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FIELD/WORK Residency Program Guidelines

Applications are NOW OPEN!

Apply using by August 30, 2017.

Ethos & Curriculum Design

The FIELD/WORK Residency program is designed for artists from all disciplines who are at a point in their careers such that they are motivated to commit to six focused months of professional development education and experimentation in order to identify and achieve short-term goals and long-term visions for career growth. A highly personalized Artist Plan assignment guides the curriculum's structure. Residents participate in a continuous feedback loop with mentor artists, professionals from the field, and one another to support the evolution of each other’s strategic approach to career development.


The FIELD/WORK Residency 2017-2018 dates are:

  • Saturday, October 14 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Monday, October 16 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, October 23 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, November 6 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, November 13 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, November 20 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, December 4 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, December 11 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Saturday, January 6 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • Monday, January 22 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Monday, February 19 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
  • Saturday, March 10 | 10:00am - 4:00pm

Following a daylong retreat to kick-off the residency, residents meet three times per month a series of weeknight workshops, group critiques, work sessions, and panel discussions during the first three months of the program. The remainder of the residency focuses on individual work in the field supported by two daylong retreats, monthly workshops, and optional public programming. Additional optional public programming dates will be announced at a later date.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop vital business and creative skills for the world of artists’ professional practice today
  • Create a highly personalized Artist Plan designed to help residents identify and achieve professional goals
  • Build a supportive community among peers and professionals in the field
  • Receive feedback and tactical advice from mentor artists and other innovative thinkers
  • Prepare a suite of professional application materials that can be used for various opportunities
  • Devote time to introspection about the future of one’s professional practice
  • Access educational resources and reading materials on entrepreneurial skills and special topics

Focus Topics

  • Understanding Your "Why" + The Arts Ecosystem
  • Adapting the Business Model Canvas for Creative Careers
  • Writing About Your Work + Artist Statement Critique
  • Legal Essentials for Artists
  • Building an Audience + Community of Support for Your Practice
  • Crafting a Winning Proposal (grant, residency, exhibition/perfomance, etc.)
  • Demystifing the Application Review Process + Proposal Critique
  • Artists' Funding Models
  • Fostering a Sense of Community within Art Practices
  • Artist Plan Critique

Selection Process

FIELD/WORK Residency applications will be evaluated by a jury of Artist Mentors, Guests, and CAC’s Director of Education.

Artists from all disciplines and points in career growth from emerging to mid-career are encouraged to apply. The unifying factor is the desire to make a big leap forward, the motivation and commitment to do the work, interest in being an active participant in a supportive community, and an enthusiasm for the process.

CAC does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.


Tuition is $60 per month, totaling $360 per resident for the entire program.
Selected applicants must sign a contract and provide the first month's tuition by October 7, 2017 in order to participate.


To be considered eligible, applicants must:

  • Reside in the Chicago area during the residency.
  • NOT be currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or its equivalent.
  • Complete the FIELD/WORK Residency online application (including CV/Resume and work samples) at by August 30, 2017 at 11:59pm.
  • Pay a non-refundable $5 application fee.
  • Be able to attend all meetings except for cases of illness or emergency.

Important Dates for 2017

July 27: Application opens on
August 7: FIELD/WORK Residency Info Session #1 from 6:00 - 7:00pm
August 30: Application deadline on at 11:59 pm
September 20-26: Selected applicants notified via email
October 2: Signed contract and security deposit due
October 14: FIELD/WORK Residency begins

For more Information:

Contact Penny Duff, Director of Education, at