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What Is a residency?

A residency is essentially a place or opportunity that offers you space and time to work and/or think. It can be a place of reflection just as much as a place of production.

WHY HAVE YOU CREATED THIS RESIDENCY? 

We at OLAW aim to make creative experiences accessible despite income, age, gender, location, or a history of past "art world" experiences. The ALT- residency is a collaborative social practice project that questions the traditional artist residency model, studies the needs and desires of creative people, and encourages growth, simplicity, and inclusivity in creative experiences. It's a total test to see if this type of residency is possible, and if so, what are its benefits and where can it take us?

DOES THE ALT- program PROVIDE LODGING, A STUDIO SPACE, OR MATERIALS?

No. The residency program at ALT- is not in a fixed location. The resident chooses where and with which materials they would like to work and have the means to provide. Rent a cabin in the woods of Vermont, take an extended stay at your parents' house, or never leave your own bed. The residency is wherever the resident is, wants to be, or works best. Although we do encourage residents to take this time to step out of their norm or try different ways/physical spaces of working, the mission of the residency program is to focus on the mental rather than the material by providing accessibility, accountability, affirmation, and attention - not materials or space.  

IF I'M NOT PROVIDED SPACE OR MATERIALS, WHAT are the benefits of an ALT- Residency?

The ALT- residency is focused on the conceptual, not-so-physical benefits of a residency. ALT- is interested instead in encouraging a self-driven approach to a residency. This requirement to be independent can positively translate to one's personal practice beyond ALT-. The help we give takes shape in the form of accessibility, accountability, affirmation, and attention, all while creating a resume builder through a more accessible method. By requiring artists to set aside their typical daily work, focus on their personal practice/proposal, and share details about their experiences with ALT-, residents are held more accountable for their actions and thus more likely to stick to their guns. ALT- employs a panel of creatively dedicated individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and professions to judge and decide upon residency recipients. This provides affirmation that we believe the resident is able and willing to make their proposal a reality and they are at a place in which it will be worth it for them to dedicate precious amounts of time and effort. Just knowing that someone believes in their project gives residents a confidence boost that can push them into motion. ALT- requires that each resident share their experience through some form of digital means ; such as a brief literary, photojournalistic, video, or audio essay. This will be shared through the ALT- website, social media pages, and newsletter, promoting  and providing the artists with attention while establishing a larger creative community. 

Who Can apply for an ALT- residency? do I NEED TO BE A VISUAL ARTIST?

No! At ALT- we believe that art is life and life is art. We encourage artists of all media to apply - painting, writing, photographing, camping, cooking, songwriting, researching, anything. We just ask that you have an understanding of your direction and the goals you hope for to achieve for your practice, whatever they may be.  Creative work leads to growth and connection with one's self and others and that is what we at ALT- want to share.

We have found ALT- to especially appeal to emerging individuals that are limited in their ability to pay for other programs, creatives with full time careers with strict limitations on their free time, individuals in a transition time, and established artists that know how they work best and enjoy the idea of tailoring a residency to fit their needs. 

Why can't i participate in full time school or work WHILE IN AN ALT- RESIDENCY?

Although ALT- is a uniquely flexible residency, a resident must prioritize the program in order to really reap the benefits. Dedication is one of the main mental components of a residency and most respectable aspects of a creative experience. We want ALT- to be as accessible as possible, but we also need to retain a level of commitment. Time is valuable and the amount that a resident and their practice will benefit from the residency will likely be proportionate to how they respect the commitment to their work and the required time. Part-time work is negotiable for residencies longer than 1 week in duration depending on the proposal. 

WHEN CAN I APPLY FOR OR PARTICIPATE IN AN ALT- RESIDENCY?

Any time! Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications may be declined without review if not received 2 or more before the requested project period.   

HOW LONG IS AN ALT- RESIDENCY?

The duration of an ALT- Residency is up to the resident. However, it must take place in one week increments, and may be no less than 1 week and no more than 12 weeks. 

CAN my partner or collaborative team participate in the residency with me?

Yes! The more the merrier. If applying as a partnership or group, please submit ONE application form, statement of purpose, and public programming concept, but submit work examples and resumes for EACH participant.

HOW MUCH MONEY DOES THE ALT- Program COST?

Nothing and anything. Lodging, tools, and materials are left up to the resident, allowing them to be as extravagant or minimalistic as desired. We do not charge a fee for the benefits provided by ALT- because we believe that some of the most positive attributes a residency can provide, the conceptual capacities that the ALT- residency is based around, should not be monetized and should be accessible despite income status. Work invested on our end of the residency is currently supplied by donated time - although we are looking to find ways of changing this to create a more sustainable program.

WHAT CAN I WORK ON DURING AN ALT- RESIDENCY? DO I NEED TO COMPLETE A PROJECT WHILE PARTICIPATING? 

An ALT- resident's work does not need to be single-project specific, nor do we require that a project reaches completion. A resident doesn't even need to physically make anything. For example, maybe a resident is stuck in a rut with their  work and just hasn't created in some time. An ALT- residency can be used to contemplate the reasons for this, brainstorm new ideas, and ideally get themselves back in the flow of things to carry beyond the residency. An ALT- residency is all about time and accountability. We do however ask the applicant to know what they need, make their intentions known through their proposal, and stick to that intention – whether highly structured and physically productive or not. 

Who's going to cook my dinner while I work? How do I network if the other residents aren't near me?

The ALT RES residency program is NOT for everyone.

If you are seeking a space where you can be entirely immersed in your work, thinking as little as possible about your daily needs or really relish in the organized social hour with other residents, this program may not be your definition of "ideal." You are more than welcome to hire a chef yourself or have the laundromat fold your clothes if you find this to be a priority and within your means, but ALT- has intentionally simplified its model –limiting  certain benefits – in order to build a more accessible program. We do however want to facilitate as much community development, communication, and feedback as possible despite our distance. Suggestions are welcome!

WHAT IS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR THE ALT- RESIDENCY?

Find current application info here!