Artist in Residence Program Announcement

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Los Angeles, CA


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Artist in Residence (AiR) Program Announcement

Los Angeles, CA

Project Purpose:

The Artist in Residence (AiR) program at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service (NPS), is intended to connect non-traditional and under-engaged youth to the natural and cultural resources of the area. This program offers an alternative avenue for audiences from city centers as well as gateway communities, who might not otherwise be aware of or engaged with nature near to home or the recreation area, to connect with the park’s natural and cultural resources through art. 

What We’re Looking For:

Three teaching artists from diverse disciplines among the visual, literary, and performing arts will be selected as AiR recipients. Each artist will meet with their youth for a minimum of 24 hours of studio time with an additional three full-day trips into nature between the months of January – May, 2018. Most artists work with their youth for a 2-3 month period (depending on the number of hours per week with the youth). The artists must have their own connection with a youth-serving organization in which to draw the participants.

Artists must integrate a minimum of three full-day (6+hours) nature trips into their curriculum. The youth and artists will use these trips to work on their art form or inspire their art form. 

We ask that artists be working towards a culmination event/show throughout the residency. All artists are required to exhibit the youth and artists work at the annual art exhibit at Peter Strauss Ranch which runs May – September 2018. In addition, artists may have a show closer to home to showcase the work of their students at any point between May - June, 2018 


Applications Due - Thursday, November 16th

Award Announcements - Friday, December 1st

Youth Integration – A 2-5 month period (depending on numbers of hours per week with the youth) between January – May 2018.

Installation Complete at Peter Strauss Ranch in Agoura – Saturday, May 5th


* Each AiR will receive a $5000 stipend to fund their specific needs to complete the artist project. Funding can go towards personal compensation, transportation, material support, food and other costs associated with the production of the final project or exhibit installation.

* Each AiR will be provided with large school buses for two of their three trips to nature, including, but not limited to, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. 

* The artist and their students will all be signed up as volunteers and all time spent on their project will be counted as volunteer hours 

Selection Criteria:

* Youth – experience with youth, number of youth served and the ability to recruit traditionally underserved or underrepresented youth in nature.

* Artistic Merit – the artistic merit of the applicant based upon artwork submitted and proposal concept.

* Nature – Number of visits to nature/integration into nature.

* Project – likelihood of success - logistics, realistic budget, lesson plans that keep to a timeframe that move youth towards success.

* Park Appropriate – appropriate for all audiences, public appeal and impact to nature.


How to Apply

To make sure you have all the knowledge necessary to make a strong application and make sure this program is a good fit for you, please visit the Artist in Residence (AiR) website of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. You will find the link to the application on the “how to apply” page.


The application deadline is 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 16th and award announcements will be made on Friday, December 1st. If selected you must be able to provide a social security number or employer tax ID number.


Please contact Tori Kuykendall at [email protected] with additional questions.


* Mission of the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area:

The mission of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is to protect and enhance, on a sustainable basis, one of the world’s last remaining examples of a Mediterranean ecosystem and to maintain the area’s unique natural, cultural and scenic resources, unimpaired for future generations. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is to provide an inter-linking system of parklands and open spaces that offer compatible recreation and education opportunities that are accessible to a diverse public. This is accomplished by an innovative federal, state, local, and private partnership that enhances the region’s quality of life and provides a model for other parks challenged by urbanization.

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