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Djerassi Resident Artists Program

The mission of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is to support and enhance the creativity of artists by providing uninterrupted time for work, reflection, and collegial interaction in a setting of great natural beauty, and to preserve the land on which the Program is situated. The Djerassi Resident Artists Program is internationally recognized as one of the eminent artist residency programs. As stewards of a unique and beautiful property, Djerassi also seeks to preserve the land and use our facilities wisely and efficiently for maximum benefit to the artists and with the least impact on the environment. All artists arrive and leave at the same time, deepening the collegial nature of the residency.

Availability: Djerassi schedules 30-day residencies between mid-March and mid-November. 

Location: The Program is located on a 580-acre former cattle ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains, 40 miles south of San Francisco. The secluded property encompasses vast grasslands with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, cascading creeks, and woodlands thick with towering redwoods, ageless coastal oaks, and twisting madrone. Miles of hiking trails lead artists-in-residence to more than 40 site-inspired sculptures created on the land by former residents.

Average # of artists in-residence at a time: 10-12

Housing: Private housing in individual cabin or shared building.

Studios + other facilities: Writers are provided a private live/work space in the Artists’ House or The Middlebrook Studios. Visual and performing artists are provided private live/work space in the Artists’ Barn (heated with wood-burning stoves), which include sleeping lofts. Furnishings and linens are provided. Facilities for computers and digital media (wireless internet access, email stations with printers, Mac G4 with Adobe Creative Suite, color printer, digital video camera, digital projector and slide projector); metal shop (basic welding equipment); painting (studios include sinks, easels, and tables); photography (B&W processing); sculpture (basic woodworking tools); ceramics arts(small electric kiln only); music studio (6-foot studio grand piano, 88 key Midi keyboard and sound system); dance studio (1000-sq.-ft. sprung dance floor, mirrors, sound system, TV/VCR/DVD); and writing (studios include a large desk, live/work space, and small outdoor deck).

Accessibility: Living quarters and studio space consist of a 4-bedroom house, a unique, remodeled 12-sided barn and the Diane Middlebrook Studios. All studios and common areas are wheelchair accessible. Both the artists' house and the artists' barn have handicapped-accessible bathrooms but not roll-in showers. Half the living accommodations are wheelchair accessible. The 4 Middlebrook studios have private bathrooms, one of them is ADA compliant with a walk-in/wheel-in shower. These studios can accommodate writers, photographers, filmmakers, videographers and any non-messy creative artist that don't require a large studio space for their work. The painters, sculptors, mixed media artists, and choreographer have shared bathrooms. The composer has a private bathroom but it is up a flight of stairs. The dark room is also up a flight of stairs. The grounds are consistent with a rural ranch environment but with paved access between all the buildings. The terrain is hilly between all structures; once inside each building, the space is level and navigable using a wheelchair. Staff can transport residents between buildings for meals and other group activities as desired. The trails (and bulk of the on-site sculptures) are not readily accessible for residents with limited mobility. The Program's ATV can been used to explore the trails and sculptures for residents with disabilities. Staff members are available to help load in and pack up an artist’s supplies/equipment. The Program offers transportation to and from the San Francisco International Airport in an eight-person van. The van does not have a wheel-chair lift; accessible transportation could easily be arranged with notice. The closest medical facilities are 15 miles (and 45 minutes) from the Djerassi property.

Meals: Weeknight meals are prepared by the Chef; the kitchens are stocked for other meals, which residents prepare for themselves.

Presenting opportunities + public engagement: While in residence artists are responsible for light housekeeping duties. All artists are asked to create an "Artist’s Page" commemorating their Djerassi Program residency; these artworks are periodically exhibited in Bay Area shows and at Djerassi Program events. Artists may create site-inspired sculptures to add to the Program's outdoor sculpture collection.

Other services: Transportation to/from San Francisco airport and weekly town trip provided. Staff makes a trip to town once a week; residents are welcome to come along to pick up supplies and run errands.

More information: