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FIELD/WORK Residency Program Guidelines

Applications are now closed.

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 sessions are:
  • Saturday, October 14 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
    • Retreat #1: From Planning to Designing, plus Personal Values: How to Use Your Map + Compass workshop with Lee Anderson
  • Monday, October 16 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Adapting the Business Model Canvas for Creative Careers with Kate Schutta
  • Monday, October 23 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Artist Statement Best Practices + Small Group Critiques with J. Gibran Villalobos
  • Monday, November 6 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Building an Audience + Community of Support for Your Practice: Connecting with Arts Professionals with Emanuel Aguilar, Julia Fischbach, Patti Gilford, Jason Pallas, and Kate Sierzputowski
  • Monday, November 13 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Artists’ Funding Models with Sarah Lombardi, Cortney Lederer, plus Rashayla Marie Brown, Mark Jeffery, and Sonnenzimmer (Nadine Nakanishi and Nick Butcher)
  • Monday, November 20 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Crafting a Winning Proposal with Dana Bassett
  • Monday, December 4 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Know Your Rights: A Toolkit for Cultural Producers with Patrice N. Perkins
  • Monday, December 11 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Demystifying the Application Review Process + Proposal Critiques with Kalena Chevalier, Rebecca Parker, Nikki Patin, Allison Peters Quinn, Teresa Silva, and Caroline Stearns
  • Saturday, January 6 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
    • Retreat #2: Artist-Centric Community Models with Christa Donner, Felicia Holman, Jordan Martins, and Veronica Casado Hernandez + Resident Artist Talks
  • Monday, January 22 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Strategic Marketing for Creative Practices with Bianca Marks
  • Monday, February 12 | 6:00 - 8:30pm
    • Building a Plan for Action + Resident Artists Talks
  • Saturday, March 10 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
    • Retreat #3: Artist Plan Critiques, Failure Immunity, and Next Steps with Duncan MacKenzie and Edra Soto
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 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

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
September 8: 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