Few people can afford to take time off work for a residency without financial support, so it’s important to budget properly for the duration. Find out exactly what is available to you in terms of payment in kind and stipend from the organisation providing the residency.
Residencies may be privately established and independently run, receiving money from individual patrons. They may be not-for-profit charities or public institutions funded in part by the state. Either model may ask for a fee to cover rent, studios, materials or travel.
Subsistence and materials’ costs might be covered, and a number give travel grants (which may need to be applied for separately). More competitive residencies offer artists’ fees. The best-case scenario is to be provided with free studio, accommodation, travel and a fee, but there is such variance in residencies that you should check with the provider as to what to expect.
There are organisations whose rasion d’etre is to support artists. Occasionally these provide communal meals; cleaning, laundry and full time administration and domestic staff. Conversely there are residencies attached to organisations with broader remits, which may provide significantly less support.
It is possible you will be asked to donate a piece of work in return for the residency or asked to contribute in other ways. Be prepared to have an open studio, give a presentation or commit teaching hours.
All residencies should offer a contract if a fee is involved. Do not leave for the residency until the paperwork has been read and signed. Agree on payment terms in advance. If there is an inventory for accommodation, ensure you have seen where you’re living before you sign. Some require a studio deposit. Don’t trust verbal promises for retrospective payments.
Apply to Arts Council England or other funding such as the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for residency support costs. Developing your Creative Practice (DYCP) supports travel and international working, but receives a lot of applications. Also look at funding opportunities for British citizens in the country to which you are travelling, sometimes from the local British Council office .