Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency


theater | performance · dance | movement · music | sound art | instrument invention, collaborations · interdisciplinary work

The Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency (D.E.A.R.) was established in 2012 to support Northern California artists who are actively exploring new aesthetic premises and pushing the boundaries of conventional art forms and media. The program provides early to mid-career artists free studio space and up-to-date equipment to create new work in the time-based arts such as theater/performance, dance/movement, music/sound art/instrument invention, as well as collaborative and interdisciplinary work.

On rare occasions, the program may consider applications from established or older artists whose work does not receive significant institutional support. If your work falls into this category, before taking the time to prepare and submit an application, you must contact us at info @ dresherensemble [dot] org at least two weeks before the final submission deadline and provide your bio and a description of your proposed project for your residency. (Do not apply without a confirmation to go forward.)

D.E.A.R. grants 4 to 6 awards annually to individual artists or to groups of artists collaborating on a single project. The lead artist must be a resident of Northern California and must not be a student at the time of the application and residency.

– Full-time access {24/7} of 1 to 4 weeks to the Ensemble’s West Oakland rehearsal studio (40′ x 42′ sprung dance floor with Marley floor covering with 20′ ceilings and one 9-foot concert grand piano) and fabrication shop. Residency weeks may be contiguous or spread out over a period of months.
– A production stipend (currently up to $1500)
– Access to state-of-the-art sound, lighting, projection, and recording equipment;
– Technical, financial, and managerial consultations from professionals on the Ensemble’s staff (providing fiscal sponsorship if needed).
– Performance opportunities

– The artistic quality and potential impact of the project on the artist’s artistic growth and their audiences;
– Projects whose realization requires continuous and/or multi-day access to our studio space and our available technologies;
– Artists who work with multiple disciplines and/or from culturally diverse perspectives;
– Preference may be given to artists whose work is not currently receiving significant institutional support.


2022   –    2021  –  Previous years



Online application for 2023 Residencies opens: October 1, 2022
Applications are due Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 11:59 pm PST
Residencies will be announced to artists in January 2023

Free Information Sessions:
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 7:00 pm in person in our West Oakland studio
Thursday October 13, 2022 – 7:00 pm (zoom session)
[RSVP here]

We have tried to make the application process simple and straightforward. (Please read DEAR 2022 Application Information & Assistance before finalizing your online application.)

Basic information for you and your listed collaborators:

– Name
– Address
– Contact Information
– Birthdate
– Gender Identity
– Ethnicity
– Social Media Presence

Project Information

– Project summary (150 words max.)
– Project description (1000 words max.)
– Biography (500 words max.)
– Desired length of residency
– If you are applying with collaborators, the lead applicant submits up to two work samples and each collaborator submits one work sample. Audio, video, and still image work samples are submitted as links. Texts and musical scores may be submitted as PDFs.

Three independent panelists (new each year) will score your application using the following criteria and scoring percentages:

– Artistic quality: 60%;
– Suitability to the DEAR program’s goals and priorities: 20%;
– Impact on the applicant(s) and their audience: 20%

We are pleased to announce that the Dresher Ensemble Artist Residency program is now receiving support from California Arts Council | Statewide and Regional Network, as well as from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and several very generous individuals.

Apply Now


Expires: 2022-11-17


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