Rising Residency FAQ
A Studio in the Woods, a program of Tulane University’s ByWater Institute, is dedicated to forest preservation, science inspired art education and supporting artists and scholars who are interested in tackling the challenging issues of our time with power and imagination. Learn more about our mission, vision, and values here.
While we strive to create a residency environment that is accessible and welcoming to all, our residency is not necessarily the right fit for everyone. Please consider the following before you apply:
Will there be wildlife? How much “Woods” are we talking?
Our residency is set on 7.66 acres of bottomland hardwood forest. Residents WILL encounter bugs, reptiles and other wildlife during their stay. Many of our buildings are older, which means that occasionally you will see bugs and small lizards inside them. The buildings are treated for insects to keep this down, but it is a normal part of being in this space. Additionally, each spring Formosan termites swarm in New Orleans, something to be aware of if scheduling a residency for the late spring months.
Where is this? Is there public transit?
We are located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, within Orleans Parish, on the outskirts of New Orleans. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, you can walk up to the levee and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the biggest watersheds on the planet. While we are technically in the city of New Orleans, we are in a semi-rural area and there is no public transportation. A car is not required but is very useful – we are about 9 miles from the closest grocery/pharmacy and 15 miles from the urban center. Uber/Lyft do come to us but fees quickly add up. If you will not have a vehicle, staff can purchase groceries and project supplies for you once a week.
What support do Rising Residents receive?
- 6-week residency with living and working space
- $3000 stipend
- $2000 material budget
- Grocery reimbursement
- Up to two sessions with a photographer
- A short video interview about their residency
- The opportunity to work with an external evaluator/ally, a former resident we contract to meet with you periodically to talk about your project goals and help brainstorm ways to achieve them.
- Our residency coordinator works directly with each resident to connect them to people, organizations, and resources that can best support their project. Depending on the needs of the project, we may be able to assist artists in accessing Tulane University faculty consultants or research collections.
- Alumni residents benefit from a dedicated page on our website, continued opportunities for networking, and inclusion in our marketing and outreach.
What is expected of Rising Residents?
- Spend 6 weeks in residence
- Attend a mandatory zoom orientation
- Be responsible for their own transportation costs to and from the residency
- Cover personal living expenses, additional materials and supplies, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing work incurred while in the program.
- Participate in an artist salon/networking dinner at the beginning of their residency
- Complete a session with a photographer and a video interview
- Engage with the public as outlined in project proposal
- Submit an exit statement – this MUST be completed before the final stipend payment will be released
Stipend may be prorated if the resident does not fulfill these expectations.
Who is eligible?
Local, national, and international visual, musician/composing, performance, literary, new media, and interdisciplinary artists are eligible to apply. Both established and emerging artists may apply, but a dedicated practice and demonstrated commitment to public engagement are expected. Students enrolled in degree-seeking programs are not eligible. We will reconfirm your student status before a residency offer is made.
Can I apply as part of a collaboration or team?
We are small facility and are only able to support collaborative teams of no more than two artists. The two collaborators must be equal contributing partners in the project, not a primary artist plus technical support. Significant others are permitted short visits with advance notice, see visitor policies below.
What do you mean by public engagement?
We believe in the importance of sharing the work of artists in residence with our communities here in New Orleans. Six weeks is not enough time for most to complete a body of work, however we want a chance to invite the public into your process and find that successful engagement can take many forms: sometimes it is wide and sometimes it is deep. “Wide” could be an open studio or public reading/performance of a work in progress. “Deep” could be spending your six weeks working within a community or school. You don’t need to have all partners identified before you arrive – share organizations or types of organizations you’d be interested in connecting with and we will help connect you in advance of your arrival. We also host an Artist Salon at the beginning of each Rising Residency which is a chance to share your project and ask for help – from volunteers to materials to feedback – over a lovely public dinner in the woods.
Does my project have to be about New Orleans?
Nope! We see the Louisiana landscape as a microcosm of the global environment, manifesting both the reckoning and hope which are required in the ways humans interact with shifting urban and natural ecosystems. We seek projects from varied perspectives and locales.
How are Rising Residents selected?
A multidisciplinary jury comprised of artists, arts professionals and environmental activists will review applications in two rounds. The first round will happen asynchronously, and jurors will review and rank all applications. Top contenders will be moved to a second round that happens live. We offer to share anonymized jury feedback to all applicants. The jury will judge proposals on the following criteria:
- The creativity and integrity of the proposal
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate with colleagues and wider audiences
- Projects that are deeply respectful of the communities and individuals with whom they interact
- The proposal’s public component and its depth of engagement with the community
Can I change my dates after they’re set?
Once residency dates are set it is very difficult for us to change them. We understand that life can be unpredictable and will work with you to reschedule your residency if necessary, but cannot guarantee availability at that point. If you need to truncate your residency for any reason, your stipend may be prorated accordingly.
Who else will be there?
We can host up to three residents at a time. At times, you may be the only person on-site, at others, you will be sharing the kitchen and common areas with two other residents as well as staff. Staff rotates being in the office, but someone will be available 9-5 Monday-Friday and we are reachable by phone after hours for emergencies. Once a week, Tulane housekeeping comes to clean surfaces and bathrooms and Tulane facilities workers may also stop by to make repairs from time to time. Studio periodically may host facility rentals and other residents may hold small gatherings, however, these will be limited to minimize disruption to all those staying on site. Learn more about Staff here: http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/about/staff-board/
Can I have guests?
Covid best practices permitting, you are welcome to invite guests for small gatherings, meetings, studio visits, meals or project support. Significant others are permitted short overnight stays with advance notice. Larger gatherings may be permitted but also require advance notice. Residents are responsible for communicating all safety policies and community agreements with their guests. Any overnight guests will be required to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement.
Can I bring my child?
Unfortunately, we are not able to have children stay overnight in the facility. If you are a parent and have further questions about how a residency might work for your situation please contact Cammie Hill-Prewitt at [email protected].
Can I bring my pet?
We are only able to host Service Animals as regulated by the ADA. This does not include Emotional Support or Therapy Animals. If you need to bring a regulated Service Animal, please let us know when scheduling your residency. Other residents may have allergies and phobias and we want to do our best to ensure everyone is at ease while in residence.
What kind of space will I have?
Each resident has a private bedroom, bathroom, and studio furnished with sheets, towels, and individual heating/cooling units. The living room, kitchen, and all outdoor spaces are shared by all residents. See Living Experience for photos and more information: http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/living-experience/
What equipment is available?
Our studios are minimally furnished with desks/work tables, shelves, and chairs. You should plan on bringing all supplies and specific equipment you will need with you. We do have a Yamaha keyboard, sewing machine, and a variety of basic hand tools available. Bedrooms are fully furnished with sheets, towels, etc. and the kitchen is fully stocked with cooking basics.
Do you cook for me?
Residents are responsible for preparing their own meals, however, the Studio pays for all groceries for Rising Residencies.
Are the facilities accessible?
We are committed to accessibility and have hosted both program attendees and artist residents with disabilities and have made the necessary modifications to our existing facilities to accommodate them. Please contact Cammie Hill-Prewitt at [email protected] if you have questions about accessibility.
Is there internet?
Yes, and it’s pretty reliable too!
Is there laundry?
Yes, residents are responsible for doing their own laundry including sheets and towels as desired during their stay.
What happens if there’s a hurricane?
Unfortunately, because of the nature of the forest and the number of large trees present, A Studio in the Woods is not a safe place to shelter in place for a hurricane. If a hurricane is approaching during your residency, staff will monitor it closely and keep you updated. In the event that a storm is on track to hit New Orleans, you may be required to evacuate for your safety. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.
What about COVID-19?
As a program of Tulane, we adhere to the policies set out by the University. These policies are constantly evolving in compliance with guidelines set by the Louisiana Department of Health, the City of New Orleans and the CDC. For the care of everyone involved with our program as well as the greater New Orleans community, we STRONGLY recommend that you be vaccinated before coming to A Studio in the Woods, especially if traveling here from another community. We will continue to respond to the pandemic as best practices shift and this may affect your residency.
Where can I learn more about the history of the land?
The earth beneath A Studio in the Woods is young – built up over the past 5000 years from the alluvial soil carried by the Mississippi River. Early Native Peoples of this land were the Washa and Chawasha tribes; later communities in the area included the Houma, Chitimacha, Biloxi, Choctaw, Bayagoula, Quinipissa, Atakapa-Ishak, Caddo, Tunica, Natchez, Tchoupitoulas, Tangipahoa and others. The city we now call New Orleans has been a site of exchange and commerce for more than 1000 years and was known as Bulbancha – “the place of other languages” in Choctaw. Later this land was claimed by colonizers and cleared to varying degrees for agriculture, first in the 1700s for indigo and then in the 1800s for sugar cane. By 1860, there were up to 94 forcibly enslaved African and Afro-Indigenous people living and laboring on this plantation. The land has been recovering from this violence and lain fallow since the early 1900s. The founders of A Studio in the Woods purchased this 7.66 acres of bottomland hardwood forest in 1969 and sought to share it as a powerful source of creative inspiration and education. They stewarded the land for almost 50 years and donated it to Tulane University in 2004. As we work towards becoming a more just and equitable organization, we ground our process in honoring and engaging with these histories. With the help of resident artists and scholars, we are still uncovering and trying to understand the history of this land and invite you to read more about it here: http://www.astudiointhewoods.org/land-history/
Still have questions? Email us at [email protected]