Before starting a residency, it is important to align your expectations with the host institution. Here are some questions you may wish to discuss with your host before starting your residency.
How involved will the host institution be in planning your residency? Will they introduce you to local artists and curators? Will they organize studio visits and research trips? Will they inform you of local resources, and make recommendations based on your goals for the residency?
What kind of administrative support will the host provide? Will they help with visa and funding applications?
Do you have any special requests or concerns about where you will be living, for example accessibility considerations? Can family visit, and is there room for them?
What kind of facilities are available on site? Will you have access to laundry and kitchen facilities? Are there communal meals among residents, and if so, are you required to help with food preparation? Are there dietary restrictions to consider?
Does the building have limited opening hours? Do you need to be aware of any building staff and their working hours? Do you have their contact details, and an emergency contact for after hours? What safety and security measures are in place?
What is the surrounding neighborhood like? Are there any amenities you will need to bring with you? How will the surrounding affect your working conditions, for example with noise levels? What are the local transit options? Will you have access to a bike?
Are there any financial considerations to plan for, such as damage deposits, insurance, utilities usage, or coin-operated laundry machines?
If the residency is funded, when will the artist fee be paid? Or conversely, when are participation fees due? Are there any costs affiliated with studio or facilities usage? What kind of financial reporting are you responsible for - do you need to submit receipts, invoices, or expense reports? If you are awarded a travel grant, does the funding agency require any documentation from the host institution?
Does the residency involve any mandatory activities or events, such as artist talks, open studios, or artist workshops? What contributions are expected from the artist in residence? What preparations need to be made in advance? How flexible are the event formats? What kind of technical, press, or other support will the host provide?
Is the artist expected to produce an artwork or mount an exhibition? What will happen to the artwork after the residency?
Will the host institution help the artist maintain connections with local artists, curators, exhibition venues, etc.? Are there possibilities for future collaborations?
How will the residency be evaluated? Does the artist need to submit an essay or report?