The Watermill Center’s Artist Residency Program began in 2006, when The Center officially opened as a year-round facility. Each year collectives and individuals take up residence at The Center to live and develop works that critically investigate, challenge and extend the existing norms of artistic practice.
The Artist Residency Program is process-based, without the expectation or promise of a final exhibition of the work. Watermill provides artists with time and space to focus on developing their practice in a communal environment that encourages experimentation. Artists-in-Residence share their creative process with the community through open rehearsals, workshops and artist talks.
Artists-in-Residence receive access to an extensive collection of resources central to the Watermill experience: 20,000 square feet of rehearsal/design spaces and outdoor stages; a theater production archive; The Watermill Center Study Library; The Watermill Collection; and The Center’s ten acre landscaped grounds and gardens.
Applications are reviewed by a distinguished international committee composed of artists, academics, and cultural leaders across disciplines. To date, we have hosted over 200 residencies featuring artists from more than 65 nations.
photo © Lindsay Morris
BAKIS, Carlos Bunga, Lilian Colosso, Jeremy Dennis, Sebastian Escalona & Josefina Dagorret, Fan Letters, Stacey Goodman, Lexy Ho-Tai The Hutto Project, Marianna Kavallieratos & Dom Bouffard, Lotte Nielsen, NoodleRice, Brian O’Mahoney, Aneta Panek, PHYSICAL PLASTIC, P.L.U.T.O., Lua Rivera, Cleek Schrey, William Stewart, Gillian Walsh, Royce Weatherly, Carrie Mae Weems
7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co, BOOMERANG, Hans-Jörn Brandenburg, Sophia Brous, Kenneth Collins, Cuerpo Indisciplinado (Undisciplined Body), Joe Diebes, El Colegio del Cuerpo, Francesca Fini, Joss Lake, Zeinab Shahidi Marnini, Armando Mariño, Mary Mattingly, Noel Mckenna, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, Sahra Motalebi, Ebe Oke, Andrew Ondrejcak, Alan Lucien Øyen, G.T Pellizzi, Matthew Prest and Clare Britton, Acción Residente, Lisa Ross, Zach Eugene Salinger-Simonson, Basco Vazko, Tori Wrånes, Netta Yerushalmy
Mary Ellen Bartley, Oliver Beer, Cirkus Cirkör, Julian Crouch & Saskia Lane, Tamar Ettun, Geoffrey Farmer, Kristen Foote, Catherine Galasso, Manuela Infante with Teatro de Chile, Tomek Jeziorski, Amy Khoshbin & Sarah Dahnke, Natacha Mankowski, Hélène Patarot, Carlos Soto
Brittany Bailey, Tacy Borg, José Carlos Casado, Maya Chami, Jayoung Chung, Jack Ferver, Fanni Futterknecht & Marianne Vlaschits, Annie Gosfield, Marsela La Grave, Tilman Hecker, Mohammed Kazem, Lydian Junction, Roman Paska, Álvaro Restrepo / El Colegio del Cuerpo, Amber Hawk Swanson, Temporary Distortion, Entang Wiharso
John Atwood, Outspoken Bean, Dictaphone Group, Catherine Galasso, Dance Heginbotham, Cynthia Hopkins, Laleh Khorramian, Christopher Knowles, Roman Paska, Ibrahim Quraishi, Kamala Sankaram, Collaboration Town, VisionIntoArt
Theo Adams Company, John Bock, Nova Jiang, Bridget Leak, Rachel Libeskind, John Messinger Catarina de Oliveira, Tristan Perich, Katharina Schmitt, Samita Sinha, Anna Telcs, Halldór Úlfarsson, Davyde Wachell and Davíð Brynjar Franzson, The Wet Weather Ensemble, Christopher Williams
Abbas Akhavan, Davide Balliano, Keil Borrman, Columbia Arts Collaboration Lab, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Daniel Knox and John Atwood, Krymov Lab, David Levine, Carlos Murillo, Shahryar Nashat, Shirin Neshat, People Get Ready, Sasha Petrenko & WWAWUT, Egill Sæjörnsson, SS, Theatercombinat, Allie Avital Tsypin and Gabrielle Herbst, Tereza Velikova, Megan Whitmarsh and My Barbarian, WorldWideLab: A Directors Festival
Anu Productions, CHOKRA, Collaboration Town, The Constant Reality Theater, Kevin Doyle, Michael Dudeck, Colin Gee, André Gringras, Andreas Hirsch, Erin Leland, David Levine, Judah Mahay, Stary Mwaba, Christopher Roth, Alexandra Sachs, Georgie Roxby Smith, SOBER & LONELY
Maria Jose Arjona, ChameckiLerner, Hsaio Chen, C. Ryder Cooley, Robin Deacon, Laboratorium Erb, GirlMachine, H*E*R*D Group, Bryan Markovitz, Katharina D. Martin, Birgitte Moos, Sarah Ortmeyer, Katherina Radeva, Joshua Seidner, Steven Vega, Les Vraoums, Wakka Wakka Productions, Caroline Woolard
Reuben Butchart, Collaboration Town, Implied Violence, Igor Josifov, Klingon Terran Research Ensemble, Elke Luyten, Camille Morin, Kate Mueth, Real Circus & Terra Nova, Le Theatre de Microsysteme, Theater Mitu, Jorinde Voigt, Andrzej Wirth, Ralf Ziervogel
Body Building Project, The Chase Brock Experience, CollaborationTown, Ana Cruz & Paulo Diegues Vieira, Elina Hanhivaara, The Hotel Savant, Chevaux Légers, LEIMAY AcTS LAB, Elke Luyten, Makram Hamdan Dance Company, Daria Martin, Oona Spengler, The South Wing
Nazanin Fakoor, Jakob Friis & Julie Lindhardt, Moving Theater, The South Wing
Applications for the 2019 Watermill Center Artist Residency Program are now closed. Applications for the 2020 Artist Residency Program will open in early 2019.
Residencies are scheduled by mutual agreement between the accepted Resident Artist and Watermill during the following months:
January – June
September – December
Residencies can be scheduled for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of six weeks
The Artist Residency Program is a communal program, there are multiple residencies occurring concurrently, with anywhere from 3-15 artists on site at a given time. It is integral to Watermill’s programming that artists live and work with other Artists-in-Residence as well as the local Long Island community. Educational and community programming is also scheduled throughout residencies.
The Watermill Center is located in rural Long Island, and it is highly recommended that an artist or one of their collaborators have a valid license for driving in the United States. Grocery stores, supply shops, and recreational centers such as the beach are not within walking distance from The Center. Taxi services, including Uber and Lyft, are available.
Watermill is located within the center of the Hamptons, an area of the United States noted as a summer get-away for the wealthy. As such, prices of everyday items can be more expensive than expected. The Center staff is happy to help you find affordable options for shopping and dining, but we recommend budgeting accordingly.
Admission to the program is by selection only. The Watermill Center uses SlideRoom to gather applications and work samples for its Residency Program. All material must be submitted via the online portal through SlideRoom. There are NO exceptions.
The online application portal will lead you through the various required questions, attachments, and media uploads (work samples). Step-by-step application instructions are available on the SlideRoom application portal.
There is a $10 USD fee per proposal that covers the cost of the application portal. Payment is accepted on the SlideRoom website. This fee doesn’t go to The Watermill Center, but is paid directly to SlideRoom.
A Selection Committee convenes each summer to review proposals. Announcement of application status is made in late August/early September.
Residents are required to participate in In Process @ The Watermill Center, which invites the community to engage with our Artists-in-Residence on select Saturday afternoons through open rehearsals, workshops, studio visits, lectures or artist talks. In Process typically occurs midway through an residency, and is focused on giving the you the chance to share your artistic process with the local community, and get feedback on the project under development
Workshops and other community events are strongly encouraged. Each artist is also encouraged to have an education component to their residency. The Watermill Center staff will work with you to plan and design education programming.
The Watermill Center provides local transportation, housing, and workspace as part of the Artist Residency Program. During the course of the residency, residents are responsible for living expenses such as food, travel to and from Watermill, production expenses such as art materials and supplies, and equipment rentals. Watermill will provide a modest reimbursement to offset these expenses. Additional details will be provided upon acceptance to the program.
There are no residency fees.
If the artist initiates it, The Watermill Center will supply signed letters of support for outside funding and can offer advice for potential funders to underwrite or assist.
he Watermill Center combines performance and rehearsal sites with working and communal living spaces. Its flexible and multi-purpose interiors house formal and informal studio and performance spaces, The Watermill Collection, an The Watermill Study Library, kitchen facilities, and a dormitory. The Center is situated on ten acres of wooded and landscaped grounds in a rural environment.
The Center does not provide a traditional theater studio environment. We do not have a lighting grid or a technical staff to assist with rehearsals and construction. The main studio spaces have black-stained hardwood floors, white walls, and many windows. There is no separation between studio and gallery or living and working spaces, and The Watermill Collection is carefully curated throughout The Center. Artists have the unique opportunity to work amongst these museum pieces and to work with The Center staff to recurate their environments. Watermill encourages artists to engage with the collection and architecture, and to explore all facets of The Center, inside and out.
The Watermill Center is about living and working together communally. As such, it is important that everyone share responsibilities. Respecting the building, the site, fellow artists, and the local Water Mill community as a whole is integral to a successful experience.
Epoxy over cement floors, unless otherwise noted
Garage gallery (8′ h x 72′ l x 28′ w [2.5m h x 22m l x 8.5m w)
Rolling garage doors (heated)
Can be used for workspace, office space, and receptions
Research library with print and audio-visual materials
Dining room (capacity: 50)
Outdoor dining courtyard (capacity: 100)
Public bathrooms with showers
3-in-1 handicap accessible
Laundry room with four washers and dryers
Collection archive containing artifacts, objects, and audio-visual materials
Rehearsal Room (18′ h x 54′ l x 28′ w [5.5m h x 16.5m l x 8.5m w)
Marley dance floor is available to lay over hardwood floors
Two small studios/galleries
Dormitory (sleeping capacity: 8; additional 4-6 beds available offsite)
Two public shower rooms attached to dormitory
Master residence for staff use only
Two smaller studios/galleries
For questions about the Artist Residency Program, or for questions about the application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For technical assistance with the application, please contact Slideroom directly at email@example.com
(This video was created in 2013. While some aspects of the application process have changed, the majority of the information can be applied to this application process.)
The Watermill Collection
Yes! The Watermill Collection is available as a source of inspiration and for you to engage with. Artists-in-Residence can re-curate their work space with the objects of their choosing. The collection includes textiles, visual art works, outdoor installations, as well as a large assortment of charis, not all of which are appropriate for sitting. Please consult The Watermill staff before moving or utilizing an object of the Collection.
The Watermill Collection is constantly being re-curated as new pieces are added, objects on view are rotated with objects in storage, and as some pieces go on exhibition across the globe; as such, we are unable to provide an accurate list of what will be on view during the course of your residency. We recommend joining us during one of our many year round tours of the Center to get a better idea of The Collection.
If you’re interested in interacting with certain objects (textiles, vessels, chairs, Paul Thek works, etc) you can note so on your application under “Project Needs.”
Life @ The Watermill Center
Housing and bed arrangements vary based on the needs and number of the Artists-in-Residence. The Watermill Center has several different housing situations, including an on-campus dorm and separate living quarters. Most bedrooms are shared (2 beds) and all bathrooms are communal.
Artists coming alone will not be expected to share a bedroom. Artists coming with collaborators may be expected to share sleeping quarters. Please indicate any special housing needs on your application.
The building is generally accessible by wheelchair (with a few exceptions) and the building is equipped with an elevator. The Watermill Center grounds and gardens are not wheelchair friendly and include rough or rocky terrain that can be difficult to navigate. Special arrangements can be made for those with audio/visual impairments, if given advance notice.
We advice arranging to visit the space prior to applying.
Pets are not allowed at The Watermill Center. We have an on-site cat, Jasmine, who does not welcome other furry friends.
We allow families on a case-by-case basis. Generally, we only allow families where all members are collaborators on the project. Families with children under the age of 10 are not accepted.
Artists-in-Residence receive a modest stipend to offset the cost of personal needs related to living expenses, materials, and supplies.
The Watermill Center building as well as all other indoor spaces associated with the Center are strictly non-smoking. Smoking is allowed outdoors. Please pick up all cigarette butts and dispose of them properly.
The Watermill Center is just a short car ride away from many activities, including the beach, local museums and galleries, as well as many shopping centers. We also have onsite a large library at your disposal, as well as beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces. The Watermill Staff is happy to recommend activities for your down time.
The Watermill Center provides Artists-in-Residence with vans to use for local travel. It is strongly encouraged that you or one of your collaborators be able to drive in the United States. Taxi services are also available.
The Watermill Center Facilities
The Watermill Center does not have a black-box, or any work area without windows. We are able to shutter windows in certain workspaces, but there is often bleed of natural light from other rooms.
Yes. The Watermill Center does not provide materials outside of basic office supplies.
The Watermill Center asks that Artists-in-Residence care for their own workspace, and return it to its original condition at the end of their residency. There is a weekly cleaning crew who takes care of general facility tidying, but they will not disturb/enter your workspace, and only focus on communal areas. Please consult a staff member before making any alterations to your space.
Space at Watermill is allocated as-needed. Artists are asked to notate in their application what type of space they require. (studio space, office space, rehearsal space, indoors, outdoors, etc)
The Watermill Center Artist Residency Program is a communal experience, and Artists-in-Residence may have to share spaces. The Watermill Center staff makes all efforts to schedule residencies in a manner that reduces the stresses of space-sharing.
The Application & Review Process
The Artist Residency Program is open to national and international emerging artists 21+ years of age. A variety of disciplines are accepted including, but not limited to: visual arts, media/new genre, performance, architecture, film/video, literature, interdisciplinary arts, and music composition. Solo artists or collaborative groups (such as theatre or dance companies) are welcome to apply.
Watermill Alumni are allowed to re-apply after a one year hiatus from the program. Alumni seeking residency must submit a complete application including recent work samples and current resume. Preference may be given to applicants who have not previously attended.
Artists enrolled in an academic program during the time of the residency opportunity are not eligible to apply.
A working knowledge of English is helpful for international artists, as an interpreter will not be provided.
The Watermill Center is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability. For special needs or questions about accessibility, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists-in-Residence are selected based on the following criteria
- artistic merit of the proposed project and past work samples
- the feasibility/logistics of the project while at Watermill, including project needs during the course of the residency
- how the project/artist will benefit from a residency at The Watermill Center
Applications are reviewed by an in-house selection committee to review the project’s needs during the residency timeline, before being passed on to an external committee of arts professionals who will review the artistic merit of the project, and make the final selection.
The acceptance/rejection notification will go out in late August/early September each year. The announcement is made public on our website and through the press in mid-November.
Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to give individual feedback on applications. We strongly encourage artists to reapply.
Common reasons for rejection include, but are not limited to
- Weak or uninteresting work samples and project concept
- Applicant is requesting a performance venue or exhibition space, where we only provide space to develop work
- Project needs exceed the scope of what The Watermill Center can offer
- A residency at The Watermill Center does not seem vital to the life of the project. (ie: unclear why the project/artist needs this residency)