2024-25 Resident Artist Program

We’re pleased to announce the structure of our 2024-25 resident artist program.

For the coming year (September 2024- August 2025) we’re focusing the work of our resident artists in advancing key arts-based neighborhood development strategies. In a way this will feel like the work we’ve been doing, but there are also brand new components, such as artists providing instruction in key artforms and techniques and the organization of neighborhood based events.

With resources from the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Roanoke, and the City’s Percent for Art Fund, we are organizing for a successful year of neighborhood support and energetic arts activity bettering our lives in Roanoke.  

Our organizing structure this year is fueled by three major initiatives

– Daisy Art Neighborhood Activations 
– Arts Connect Neighbors Catalog
– City of Roanoke Public Art Program.

Our focus neighborhoods include:

– Melrose Plaza
– 11th Street NW
– West End
– Gainsboro
– 9th Street SE

A note to applicants

Thank you for applying for the City of Roanoke’s Resident Artist program. We’ve got a panel of volunteers and stakeholders reviewing the applications, and they are having a great time getting to know you – at least in that small, electronic way.

The panel has reviewed applications and already met once. There will be some calls made to individual artists for some more information requested by the panel. We don’t need additional information for everyone, so don’t worry if you don’t get a call. On Wednesday of next week (7/24), the panel will reconvene with draft recommendations for placement.

At that point, the panel will let us know if they need more information, or if they are ready to start making position offers.

After Wednesday of next week we should be able to contact about 25 to 40% of the applicants, letting them know that they will not be selected. Of course, we hate making these notifications, but it doesn’t mean a flat no…but there may be a better way we can engage with you.   (See below)

There will be a group that won’t hear right away – specific alternates for specific positions. Once offers are made, we may need to come back to others these people, so we’ll wait to notify you.  Situations and preferences can change and artists may feel there’s another path for their community engagement. We’re so happy we have a deep pool of qualified artists. 

It will take time to have those conversations, so please bear with us if you still haven’t hear from us by the end of next week.  Our goal is to begin writing agreements in early August. So we anticipate everyone hearing from us by August 7.

We had 47 applications, and we can see ways that each and every applicant can contribute in creating a stronger community that fosters a sense of connection and belonging across residents through the arts.

For this program, however, we only have 19 slots. 

Fortunately there are a good number of ways of additional ways we’re working with partners to support the contributions of individual artists:

Artist Action Grants for specific projects advancing justice, wellness, and inclusion (opening again early this fall).

Strategies like this weekend’s inaugural Busk Roanoke to build a culture supportive of live public performance.If you’re not performing, come on out on Saturday and even Sunday support the performers!  11-1 and 4-6. It may go even later since there is an evening artisan market happening.

The Arts Connect Neighbors Catalog (opening again for artist listings early this fall) that allows us to pay you to do neighborhood workshops around your craft.

And employment and contracting opportunities with our community’s network of arts and cultural organizations.

Finally – through the Resident Artist program itself, there will be a good number of opportunities to pay additional artists on a project basis, a great way to try this out and a way for us to support growth among a wide range of artists with different experience levels and goals.

For now, just know how much we’re enjoying looking at your work and how glad we are to live in a community in which we want to contribute and we believe collectively that it matters. 

Application Archive

the place we want to be. 

We have a variety of opportunities with upcoming artist in residence program. The term for the 2025 Artists in Residence is September 2024 through August 2025. Stipends will vary based by role. 

Our organizing structure this year is fueled by three major initiatives

– Daisy Art Neighborhood Activations 
– Arts Connect Neighbors Catalog
– City of Roanoke Public Art Program.

Our focus neighborhoods include:

– Melrose Plaza
– 11th Street NW
– West End
– Gainsboro
– 9th Street SE

The Application was due at MIDNIGHT, Thursday, July 11.

Artist roles include:

– Neighborhood Artists (with community building experience)
– Emerging Neighborhood Artists (with an interest but less on-the-ground experience in community building)
– Teaching artists in a key art techniques and forms (such as printmaking, theatre, dance, sewing, welding, etc…)
Arts Connect Neighbors Facilitators
– Communicating and documenting artists

Please note: We’ll also continue our annual Artist Action Grants for specific artist-led projects with an application round late this summer or early in the fall. Additionally, the Arts Connect Neighbors catalog will be opening for new catalog entries soon. So, if the above roles don’t appeal to you, keep an eye out for those opportunities.

We’ll overview the opportunities in a brief presentation, and you’ll get a chance to connect with others working through the arts to make Roanoke a stronger community.  

The application is open now!!! Applications are due at midnight , Thursday, July 11. But what’s an emerging artist, and how will all of this work? We’re answering these burning questions and more below. Encourage someone you know to consider undertaking this adventure with us.

What’s a resident artist?
For this program, a resident artist, or artist in residence is someone who aligns their creativity and creative process with our city goals, working alongside staff, volunteers, and residents. We’ll be working together and learning together for a year.

What will my project be?
For this program, artists don’t apply with a project, but rather with their curiosity and their belief that together we can make a difference in the community around us. We’ll align artists with community challenges and initiatives. Everyone’s role will be unique, based on their experience, curiosity, and personal and professional goals.

What’s an emerging neighborhood artist?
There’s not always a clear path for community engagement. How do we each apply our skills and talents in the world around us? Well, the answer is different for each of us. This is a chance to explore that community engagement, perhaps for the first time.

We believe that there are lots of untapped people and skills surrounding us. We have what we need right here to make our community a better place.

We want to demonstrate this with artists who have not engaged in community projects yet, but who want to build that practice as part of their artistic work. Emerging doesn’t necessarily mean young, but our emerging artists can be as young as 18. A recent high school graduate pursuing the arts as part of their path, living in the community, and possibly taking classes at Virginia Western would be a great fit. So would an established artist who is comfortable with their studio practice but wants to try applying some of those lessons out in the community.

Is this just for visual artists? What if I can’t draw?
That’s a great question! The arts are a broad category and to be successful we must will engage artists involved in the performing arts like dance and drama, literary arts like poets and creative writers, dramatic arts like directors and actors, musical artists such as composers and performers, and visual artists like painters, sculptors and graphic designers. We also include culture bearers who engage in traditional arts to help preserve, communicate, and engage others with the arts, crafts, foods, and history of cultures.

It’s not what you produce, but the creative process you use to produce. That creative process can encourage the creativity in others and be applied to help our community meet its goals.

What if I don’t know how to do this?
By asking that question, you’ve opened the door to learning. We are all learning everyday how to do this. We’ll have some discussions around relevant articles and speakers. We’ll connect with each other and learn from each other. But most of all we’ll learn by doing. We’ll get involved in City projects, neighborhood efforts, and the goals of some nonprofit partners, and by doing so we won’t say that we have the answers, but we are willing to explore the questions together.

What kind of projects will resident artists take on?
– Advancing neighborhood places through Daisy Art Parade activations and preparation
– Engaging Roanoke residents through instruction and encouragement in specific art activities.
– Partnering with city departments and community partners to initiate public art projects.
– Helping neighborhoods access free art activities.

I’ve got some experience as a community artist. Can I apply?
Please do apply! We are also asking our current artists in residence to apply again. No matter what your experience level is, we want to hear about your goals and how you see the program benefiting you. We want to know what you’re interested in this year.

How much does this pay?
This is not a full time job, but, rather, we provide a stipend to support a certain level of engagement in learning alongside our community of artists. Key to the program is a project that you are interested in exploring. Think of this as a community leadership program. When you finish, you will have a stonger network, be more connected, and better able to advance community art projects–if that’s what you want. However, unlike most community leadership programs, there is no cost. We turn that on its head and pay you to learn. Stipends range from $6,000 for emerging artists in residence to $10,000 for experienced artists in residence. We’ll pay in four quarterly installments at the beginning of each quarter.

What else do I have to do to qualify?
You will be considered part of our City team. In fact we’ll ask that you go through the volunteer process to be covered under City liability insurance. That includes a background check and drug screening. The resident artist role does not include health insurance.

How are artists selected?
A panel of the Roanoke Arts Commission will select the artists. The panel typically includes artists and community partners, arts professionals, and dedicated residents. It’s a competitive process, and we work hard to get opportunities to as many people as possible. The panel looks at artistic excellence and merit — the quality of your work and your ability to complete it. They will review all of the. questions including what you are trying to learn. That’s important in building a learning community.

Do I have to live in Roanoke to qualify?
You don’t have to live in the city, but you do have to live in the surrounding area, and demonstrate a commitment to the city’s success. That can be done through participation in a local cooperative gallery, civic club, job, church or other activity in the city.

Can I put this on my resume?
Definitely! We think it’s really meaningful. If you are thinking of art school, exploring a career in arts, community development, or anything working with people, we think it will help. The learning is significant.

What’s the time commitment?
A: That’s a hard question to answer, since artists are self driven, each working on unique projects that they develop and shape. We want artists to get what they want to out of the projects and the experience. That said, 5 hours a week is probably a good estimate.

I want to learn more. Who can I talk to?
Feel free to reach out to Douglas Jackson with your questions at Douglas.jackson@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-5652.

The City of Roanoke’s Resident Artist program is funded through the City’s Percent for Art program and the City of Roanoke with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thank you for your interest and good luck!