Hi from Studio Kura!
We recently updated the website with information about the residence program for year 2015. We made some changes so we wanted to share them with you through this channel too.
We think the residence program has been getting better with the years, and though we will always be learning, we know more now about artists’ needs and how to address them. We have a house for you to stay now, and the constant flow of artists the last couple of years has resulted in the local community getting more used to hanging out with artists in residence, and looking forward to meeting new people every some weeks. We have had 36 artists stay with us since 2007, and 22 of them within the last two years. We think the program is better than ever, and we are happy to work to make it even better.
We have also been working to get a better presence in English on the web, and it looks like it helped because we have been getting a lot of applications. Many artists have told us that it helped when applying for funding that we have so much information about the program and our activity on our website and blog. We are always looking at ways to get better at this.
Some artists have been asking for eight-week slots (what we have always been offering is four-week slots) and we learned it does make sense for a lot of artists so we are offering that option too. We also we wanted to make it clear which slots are available and which ones are open, so now we have this calendar where you can see the slots and their current state (consider this one on the blog a sample, as it will not be updated).
○ open slot
× occupied slot
× unavailable slot
We hope sharing this kind of information will help the communication with artists thinking about applying to the program, and we hope you will feel more confident about applying the more details you know before you take the first step on your part.
We have also tested the program for long enough to be positive that we love what we are doing, but as we do not have any funding ourselves we have noticed the program is not paying for itself. I has been okay because Studio Kura’s other activities have been supporting the Artist in Residence program, but as we started getting visits from more artists every year we have been thinking about how the program would scale better.
First, we had to raise the fee to 70,000 yen per four weeks of stay. And second, we have started asking for a deposit of 10,000 yen when the artist is accepted and the slot is chosen. We have always been asking for full payment on arrival, but we feel like a deposit will mean a commitment and will also help a little if someone has to cancel and we get an open slot that we do not have the time to fill.
We know these are the bad news for you, as this residence just became more expensive, but we hope you will understand our needs too. You have more support from us than ever to apply for grants and funding, so we would like to encourage everyone to look for funding for your project and residence.
Finally, some things never change. We are a larger team now, but everyone is excited to meet the artists, have amazing opening parties and enjoy great art! Thank you to everyone who has ever applied for a residence at Studio Kura, and we are looking forward to meeting all of you!