The SFW Residency at the Kent Cultural Alliance
A groundbreaking new multidisciplinary artist residency program designed to use the arts to create active engagement with community on the local, regional, and national level.
Launching a public call for artists for our 50th Anniversary Year (2025) in the Summer of 2024
When will the application window for 2025 open?
At this time, KCA expects to begin accepting applications for residency for calendar year 2025, during the early summer months of 2024. Be sure to get your name and email on the list to receive first notice of open applications.
Complete the form below to join our Artist contact list:
Beginning in late 2017 the Kent Cultural Alliance, with the help of the State of Maryland, the County of Kent and the Town of Chestertown, as well as dozens of generous donors, worked to save and renovate the historic building at 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown. Built in 1799, moved one lot west around 1900, and significantly enlarged throughout the 20th Century, this building is nominated as an Escape Site on the National Parks Service Network to Freedom. On December 26, 1846, at the age of 24, Isaac Mason escaped this house and ran to freedom (according to his autobiography “Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave” published in Worcester, MA in 1893).
A primary driver for the purchase and renovation of this building was the creation of space where artists can explore the intersection of art and civic engagement. In 2024, the KCA will launch the SFW Residency with three six-week sessions for invited guest artists. In the summer of 2024, KCA will launch the public call for 2025 residencies.
The KCA is honored to have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Maryland State Arts Council, The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (Stories of the Chesapeake) and the SFW Foundation as we launch this new program.
On this page, you will find a number of images of the finished and active spaces including resident artist en-suite bedrooms, common room and kitchen, as well as working studios and the main gallery.
You will also find a list of the 2024 Residency themes and our community partners.
Who can apply?
This residency is for mid-career or established artists and artists. Artists will become 1099 contract employees of the KCA for the duration of each six-week residency. This is a socially engaged / social impact art residency. Artist will be paid a stipend for the session and coach air or rail travel will be provided if traveling to Chestertown (via Baltimore, Wilmington, or Philadelphia) from within the United States of America. Non-US artists are welcome to apply and travel support will be available, which will be negotiated as part of the residency offer for selected artists. Successful applicants will have a portfolio of public exhibitions of their work, and will have documented community engagement projects focused around their work. Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-seeking program during the residency season for which they are applying. Doctoral candidates (ABD) who have completed all coursework may apply.
What will a typical six-week residency look like?
Resident artists will be embedded with a local community organization during the first week of residency to learn about the mission and goals of the organization, so as to be inspired with ideas for creative projects which will engage a broader cross-section of the public in those goals and missions. Artists will then have five weeks to create finished, or significantly finished works which will be exhibited in the KCA gallery. During the working period, artists will make one in-school workshop presentation in one of seven local schools. Artists will also have one open studio day on a Saturday after the first three weeks – for public community access to the work and process. There will also be two or three (TBD) evening events where artists will present their past or present work to an invited audience of supporters and arts leaders in the region. Exhibits will open the Friday night of the last week of each residency and will run for four weeks. Artists are expected to attend the Opening and an Artist Talk the Saturday morning after the opening, travel should be booked for the Sunday of the final weekend of the residency.
2024 Residency Themes & Partners
2024 Residencies are by invitation only.
THE RIVERS: June – August 2024, in partnership with ShoreRivers, Inc.