Artists Residency Programs in New York, the Cultural Capital of Cultural Capital

In relation to New York City, both of the term “cultural capital’s” meanings are relevant. The first that comes to mind, and likely the most poignant, is the notion of New York as the cultural capital of the world, serving as the nexus where people from the world over converge to experience The City of Dreams.

The other meaning, which relates to the sociology concept which, according to scholars J.P.E Harper-Scott and Jim Samson is “the social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech and dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society”, too resonates deeply with the City. The high art world is an innately stratified one, where just as important as talent, is the backing that an artist has. High art culture and all of its connotations flourish in New York City with its over 100 cultural institutions, over 500 private galleries, and countless personifications of the cultural capital phenomenon, from Aquavella to Gagosian, individuals who ventured to New York City to connect with and take in the City’s social assets and ultimately conquered the art world.

Because of this, New York City is the place where many artists come to “make it”. Artists flock to its many cultural institutions that cultivate emerging creatives. One institution that is most prominent is the artist residency program.

Because of all of this, many artists feel like New York is the city to be made in and flock to its cultural institutions that cultivate emerging artists. One of the most prominent of these is the artist residency program.

Craig Drennen, an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University and the former Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, when discussing the importance of artist residency programs at his respective institutions commented:

“I think the benefits of residency programs are enormous for artists. On a very basic level, it gives an artist time to work and space to work, away from their normal lives. The second part of the equation is that residencies place artists in new communal contexts with new peers and mentors from all over the world. I think that all of these factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time.”

Due to the sense of fellowship that can arise amongst artists in residence, as well as the access to influential individuals who could literally make a participating artist’s career, artist residency programs play a vital role. To help artists eager to make those substantial jumps mentioned by Craig Drennen to either kickstart or further their artistic endeavors , here is a list of seven artist residency programs in New York City with information from their respective sites:

Studio Museum in Harlem

The 2013-14 Artists in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem: Abigail DeVille, Kevin Beasley, and Bethany Collins. Photo courtesy of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo credit Paul Mpagi Sepuya. (Artblog)

Each year, The Studio Museum in Harem offers an 11-month studio residency for three local, national, or international emerging artists working in any media. Each artist is granted a free non-living studio space and a stipend. Artists have access to the Museum’s studios and are expected to work in the studio a minimum of 20 hours per week and participate in open studios and public programs. At the end of the residency, an exhibition of the artists’ work is presented in the Museum’s galleries


144 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027

Tel: 212.864.4500


School of Visual Arts

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SVA’s Summer Residencies in New York City offer artists, designers and creative thinkers time, space and a supportive community in which to develop ideas and focus on their artistic direction.” In addition to time-honored studio residencies, a variety of innovative professional immersion programs provide opportunities for artists to explore new areas of social and technological practice and engage critically within their field. A unique combination of creative and professional resources provides a rich environment for growth and opportunity in the current, vibrant art scene. Affordable housing is available, as are opportunities to display work.

Disciplines and media of interest include Visual Art, New Media, Animation, Printmaking, Curatorial, Film Making, Sculpture, Ceramics, and Textile Art.


209 East 23 Street

NY, NY 10010-3994

Tel: 212.592.2188




BronxArtSpace (BAS) invites Bronx-based artists to apply for the inaugural Summer Residency + Open Studios program. The program responds to a crucial need for affordable studio space and professional development for emerging Bronx artists. For 6 weeks, 6 Bronx-based artists will have 24-hour access to BAS gallery and the Bruckner Building to use as their studio. Each artist will have approximately 500 square feet. BAS will provide some tools, including ladders, power drills and hardware. Additionally, artists will be awarded $500 to use towards materials. Throughout the residency, BAS will organize studio visits for the participants with curators, writers and other artists. At the end of the residency, artists will open their studio for a public reception.


305 E 140th Street #1

Bronx, NY 10454 

Tel: (718) 401-8144


Brooklyn Art Space and Trestle Gallery

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This pilot-program is an extended version of other residencies, spanning from May 1 – December 31st. Additionally, residents receive a 10% discount on a semi-private studio at the Gowanus location (400 3rd Ave, Brooklyn) while getting additional support of advisory with Adrienne Tarver. Who this residency is ideal for: 1. Artists developing a new body of work 2. Artists entering or re-entering the art world 3. Artists who have graduated with a BFA or MFA within the past two years (note: this residency is open to all artists, Bachelors/Masters degrees are not required).


850 3rd Ave, Suite 411, Brooklyn, NY 11232


Times Square Arts

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Individual applicants or small collaborative groups of artists based in New York City may apply for the Residency at the Crossroads program. The residency is open to artists of all disciplines who are interested in working in the public realm, not just those who already consider themselves public artists. Eligible applicants include visual artists, writers, poets, architects, designers, musicians, filmmakers, composers and choreographers. Multi-disciplinary collaborators are encouraged; the selection process aims to represent the greatest diversity of applicants and art forms.


1560 Broadway, Suite 800, New York, NY10036

Tel: (212) 768-1560


Cooper Union

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The residency, which began in 1993, was created to support teaching artists whose professional practice in action, would contribute to the education of the summer program students. The residency provides spacious, sky lit professional studios, and an exhibition honoring the residents’ work. The exhibition will be organized by the Cooper Union immediately following the residency in conjunction with the pre-college Summer Art Intensive program.

The Whitney Independent Study Program

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The Independent Study Program (ISP) consists of three interrelated parts: Studio Program, Curatorial Program, and Critical Studies Program. The ISP provides a setting within which students pursuing art practice, curatorial work, art historical scholarship, and critical writing engage in ongoing discussions and debates that examine the historical, social, and intellectual conditions of artistic production. The program encourages the theoretical and critical study of the practices, institutions, and discourses that constitute the field of culture.

Each year fifteen students are selected to participate in the Studio Program, four in the Curatorial Program, and six in the Critical Studies Program. Curatorial and critical studies students are designated as Helena Rubinstein Fellows in recognition of the substantial support provided to the program by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. The program begins in early September and concludes at the end of the following May. Many of the participants are enrolled at universities and art schools and receive academic credit for their participation, while others have recently completed their formal studies.


100 Lafayette St., 5th floor
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 431-1737

Here at The Culture Bazaar, we strive to provide our clients with the resources to expand their possibilities for success. These seven programs, which span across New York City’s boroughs, provide a starting point for artists to explore ways to hone their craft. While this article focuses only on New York, we encourage artists to explore residency programs across the country and the world and for non-native New Yorkers to come to the City as one of the most important aspects of the residency programs are the interpersonal connections that individuals develop. These connections are enhanced when they occur amongst people from the global community.

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