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May 11, 2018

Berkeley, CA - For over 30 years, Kala Art Institute has annually awarded artists time...

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NEW: Social Practice Toolkits!

“Community work is about trust and freedom, the faith that something is coming together also when it does not have a specific form at the beginning. That transformation for the artist and the community is fundamental and most important of all it needs time." - survey respondent

The first wave of findings, interviews, resources, and case studies from our Artists Residencies and Social Practice research study is now live on the Alliance website! 

While artist residencies have traditionally provided opportunities for artists to work in solitude, many residency programs today are designed specifically around artists engaging the local community. Increasingly, organizations still primarily offering retreat-style residencies are expanding into community-engaged work as well, and looking for best-practices from peers.  

In response to these significant shifts in the residency field, the Alliance began a discovery project with two guiding questions:

  • How can artist residencies be a platform for engaging communities in meaningful and responsible ways?
  • What do artists need to succeed in community-engaged work, and how best can residency programs serve those needs?

After over a year of research, survey responses from nearly 100 residency leaders and over 120 artists, interviews with field leaders, and considerable input from our amazing Advisory Group, we are ready to share the first round of findings!  

We invite you to explore our online Social Practice Toolkit! Hear how residencies across the world are engaging social practice projects in our Residency Case Studies. Get the artist perspective on how this work is best supported through interviews and articles. Or simply download our 10 Essential Tips for Residency Programs.

We are excited to share this initial guide and to hear your response! We see each page and tool as a living document which we look forward to expanding in the coming year. We hope you will join the conversation! If you have questions about the projects or resources you would like to share, please send a message to