted in ancestral practices brought from Africa. The local community approaches art fearlessly and willingly. The people of Bahia disarm artists through warmth and a willingness to share. These experiences inspire artists to produce simpler, more directly communicative art. Sacatar artists often report returning to their ‘normal’ lives deeply transform


Rua da Alegria 10

Year Founded
Residency Structure
Residency Program Type
Studio-based (with housing)
Residency Length
1 month - 2 months
Average Number of Artists in Residence at a Time
Collaborative Residency
Must apply and be accepted individually
Interdisciplinary Arts
Mixed Media
Visual Arts
Book Arts
Ceramics/Clay Arts/Pottery
Costume/Fashion Design
Digital Fabrication
Fine Metals/Jewelry
Installation Arts
Paper Arts
Textile & Fiber Arts/Weaving
Literary Nonfiction
New Genres
Performance Art
Electronic Arts
Moving Image
Multimedia Arts
Sound Art
Graphic Design
Environmental Arts
Landscape Architecture
Public Art
Social Practice
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
Lead workshop for the public
How does your residency program support artists?
Opportunity to be in another context
Opportunity to travel
Immersion in new culture and/context
Unstructured time
Research support
Access to studio space to create new work
Inspiration from natural environment
Inspiration from cultural context
Opportunities to develop relationships with local or regional artists/arts organizations
Opportunities to collaborate with local or regional artists/arts organizations
Opportunities to collaborate with other artists/residents
Opportunities to develop relationships with other artists/residents
Opportunities for work with the local community
Opportunities to exhibit or perform new work
Additional Eligibility Information

The Instituto Sacatar sponsors residencies for highly qualified individuals in all creative pursuits. While we sometimes use the word ‘artist,’ we interpret ‘creativity’ in the broadest possible sense. We seek creative individuals of all backgrounds, without regard to race, creed, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, ancestry, disability or HIV status.

If you seek a residency only for the peace and quiet, we urge you to apply elsewhere. Even though the estate is tranquil and very conducive to concentrated work, all around us is the intriguing and vigorous culture of Bahia, arising from the entwined roots of the indigenous culture, the resistance of the African diaspora, and European colonisation. If you simply need ‘time away,’ we suggest that you apply to one of the hundreds of other residencies available around the world.

Number of Artists Accepted in Most Current Year
Total Applicant Pool in Most Current Year
Artist Stipend
US Dollar (USD)
Travel Stipend/Material Stipends
US Dollar (USD)
Residency Fees
US Dollar (USD)
Grant/Scholarship/other Funding Support
US Dollar (USD)
Grant/Scholarship/Other Funding Support Details

The Instituto Sacatar provides unstructured time and an appropriate space for creative individuals to develop new work. Specifically, a residency fellowship at Sacatar provides:

  • A private bedroom with attached bath
  • A personal studio suitable to the artist’s discipline
  • All meals (except Saturday evenings, Sundays and Brazilian holidays)
  • Weekly laundry services / weekly room service with clean linens and towels
  • Logistical support to interact with the local arts, culture and community as each artist sees fit
  • The opportunity to live and collaborate with other artists from a wide range of disciplines, professional experience, ethnicities, and ages

The first week of a Sacatar residency provides an overview of the cultural richness of Bahia, including optional tours of the island, the town of Itaparica, and the city of Salvador. A public presentation of the artists, given early in each residency session, provides each artist the opportunity to connect with the local cultural and creative communities of Bahia. In the second week, the Brazilian staff of the Instituto works with each artist individually to help the artist engage, as desired, with the local culture in ways appropriate for that artist. Towards the end of each residency period, artists often present work they have completed during their residency, actively engaging local collaborators and audiences.

We do not provide a financial stipend, but the above services cost the Sacatar Foundation an average of 5000 US dollars per two-month residency. 

Application Fee
US Dollar (USD)
Application Type
Open application
What does your program provide during the residency experience?
Manual / handbook before arrival
Communication before arrival to discuss accommodations, medical conditions, or other health needs
Orientation upon arrival
Contact information and available accommodations for programs, events, and campus
Full description of accessibility on campus
Written and or hard copies of text being presented
Staff/volunteer reading information aloud
Staff/volunteer giving directions
Staff/volunteer providing guidance to help locate facilities or activities
Contact info for accessibility requests for event/programming
Is your campus wheelchair accessible?
Partially Accessible
Additional Accessibility Information

The site of the Instituto is flat, and through the introduction of low ramps, most of the site can and has been made wheelchair accessible, including four of the seven separate studios. Most of the bedroom suites have adjoining rooms that can also be used as private workspaces. Some but not all of the fifteen bathrooms on site are wheelchair accessible. 

The town of Itaparica is mostly flat. Most local streets are paved in cobblestones. The street in front of Sacatar is dirt. We prefer to host artists in wheelchairs during the drier season, that runs from August through March, when the streets surrounding Sacatar are much less likely to be muddy. 

Housing available on campus
Local arrangements coordinated by resident
Local arrangements coordinated by staff
Case by case consideration by staff
Accessibility Contact Name
Augusto Albuquerque
Accessibility Contact Email
Accessibility Contact Phone Number
Other Services/Aids Offered in Residency + Other Programming

We have worked with different local institutions who assist people with disabilities, including a school and institute for the deaf and an umbrella organization in Salvador that assists access for people in wheelchairs. 

How much of the residency experience can artists with limited mobility participate?


Please briefly describe the facilities and areas of the campus that are NOT accessible.

The dance/theater studio is raised a half level. There are full flights of stairs to one of the writer's studios and the multi-media/music studio. All other facilities are accessible, with the exception of some of the bathrooms on the property. 

Type of Housing
Private bedroom in a shared housing facility on campus
Accessible Housing
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Housing for Companion And/or Caregivers
Housing available
Accessible Communal Spaces
Universally designed
Common/Communal Spaces Information

BEDROOM SUITES: This central house is a historic structure built in 1950 by Henriqueta Martins Catharino as the retreat of the Instituto Feminino, a progressive girls’ school that she had founded across the bay in Salvador in the 1920’s. The house has five bedrooms with attached baths, a kitchen, library, dining room and living room, arrayed around a central courtyard. Its long verandah faces the beach. On the western edge of the property, the Casa Pequena contains four additional bedroom suites for artists. Renovated in 2021, the century-old farmhouse is the oldest extant structure on the property. The artist have their own bedroom with attached private bathrooms. Most bedrooms also feature an annex room. All bedrooms are wheelchair accessible. We place artists in wheelchairs in the bedrooms which have the most open bathrooms. While not fully ADA compliant, they have functioned well for wheelchair-bound residents.

LIBRARY: We have a broad collection of books, with extensive material about Bahia, Brazil and the local culture, in English, Portuguese, and other languages. We ask that artists bring a book of general interest – their own work or the work of others – to expand the collection.

WOODWORKING SHOP: Artists are free to use the woodworking shop, which is also used by the maintenance staff.

LAUNDRY: Artists do not have access to the laundry, but our staff washes each artist's clothes once a week or upon request. 

NO AIR CONDITIONING: There is no air conditioning in the artists' rooms or studios or in any of the common areas. Every bedroom has fans and mosquito netting over the beds. Sacatar is located 13 degrees south of the equator. We are in the tropics and live as such. While the days can be hot, the evening breeze off the ocean guarantees pleasant temperatures on most evenings year round. If you really hate hot weather, you will not like it here. Very few places on the island are air-conditioned. 

MEALS: Sacatar provides all meals except Saturday evenings, Sundays, and Brazilian holidays.

Additional Housing Information
No laundry access
WIFI available in housing
Housekeeping services
Meals Provided
All meals
Residents have access to shared kitchen
Additional Meals Information
Vegan meal options can be requested
Vegetarian meal options can be requested
Gluten-free meal options can be requested
Kosher and halal options can be requested
Food allergies and restrictions can be accommodated
Snack and beverage provided
Computer/Internet Access
Wireless Internet (WIFI)
Studios/Facilities Details

Two visual arts and multimedia studios are open-air, measuring 6.0m x 6.0m, and have ample wall space, work sinks and private internal gardens. The wind and the birds can enter these studios freely. Tortoises also occasionally visit. Two additional studios in the main house offer a more controlled environment. One measures 6.0m x 8.0m, and the other 3.5m x 5.0m, both with ceilings 3.60 meters high. The smaller of these two studios has a sink.

A studio raised on wooden posts primarily serves writers, but has also served as a studio for digital photography and computer art. The studio measures 5.0m x 5.0m and offers panoramic ocean views. On occasion writers use some of the other studios for their work. Sacatar does not provide a printer. We suggest that writers bring a portable printer for their personal use.

At the far end of the coconut grove is a studio for dance, theater and performance. It has a sprung wooden floor (5.0m x 12.0m), with an adjacent dressing room (3.0m x 3.5m). Large sliding doors open to the beach on one side and to the property on the other, which permits the studio to transform into an impromptu theater with a dramatic ocean backdrop. A wall of mirrors can be curtained off (which stops the peacocks from attacking their own images). Sacatar can provide speakers and percussion instruments, but artists should bring their own equipment for recorded music.

Another studio raised on columns (4.5m x 10.0m) has phenomenal ocean views. While not soundproof, it is located at the furthest corner of the property, where musicians are less likely to disturb the other Fellows. This studio was not conceived as a recording studio and Sacatar does not provide recording equipment. However, we do provide a full-size portable electric keyboard and an extensive collection of percussion instruments for the musician’s use. This studio can also serve as a visual arts studio, since its walls provide a suitable surface to pin up canvas and paper. There is also a bathroom, exterior sink and wash-up area outside, just behind the studio.

We are in a technically limited location and encourage artists to work simply and directly with few complex tools, materials, or technologies.

Studios/Special Equipment
Private Studios
Dance Studio With Sprung Floor
Music/Media Studio Non-recording
Large Sinks
Woodworking Tools
Studios/Facilities Accessibility
Partially Accessible (50% or more)
Studio Support/Tech
Studio support provided by staff
Additional Studio Information

FOR CERAMICISTS: We have no kiln, but there are possibilities to execute work in partnership with the ceramicists of Maragogipinho, a village two hours from Sacatar where there are over seventy wood-fired ceramic workshops.