Headlands Center for the Arts

  • COUNTRY:United States
  • CITY:Sausalito, CA

Headlands Center for the Arts; photo by Andria Lo.

About the program

The Artist in Residence (AIR) program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 50 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies of four to ten weeks include studio space, chef-prepared meals, housing, travel and living expenses. AIRs become part of a dynamic community of artists participating in Headlands’ other programs, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artist community on campus. Artists selected for this program are at all career stages and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, and architecture.

All Artist in Residence applicants are also considered for the following awards:
  • McEvoy Family Award
  • McLaughlin Children’s Trust Award
  • McLaughlin Foundation Award
  • Project Space
Find application links at

Program goals

  • To invest in individuals at the cutting edge of artistic fields and whose work has potential to have significant cultural and social impact.
  • To support artists to explore and experiment in order to take their work to the next level.
  • To build a nurturing and dynamic community of local, national, and international artists and thinkers.
  • To encourage artists to develop ideas and work within the context of the Marin Headlands, a part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
  • To bring national and international artists to the Bay Area to engage and have cross-cultural exchange with local artists and audiences.




  • Artists not currently enrolled in an academic program at the time requested residency would take place. Eligibility of artists enrolled in PhD programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Former Headlands’ Artists in Residence (AIR), and any recipients of Alumni New Works, Chamberlain, Chiaro, or Tournesol Awards may not apply within five years of previous Residency.
  • All other Alumni of Headlands’ Programs are eligible to apply for the AIR Program at any point. • Must be able to speak basic English.

Application fee

  • Early Bird (April 1–May 9): $35
  • Regular (May 10–June 6): $45

What the AiR provides

  • Fully sponsored 4- to 10-week residencies
  • Paid roundtrip airfare, and up to $1,000 a month of either a stipend or reimbursed expenses • 100- to 2000-sq.-foot studios
  • Private bedroom in shared house
  • A maximum two week stay for families in the Family House (by request only and subject to availability)
  • Five chef-prepared meals per week
  • Access to vehicles on-site
  • Facilities access: Basic woodshop; audio/video equipment; artists’ library with computer, scanner, and printer
  • Wi-Fi in designated spaces
  • Up to 15 Artists in Residence living on-site
  • Participation in monthly “Show & Tell” nights
  • Participation in seasonal Open House
  • Access to Headlands Public Events
  • Field trips to Bay Area museums, galleries, and cultural venues
  • Become part of Headlands Alumni Network

2019 Artist in Residence Kelly Akashi in the Project Space studio; photo by Andria Lo.

Selection Criteria

  • Merit of past work.
  • Readiness to engage with and benefit from the residency experience at Headlands (see program goals).
  • Potential to develop creative practice and impact the community at Headlands and beyond.

Selection Process

  • Headlands’ staff reviews applications to ensure completion and eligibility
  • Submissions are reviewed by a jury of knowledgeable and esteemed artists and arts professionals
  • The jury evaluates each artist’s materials and selects finalists
  • Finalists are invited to present their work in a 20-minute Zoom interview to determine the final award selection

What You Need To Apply

A full application includes the following:
Please note that all applications and work samples must be submitted in or translated to English.

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letter of interest, outlining your specific interest in working at Headlands and how program participation will affect your practice
  • The names and email addresses of three personal or professional references; please note, we do not want letters of reference.
  • Documentation of recent work (see specifications below for guidelines according to discipline)
  • Please note: we’ll start accepting applications for 2023 residencies on April 1, 2022.
  • Documentation of recent work (see specifications below for guidelines according to discipline)

**Artist collaboratives should apply together by submitting ONE application per group, specifying the number of individuals on the application form. For live-in Artists in Residence, Headlands can accommodate no more than three total artists in a collaborative group.


Please select from the following list materials appropriate to your practice. The category headings are guidelines; please submit whatever type of materials best represent your work.

• Visual (painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation, conceptual)
  • Applicants may submit up to 12 work samples, which can be a combination of images, video, or audio files
    (maximum of 30 minutes of video and audio).
  • Submission of an image list with title, date, size, media, and, where applicable, conceptual intent, is optional.

• Writing (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting)
  • Submit up to 20 pages of poetry, 30 pages of prose or one to two full-length plays/scripts.

• Performance / Dance
  • Submit 30 minutes of video, along with any other material that adequately describes your work.
  • Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review.

• Film / Video / New Media
  • Submit up to 30 minutes of video.
  • Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review.

• Music / Sound
  • Submit up to 30 minutes of audio and/or video.
  • Please note: the first 10 minutes will be used for primary review.

• Arts Professionals (art writers, administrators, and curators)
  • Submit sufficient material to evidence the breadth of your work and interests, including reviews, essays, and catalogs.

• Architecture / Environment
  • Review documentation requirements for Visual Artists.

• Interdisciplinary Arts
  • Review other categories to determine what materials you should submit.

2021 Artist in Residence Kenturah Davis in the Headlands studio; photo by Andria Lo.


Address: 944 Fort Barry Sausalito, CA 94965, United States
Tel: +1 415 3312787 ext. 24 / Fax: +1 415 3313857
Website: Headlands Center for the Arts / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

* If you see an error or omission on this page, please let us know by e-mail.