Artist Residency Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
Artist Support Program FAQs
New Media Gallery FAQs

Writers Program FAQs


QUESTIONS? Please carefully read the Frequently Asked Questions. If your question is not answered here, please call (206) 634-0919 or e-mail arts@jackstraw.org. Please call ahead if you are stopping by our office with questions.


I do not have much experience as an artist, or working with audio -- am I still eligible?

Both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply, regardless of their previous audio experience.

If I've applied before and didn't receive an award, should I apply again?

Yes! The panelists and literary curator change each year, and their responses will differ from those of their predecessors. Likewise, the field of competitors will also change.

If I participated in one of these programs last year, can I apply to a different program this year without waiting another year?

Yes. You only have to wait one year to apply for the same program again.

Can I submit multiple applications (for different projects) to the same program?

No, you can only submit one application under your name to any one program per year. But you can be included as part of the artistic team in another proposal for a different project submitted by a different artist.

Can I apply for more than one program at a time?

No; each person may only apply to one program per year.

Do I need to fill out the Application Form and send all of the stuff on the Materials Checklist?

Yes, you must send everything we ask for. These extra materials allow you to elaborate on your experience and provide the selection panelists with a context for the work samples you are using to demonstrate your abilities and interests.

Can I include letters of support, reviews, or press clippings with my application?

No. Do not include anything other than what is specified on the Application and Materials Checklist. Extra materials such as letters, press clippings, promo kits, etc. will not be reviewed by the panelists.

Who owns the rights or retains copyright to the work produced during the residency?

The artist retains ownership/copyright of the work, but Jack Straw Productions reserves the right to use the work for various promotional or educational purposes (such as our website). Artists sign a contract that explains this in detail.

Can I submit my application via e-mail or the Jack Straw Productions website?

No. We require multiple copies of application materials, and all applications must be accompanied by a work sample. However, you can download the Application Form from our web site as a PDF (print out copies of the blank form) or MS Word file (enter info into electronic form, then print out).

Will someone at Jack Straw be available to help me complete my application?

We are not planning on having application workshops this year. If this FAQ section does not answer all of your questions we will be happy to give you verbal guidance via phone or e-mail - within reason, however; our time and resources are limited. You may not work on your application at our office. Contact us with your questions at (206) 634-0919 or arts@jackstraw.org. Please call ahead if you are going to stop by our office.

What is the deal with postmarks and deadline dates?

The deadline date (or an earlier one) must appear on the postmark or shipping bill for whatever delivery service you use. Dates from postage meters are not acceptable. You must mail your applications before or by the last mail pick-up on the day of the deadline. You may also drop off your completed applications at Jack Straw Productions during our regular business hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm.

Where is Jack Straw Productions located?

4261 Roosevelt Way NE on the southwest corner of NE 43rd and Roosevelt in Seattle's University District.

When will the awardees be announced?

Writers Program awardees will be notified in January 2010. Artist Support and New Media Gallery awardees will be notified by February 2010.

The application requests an Artist Resume. Should the Artist Resume just be an outline of all of one's work, awards or residencies/scholarships, and anything else art-related? Or do you also want all of the artist's regular job history?

Your Artist Resume should be a list or outline of art-related work, awards, and the like. Do not include a day job history unless you feel they are pertinent to your application.

I'm having a hard time separating my project description from my work sample description - the project is informed by my work sample and vice versa. Is it OK to combine both elements into a one-page document?

Don't worry about redundancy, but please do both a project description and a separate work sample description. Keep things simple and clear. The project description should give the reviewer a good idea of what you would like to do. The work sample description should give the reviewer(s) information that will help them better understand/appreciate your sample. Don't worry about being repetitive, but please do two separate descriptions.

Does the residency offers any financial compensation?

There isn't any financial compensation, except sometimes for a small honorarium depending on our funding and partners. There is a $300 expense budget for the gallery installation.


Is the Artist Support Program mainly for musicians?

No. We encourage artists in all disciplines who want to use sound in their work to apply.

Is the New Media Gallery Program mainly for visual artists?

No. We welcome proposals for gallery installations in any media in which sound is prominent or the only element.

For the New Media Gallery Program, does my proposal have to include a visual element?

No. We welcome strong proposals for sound-only installations as well as those using combined media.

Do I have to apply for a specific project? Or can it be an open-ended proposal?

You should have a specific project in mind. We understand that projects might change once you start working on them, and that is fine. However, an overly vague proposal has little chance of being awarded.

Can I apply to do a collaborative project with other artists?

Yes. Collaborative projects should be submitted as a single application with only one "lead" artist's name and contact information on the Application Form. However, resumes and work samples of the collaborating artists should accompany the application.

What is the difference between the two levels of awards within the Artist Support Program?

The Artist Support Program offers two levels of awards: the full Support level, in which eight artists are awarded 20 hours of studio time at no charge, with the option of an additional 20 hours at half of our normal studio rate should they require more time to complete their project; and the Assistance level, a matching award that offers artists up to 40 hours of studio time at half of our normal rate. Artist Assistance awards are offered to applicants whose work is recognized as being of high quality by the panel, but who are not selected for one of the limited number of full Support awards. We realize that not all artists can provide the matching funds for a large recording project, but for those who are able to pay for half of their studio time this award can be quite helpful.

If selected, will I have an engineer to help me in the studio, or will I be working on my own?

You will have an experienced engineer or producer to assist you in all phases of your recording project. Artists with established audio skills may be able to do some work alone in our studio.

Are awardees given any training in audio production techniques?

Depending upon your interest and needs, there may be opportunities to learn some basic recording and editing techniques, but the residency programs do not provide extensive audio training.

Who chooses the award recipients for the Artist Support Program and the New Media Gallery?

Each program has a different selection panel, consisting of three artists and/or arts professionals with expertise in diverse disciplines and genres. Jack Straw staff invites different panelists each year. The names of the panelists are not made public until after the selection process has been completed.

How does the panel decide which artists are selected?

The panelists respond to the merits of each project proposal, both on its own and in relation to others; they consider the quality of the artist's work samples, the applicant's ability to realize the project as outlined in their Project Description, the likelihood of completing the proposed project within the award period, and the technical feasibility in terms of Jack Straw's resources and facilities. They also try to make selections that represent a diverse range of media and genres, without favoring any one type of work.

How long will the panel spend reviewing my work samples?

Due to the large number of applications to be reviewed, the selection panel will spend no more than five minutes reviewing your samples. That is not five minutes for each sample, but five minutes for all of them combined.

What should I focus on to prepare a competitive application?

Competitive applications will have 1) a clear, concise project description that shows how you would use our facilities and 2) samples of your best work that demonstrate your ability to accomplish your project. Work samples do not need to be professional quality, but the artistic excellence of the artworks being represented should shine. Select your best work and represent it as clearly as possible.

You must also be realistic about what you can accomplish with the award. If your project is large and/or complex, it might help to define a smaller project within your overall project. For example, if your ultimate goal is to create a full-length multimedia performance with a soundtrack, propose that an award from Jack Straw Productions would enable you to complete a few components of the soundtrack, which will then be used to leverage further support for the project. Also, use the Project Description to outline your project and explain how the work samples you've submitted demonstrate your interest in sound and your ability to complete major projects. Convince the selection panelists that you have the ability to make the leap from your previous work to the project you are proposing.

How many audio/video work samples can I submit?

Three or fewer.

What length should my audio/video work sample(s) be?

Since the panel will only spend five minutes reviewing your samples, it is best if you send three or less short samples that all add up to a total of five minutes. If you submit longer samples, indicate how long you want each one to be reviewed.

If I am submitting more than one audio or video work sample, should they be on separate discs or grouped together on one disc?

If you are submitting more than one audio work sample, our preference is to have them all on one CD in the order in which you want them reviewed, with an index marker for each track. If it is not possible for you to compile all of your samples onto one CD, you may submit them separately. In this case, be sure to indicate the order in which the samples should be reviewed.

For video samples, we prefer to have all samples on one disc (DVD, DVD-R, or CD-R) in the order in which you want them reviewed. If you are unable to compile all of your samples on one disc, you may submit them separately. See above comments regarding audio samples. Be sure to test CD-R or DVD-R submissions on multiple players to make sure they work.

How many images should I submit?

No more than 12. They can be all prints or digital images, or a combination of both. But you cannot submit books with your images in them.

How many copies of the Application Form do I need to include with the five sets of written materials for the Artist Support Program and New Media Gallery Program?

Five. Each complete packet of your application materials must include a copy of the completed Application Form.


Should writers apply only to the Writers Program, or can they also apply for the Artist Support Program?

Writers may apply for either program, but should understand the difference between the two: the Artist Support Program is oriented towards studio recording projects and the Writers Program is geared towards developing skills for live readings and interviews and creating new literary work for publishing and presentation. If you have a literary project that you want to record, such as a CD, dramatic reading, or staged performance with sound design or music, you should apply to the Artist Support Program.

How does the literary curator select participants for the Writers Program?

The literary curator is a recognized writer or other literary professional who serves at the invitation of the Jack Straw staff. The curator receives all of the applications and work samples at one time, compiled in a large binder. The curator reviews these and makes award selections based upon their subjective judgment of the artistic excellence of the applicant's work samples.

How many work samples can I submit to the Writers Program?

You may submit up to 10 pages total for review, which may include multiple works, excerpts from a longer work, or just one literary piece. All literary genres are welcome.

What are the format requirements for the work samples?

Prose manuscripts should be double-spaced; poetry may be single-spaced. The applicant's name and page numbers should appear on each page. Use at least a 10-point font, printed on white 8.5 X 11 in. paper, 3-hole punched in the left margin. Please bind manuscripts with paper clips or binder clips (no staples or folders). Remember to submit two copies of your manuscript.

Can I submit books or other publications containing my work as my work samples?
No, nor can you submit copies made from them. Please submit work only in the format described above.

How many copies of the Application Form do I include with the two sets of written material for the Writers Program?

Two. Each complete application packet of materials must include a copy of the completed Application Form.

Are you interested in a children's writer?

We're definitely interested in children’s writers, and writers of all genres.

Is it OK to apply to the Writers Program if I know the curator, or is this a conflict of interest?

Please go ahead and apply and don't worry about a conflict. It is inevitable. Each year we invite a different curator, with the idea of a different sensibility and also to attract different writers.

What is the general schedule of activities for the Writers Program?

Writers Schedule Summary: The bulk of the activities take place between January and June, with a few things later in the year.

January: Required get together for all participating writers at Jack Straw to meet each other, schedule voice workshops and interviews, and read a bit of your work.
February: Write
March: Curator interviews each writer, Voice workshops
April: Performance workshop with KUOW host, anthology finialized
May: Public Reading series (3 evenings/4 writers per night) at Jack Straw
June: social get together
Summer/Fall: podcast/radio production by staff producer (some input by writers may be needed)
Fall: Public reading with all writers
Additional readings maybe scheduled throughout the year.

Is space to work and/or live provided?

We don't have a place for writers to stay for writers from out of town. But, we can probably arrange for a space to work if that is required.

NOTE: for PDF downloads, you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or higher.
Word documents may be much slower to download.


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