Some visitors to TVWriter™ may be surprised to hear that many artists in all disciplines don’t make a whole lotta money. Which means
they – okay, let’s be honest – we sometimes – oops – often need help finding creative space or just plain making ends meet. Here are some tips getting yourself a very special kind of help:
by Alanna Schubach
Last August, I made a brief visit to paradise. I woke up early and took a quick walk down a flower-lined path and over a river to breakfast. Once caffeinated, I headed to my studio, a cozy room with a bookshelf, desk, and armchair for reading, with a window overlooking that river, whose burbling underscored several hours of writing. I went to lunch at 12, then spent some time lounging in an Adirondack chair in the sun, reading. After that, maybe I went for a hike, or to a yoga class, or back to my studio. Then dinner, followed by more writing, then a reading or artist lecture, then out for some drinks in town.
This was my version of heaven: A stretch of uninterrupted time to work on my novel, read other people’s novels, wander in a gorgeous rural setting thinking about writing, and hang out with people who have the same strange predilections as I do. I called it art camp, but it was actually an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC), one of the largest of such programs in the country.
According to the Alliance of Artists’ Communities, there are about 500 programs in the United States that offer writers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, and other creative people a retreat from the distractions and noise of daily life to focus on their work. Look at the bios of most successful artists and you’ll find they’ve paid a visit to at least one of these, a testament to how effective they can be in helping you develop a project. So how do you make it happen? Read on for tips on finding the right residency for you, applying, and making the most of it.
Identifying the best residency for you
With so many residencies to choose from, you’ll want to narrow down the options into a manageable list. Glendaliz Camacho, a short story writer and essayist who has attended multiple residencies, suggests you start your search by reflecting on your real-world obligations….