2024 SPRING January 24–April 19, 2024 + SUMMER May 22–August 16, 2024
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
For four decades Bemis Center’s core mission has been to provide artists from around the world dedicated time, space, and resources to conduct research and to create new work across conceptual, material, performative, and social practices. To date, more than 1,000 artists have participated in the residency program.
Bemis offers artists-in-residence unmatched technical guidance, access to interns, and an established network of resources. Participants have the opportunity to create networks, collaborate, and share their work with fellow artists-in-residence, organizational partners, and the public. The Bemis Alumni Program extends artist support beyond their Bemis residency through Alumni Residencies, an annual Alumni Award, and Alumni Convenings.
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts launched its Sound Art + Experimental Music Program in May 2019 with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Embedded within Bemis Center’s renowned international Residency Program, this opportunity offers a unique experience for two artists working in sound, composition, voice, and experimental genres and tools. National and international artists participating in the program receive financial, technical, and administrative support, along with dedicated facilities for rehearsing, recording, and performing new works that expand the field of sound art and music. This is an independently-driven, process-based residency in a communal environment, fostering creative growth, experimentation, and supportive exchange. There are no expectations placed on residents to create or perform.
LOW END is Bemis Center’s music venue located in its 25,000 square foot lower level and an integral part of the Sound Art + Experimental Music Program. The unique artist-designated space includes custom seating, theatrical lighting, an anamorphic perspective stage, and industrial-grade sound equipment. LOW END features free live shows by local, national, and international sound artists, composers, and experimental musicians. These performances aim to not only build greater appreciation and new audiences for experimental forms of music but also to liberate the artists on stage to take risks and present truly avant-garde work.
STUDIOS AND FACILITIES
Located in the historic Old Market, Omaha’s arts and culture district, Bemis Center’s campus accommodates a broad range of artistic activity. Two selected artists-in-residence will enjoy a generous sized, private live/work studio complete with kitchen and bathroom. Sound Art + Experimental Music artists-in-residence have 24-hour access to Bemis Center’s Sound Studio, a 1,000 square foot shared workspace that includes a variety of instruments, amps, microphones, and digital hardware and software to assist and expand creative processes. Selected residents will also have access to expansive installation and production spaces within Bemis Center’s 110,000 square foot main facility and the Okada Sculpture & Ceramics Facility, a 9,000 square foot large-scale sculpture fabrication space and workshop. A Bemis residency also includes complimentary laundry facilities, utilities, wifi, and access to an on-site research library.
Selected U.S.-based artists-in-residence receive a $2,000 USD monthly stipend, a $750 USD travel stipend, a $7,000 USD materials budget, and a $1,000 USD shipping budget to cover the transportation of items or equipment to and from the residency. Due to the limitations of B2 visas (touring/visiting), international artists-in-residence are eligible to receive reimbursement of qualified expenses, such as airfare, ground transportation, and meals. Selected artists are responsible for organizing travel to Omaha to attend the residency.
Residency opportunities are open to national and international artists 21+ years of age showing a strong professional working history. Applicants working in, but not limited to, sound art, composition, experimental music, and a variety of other disciplines where sound is the primary medium will be considered.
Bemis residency alumni are allowed to re-apply after a five-year hiatus from the program. Alumni seeking a residency must submit a complete application including recent work samples and current resume. Preference may be given to applicants who have not previously attended. Learn more about our Alumni Program.
Artists enrolled in an academic program during the time of the residency opportunity are not eligible to apply.
Small collaborative groups are eligible to apply. Please note, if selected, Bemis Center is only able to accommodate two members of a collaborative group to attend the residency and live on-site. Awarded artists in a collaborative will each receive a monthly stipend and will share the shipping and materials budget.
Bemis welcomes international artists to apply. Working knowledge of English is helpful as Bemis is unable to provide an interpreter.
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability.
The Bemis Center campus includes two buildings that are ADA compliant with barrier-free access. The main building spans six levels and houses twelve, private live/work studios between the second and third floors, each ranging in size and configuration. There are five live/work studios on the third floor with roll-in shower stalls. Communal installation workspaces are barrier-free. The private residency entrance to the first floor consists of six steps. There are seven stairs and an ADA-approved ramp to the main entrance, which also accesses the first floor. A passenger elevator operates between the first floor and fifth floor.
The Okada Sculpture & Ceramics Facility is a single-story, ground-level building located directly across the street from the main building. A cobblestone and brick city street separates the two facilities and conjoins the parking lot, which includes accessible parking spaces at the front entrance for visitors and residents. Okada includes two gender-neutral and accessible bathrooms with handrails. Workspaces can be arranged and organized to accommodate a variety of practices and needs.
The lower level, which includes the Sound Studio and LOW END, can be accessed from the east-facing public entrance by 18 steps, the first floor by 18 stairs, or via freight elevator. Located inside the Live Room, the Recording Studio is accessible through a double-door entryway. The doorway dimensions are 83″ wide x 79.25″ tall and has an elevated, sloping threshold that is 2″ tall. The Live Room is barrier free.
In striving to create accessibility for all, Bemis welcomes inquiries from applicants with specific questions to ensure we are prepared to meet the needs of any resident. Please direct residency accessibility questions to Rachel Adams, Interim Residency Program Manager, at 402.341.7130 or Residency@bemiscenter.org.
OPPORTUNITIES AND EXPECTATIONS
Residencies are independent, self-directed, and process-based: there are no expectations placed on artists to create or perform. Residents are, however, invited to participate in at least one opportunity to engage our community, such as our public Open House / Open Studios.
Selected artists must attend a minimum of eight consecutive weeks within a residency session to be accepted. Deferring or rescheduling a residency is not permitted at this time. Late arrivals, early departures, or extended absences may result in prorated stipends.
A $40 USD non-refundable application fee is due at the time of submitting an application through SlideRoom paid via credit card or by PayPal. Submission of completed applications is only accepted online through bemis.slideroom.com. Fees related to visa processes or passport acquisition are the responsibility of the awarded artist.