The Studios of Key West
The Studios of Key West, the premiere arts organization at the Southernmost Point of the United States, offers a residency program for emerging and established artists and writers from around the world. One month residencies are awarded to visual artists, writers, composers, performers, and interdisciplinary artists.
The Studios’ residency program is community-based and built upon the hope that visiting artists will take inspiration from Key West’s rich artistic past and present, and will engage with — and be inspired by — the people and culture that surrounds them. Key West’s official motto, “One Human Family” reflects their commitment to living together as caring, sharing neighbors dedicated to making their home as close to paradise as they can. To that end, they encourage artists of all races, nationalities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities to apply.
Acceptance to The Studios’ residency program is based on the merit of past work and the potential for creative, intellectual and personal growth. Year-to-year, the acceptance rate averages at 12-13%. The Studios asks that applying artists submit supplementary materials to provide more information on their residency proposal.
Applications are evaluated by selection committees comprised of working artists and professionals in the applicants’ respective fields of discipline under the five categories: Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Musical Arts, and Performing Arts.
The Studios of Key West provides a collaborative and supportive environment for creative experience. They offer studio space, lectures, workshops, residencies, partnership projects and nurture the creation of work. Their mission is to build audiences and support the advancement of established and emerging creative people in the Florida Keys.
You’ll find that the Key West community is very welcoming to new people (especially creative ones!) – and there is never a shortage of things to do. Your time is yours to do with as you choose, of course, and the organisers respect that you’ll need plenty of time to dream, reflect and create. To that end, they only ask that you plan to participate in one event while you are there: the monthly In the Courtyard Residency Potluck. Depending on the time of year, a group of about 20-40 friends and community members gather together for an informal potluck and a chance to meet the residency artists. Each of the residency artists takes few minutes to introduce themselves and talk about their work or what they’re working on in Key West, sometimes opening their studios.
The Studios asks that applying artists submit supplementary materials to provide more information on their residency proposal as well as propose a special project as a component of the residency. This could be in the form of a workshop, artist talk, public reading, etc. and would be offered at The Studios of Key West in exchange for the residency, if awarded one.
The Studios' residency guesthouse includes private live/work space, some include a separate work space and others are shared live/work. Work facilities, special equipment, and technical assistance are limited, so artists should strongly consider their technical needs in advance of applying for the residency.
The residency guesthouse is located in a neighborhood in Old Town, just steps from Duval Street in Key West, FL. All living spaces include a private bedroom and bathroom, access to full kitchen facilities and washer/dryer; some include a detached workspace, some are combined live/work spaces. There is a large covered patio and a banyan tree with a platform tucked among the branches.
The residency guesthouse has a well-equipped kitchen, with all residences having have access. Small groceries are located nearby, and are easily accessible by foot or bicycle. There is WiFi. There are no TVs. All residents are given a bicycle to get around the small island.
Key West is an island community, two miles by four miles wide, at the very end of the road. Most people get around on bicycle or foot, and the neighborhoods are compact and filled with historic architecture and tropical plant life. There are Cuban groceries and café con leche on every other corner, and a mix of Latin and Caribbean influences everywhere. Known for blue skies, open water and mangrove islands, and 70 degree days in winter, Key West is removed from the American mainland by 120 miles of bridges and small islands.