Artist Support Program FAQs
New Media Gallery FAQs
Writers Program FAQs
THE JACK STRAW ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAMS offer established and emerging artists in diverse disciplines an opportunity to explore the creative use of sound in a professional atmosphere through residencies in our recording studios and participation in our various presentation programs.
The application deadline for our 2021 residencies has passed. Check back in summer 2021 for applications for our 2022 programs.
I do not have much experience as an artist, or working with audio -- am I still eligible?
Both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply, regardless of their previous audio experience.
Yes! The panelists and literary curator change each year, and their responses will differ from those of their predecessors. Likewise, the field of competitors will also change.
If I participated in one of these programs last year, can I apply to a different program this year without waiting another year?
Yes. You only have to wait one year to apply for the same program again.
Can I submit multiple applications (for different projects) to the same program?
No, you can only submit one application under your name to any one program per year. But you can be included as part of the artistic team in another proposal for a different project submitted by a different artist.
Can I apply for more than one program at a time?
No; each person may only apply to one program per year.
Can I include letters of support, reviews, or press clippings with my application?
No. Do not include anything other than what is specified on the Application and Materials Checklist. Extra materials such as letters, press clippings, promo kits, etc. will not be reviewed by the panelists.
Who owns the rights or retains copyright to the work produced during the residency?
The artist retains ownership/copyright of the work, but Jack Straw Cultural Center reserves the right to use the work for various promotional or educational purposes (such as our website). Artists sign a contract that explains this in detail.
Will someone at Jack Straw be available to help me complete my application?
We will host application workshops this year. Details will be posted here as soon as possible. If this FAQ section does not answer all of your questions and you're not able to attend a workshop, we will be happy to give you verbal guidance via phone or e-mail - within reason, however; our time and resources are limited. You may not work on your application at our office. Contact us with your questions at (206) 634-0919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call ahead if you are going to stop by our office.
Where is Jack Straw Cultural Center located?
When will the awardees be announced?
Writers Program awardees will be notified in December of this year. Artist Support and New Media Gallery awardees will be notified in February of next year.
The application requests an Artist Resume. Should the Artist Resume just be an outline of all of one's work, awards or residencies/scholarships, and anything else art-related? Or do you also want all of the artist's regular job history?
Your Artist Resume should be a list or outline of art-related work, awards, and the like. Do not include a day job history unless you feel it is pertinent to your application.
I'm having a hard time separating my project description from my work sample description - the project is informed by my work sample and vice versa. Is it OK to combine both elements into a one-page document?
Don't worry about redundancy, but please do both a project description and a separate work sample description. Keep things simple and clear. The project description should give the reviewer a good idea of what you would like to do. The work sample description should give the reviewer(s) information that will help them better understand/appreciate your sample. The work sample itself should demonstrate as well as possible your ability to complete the project. Don't worry about being repetitive, but please do two separate descriptions.
Does the residency offer any financial compensation?
There isn't any financial compensation, except sometimes for a small honorarium depending on our funding and partners. The primary value of these residencies is the studio recording, training, and opportunities for artistic development provided, as well as exposure through events and podcasts. There is a $300 expense budget for the gallery residency, and participants in the Writers Program receive 10 copies of the Anthology each and CD copies of their recorded work.
Is the Artist Support Program mainly for musicians?
No. We encourage artists in all disciplines who want to use sound in their work to apply.
Is the New Media Gallery Program mainly for visual artists?
No. We welcome proposals for gallery installations in one or more disciplines or genres in which sound is prominent or the only element.
For the New Media Gallery Program, does my proposal have to include a visual element?
No. We welcome strong proposals for sound-only installations as well as those using combined disciplines.
Do I have to apply for a specific project? Or can it be an open-ended proposal?
You should have a specific project in mind. We understand that projects might change once you start working on them, and that is fine. However, an overly vague proposal has little chance of being awarded.
Can I apply to do a collaborative project with other artists?
Yes. Collaborative projects should be submitted as a single application with only one "lead" artist's name and contact information on the Application Form. However, resumes and work samples of the collaborating artists should accompany the application.
What is the difference between the two levels of awards within the Artist Support Program?
The Artist Support Program offers two levels of awards: the full Support level, in which eight artists/teams are awarded 20 hours of studio time at no charge, with the option of an additional 20 hours at half of our normal studio rate should they require more time to complete their project; and the Assistance level, a matching award that offers artists up to 40 hours of studio time at half of our normal rate. Artist Assistance awards are offered to applicants whose work is recognized as being of high quality by the panel, but who are not selected for one of the limited number of full Support awards. We realize that not all artists can provide the matching funds for a large recording project, but for those who are able to pay for half of their studio time this award can be quite helpful. All artists at both levels are included in public events and our Artist of the Week podcast.
If selected, will I have an engineer to help me in the studio, or will I be working on my own?
You will have a professional engineer or producer to assist you as needed in all phases of your recording project. Artists that are interested in doing so may take more of a leadership role in the studio, with our engineer assisting and offering guidance.There may also be opportunities for artists to work alone on a Pro Tools-enabled computer in our edit room. Some New Media Gallery artists choose to work completely independently on their projects.
Are awardees given any training in audio production techniques?
Artists will have the opportunity to participate in our professional recording workshops. In addition, engineers are able to provide specific one-on-one or small group training as part of your residency.
Who chooses the award recipients for the Artist Support Program and the New Media Gallery?
Each program has a different selection panel, consisting of three or four artists and/or arts professionals with expertise in diverse disciplines and genres. Jack Straw staff invites different panelists each year. The names of the panelists are not made public until after the selection process has been completed.
How does the panel decide which artists are selected?
The panelists respond to the merits of each project proposal, both on its own and in relation to others; they consider the quality of the artist's work samples, the applicant's ability to realize the project as outlined in their Project Description, the likelihood of completing the proposed project within the award period, and the technical feasibility in terms of Jack Straw's resources and facilities. They also try to make selections that represent a diverse range of media and genres, without favoring any one type of work.
What should I focus on to prepare a competitive application?
Competitive applications will have 1) a clear, concise project description that shows how you would use our facilities and 2) samples of your best work that demonstrate your ability to accomplish your project. Work samples do not need to be professional quality, but the artistic excellence of the artworks being represented should shine. Select your best work and represent it as clearly as possible.
You must also be realistic about what you can accomplish with the award. If your project is large and/or complex, it might help to define a smaller project within your overall project. For example, if your ultimate goal is to create a full-length multimedia performance with a soundtrack, you might propose to use the residency to complete a few components of the soundtrack. Also, use the Project Description to outline your project and explain how the work samples you've submitted demonstrate your interest in sound and your ability to complete major projects. Convince the selection panelists that you have the ability to make the leap from your previous work to the project you are proposing.
How long will the panel spend reviewing my work samples?
Due to the large number of applications to be reviewed, the selection panel will spend no more than five minutes reviewing your samples. That is not five minutes for each sample, but five minutes for all of them combined.
What length should my audio/video work sample(s) be?
Since the panel will only spend five minutes reviewing your samples, it is best if you send three or fewer short samples that all add up to a total of five minutes.
How many images should I submit?
No more than 12. They can be all prints or digital images, or a combination of both. But you cannot submit books with your images in them.
Should writers apply only to the Writers Program, or can they also apply for the Artist Support Program?
Writers may apply for either program, but should understand the difference between the two: the Artist Support Program is oriented towards studio recording projects and the Writers Program is geared towards developing skills for live readings and interviews and creating new literary work for publishing and presentation. If you have a literary project that you want to record, such as a CD, dramatic reading, or staged performance with sound design or music, you should apply to the Artist Support Program.
How does the literary curator select participants for the Writers Program?
The literary curator is a recognized writer or other literary professional who serves at the invitation of the Jack Straw staff. The 2019 Curator is Kathleen Flenniken. The curator receives all of the applications and work samples at one time, compiled in a large binder. The curator reviews these and makes award selections based upon their subjective judgment of the artistic excellence of the applicant's work samples.
How many work samples can I submit to the Writers Program?
You may submit up to 10 pages total for review, which may include multiple works, excerpts from a longer work, or just one literary piece. All literary genres are welcome.
What are the format requirements for the work samples?
Prose manuscripts should be double-spaced; poetry may be single-spaced. The applicant's name and page numbers should appear on each page. Use at least a 10-point font.
Can I submit books or other publications containing my work as my work samples?
No, nor can you submit copies made from them. Please submit work only in the format described above.
We're definitely interested in children's writers, and writers of all genres.
Is it OK to apply to the Writers Program if I know the curator, or is this a conflict of interest?
Please go ahead and apply and don't worry about a conflict. It is inevitable. Each year we invite a different curator, with the idea of a different sensibility and also to attract different writers.
What is the general schedule of activities for the Writers Program?
Writers Schedule Summary: The bulk of the activities at Jack Straw take place between January and June, with podcasts and more readings and other events throughout the community in the second half of the year.
January: Required get together for all participating writers at Jack Straw to meet each other, schedule voice workshops and interviews, and read a bit of your work.
Is space to work and/or live provided?
We don't have a place for writers to stay for writers from out of town, but we can probably arrange for a space to work if that is required.