The Indigo Arts Alliance studio located in Portland, Maine is the host site for our Mentorship Artists Residency program. This program is the heart of IAA, modeling our values of global community building. Our goal is to bring together artists from diverse backgrounds of the African Diaspora to engage in their creative process, while building lasting relationships rooted in co-mentorship. We believe artists hold the key in creating a better world, and in our work, we allow for Black and Brown voices to lead the way.
The Mentorship Residency Program is a pioneering residency concept that serves as an arts incubator with generous workspace and modern facilities enabling the creative work of visual artists across disciplines. We foster mentorship by pairing two artists together during a residency period to cultivate rich conversation, collaboration, and exchange experiences, knowledge, art industry information and technical skills. The artist-pairing consists of a National or International artist who is traveling to the state of Maine from their respective homes to be in residence with a Local/Regional artist. The goal of the pairing is to build positive relationships that enhance the individual artists as human beings and thought leaders. We want to create healthy relationships for artists of color who are navigating their art practice and create avenues of success that build networks.
We situate mentoring as a dialogue between and among artists who share cultural histories and experiences. Essentially, a co-mentorship, as the dialogue is one that goes both ways and equally enriches the artist pairing. While in residence, the mentorship pairing shall also receive 1:1 feedback and support by the Indigo Arts Alliance staff and will participate in studio visits with a selection of artists, curators, cultural workers, scholars, and community organizers. To be in residence with Indigo Arts Alliance is to enter into an ecosystem of sustained community building, intellectual development and cultural production. We also maintain strong Alumni relationships with our Artists in Residence. Please visit our Artists Profile Page and get to know who is a part of the Indigo Arts Alliance network. Additionally visit our archives; Indigo Experience Videos and The Record, our text based digital archive that documents the creative process, thinking, and continued practices of the artists who participate in our Artist Residency programs.
Our mission is dedicated to serving communities that have been impacted by colonialism and cultural erasure. Specifically for “Black and Brown” artists; Black refers to those who are descended from African nations, African-American, Afro-Latin, and Caribbean. The geographic breadth of all the places where Africans were displaced as a result of the transatlantic slave trade. We describe “Brown” to include Indigenous Peoples, Latinx, East and Southeast Asian, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.
The Mentorship Relationship
We encourage our two paired artists to work independently in their practice, however we ask each to dedicate a minimum of 8-10 hours a week to work together. This commitment often looks like:
- An equal exchange of creative practices while increasing awareness of the skill and thought leadership of diverse talent; and an opportunity to advance skills outside of traditional mediums.
- Joint community engagement connecting the artists to the general public.
- Joint projects; artistic collaborations; conceptual exchange.
The resident will have 24-hour access to a flexible 3,000 square foot community studio in the new 4,000 square foot facility. This arts incubator studio is a generous workspace with modern facilities enabling the creative work of visual artists, performance artists, music composition, and creative writing.
Indigo Arts Alliance studios does not have on-site housing. We provide a private one bedroom apartment conveniently located within walking distance of the studio for our Visiting Artist in Residence.
The participating artists in our Mentorship Program serve as either Visiting Artist or a Local Artist. To learn more please visit our FAQ page. The eligibility for both artists are listed below:
- Artists must be a descendent from any of the African nations, African-American, Afro-Latin, Caribbean, i.e., the communities inhabiting the geographic breadth of all the places where Africans were displaced as a result of the transatlantic slave trade, Native Americans, indigenous peoples, Latinx, East and Southeast Asian, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim.
- Residents should have 2+ years of exhibition and/or studio experience.
- Artists must present a sustained commitment to their practice, risk-taking, and clear concepts and creative methodologies that advance artistic expression.
- Artists must demonstrate a relationship with the communities in which they live, work, or care about.
- Applicants must be 21+ at the time of the proposed residency.
- Artists of all disciplines are encouraged (Painting, sculpture, illustration, writing, dance, music, theater/performance, photography, fiber/textiles, etc).
- Applicants cannot be enrolled in a full-time academic program at the time of the residency.
- If artists maintain a full time job, they must plan their work schedules to accommodate a minimum of 75% time in the studio during residency.
- Applicants must have the most up to date COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months prior to the start of their proposed residency. You may learn more about our COVID-19 policy here.
About Our Artist Cohorts
Our residency season spans across Spring, Summer and Fall. This program hosts 4-5 artist pairings each year.
- National artists: One Month
- International artists: Two Months
How To Apply
For National/International Artists:
We select our International/National artists via nomination by a selected group of curators, scholars, activists. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world. Nominated artists are required to submit their application materials via our Submittable portal. Nominated artists can apply for their chosen residency term and will be selected through a juried process. Nominated artists can apply for their chosen residency term and will be selected through a juried process. Final decisions are made 2 – 3 months after the application close date.should expect to hear final decisions 2 – 3 months after the application close date. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have questions about your application. Residents receive a stipend and are provided off-site housing. For any significant distances, or out of state travel, Indigo Arts Alliance will pay travel expenses required for your arrival/departure.
For Maine/New England Artists:
We are currently accepting rolling applications from the New England region (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island). The application window will be open year round. Submission of an application does not guarantee selection as a resident. Your name will go directly into our artist pool which we will pull from as the right Mentorship opportunity arises. There is no need to re-apply every year, unless you’d like to update your application materials.
Please note: We do not provide housing for Maine/New England artists. IAA Staff will assist as best we can to support the search for housing. However, ultimately it is the responsibility of the candidate to finance and book their housing accommodations should they need it.
For any questions regarding applications please visit our FAQ page. For more information or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also sign up to attend our Virtual Drop in Sessions on the following dates and times:
- Friday, January 20th, 2023 10am | Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtf-2oqj0tHdxbpMVUzH85b5IfOGllWBuk
- Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 12pm | Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqc-qqrz8jGdZo2xk2Brqrvx3xZiGGfyrF
- Monday, February 27th, 2023 5pm | Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUsd-2tqjoqHNYO606D72h7tTiBBhTzj12F