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What is Baldwin For The Arts?

Baldwin For The Arts is an artist residency program. Named for the writer, James Baldwin, BFTA nurtures the arts by offering creative Global Majority individuals an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination.

What is a BFTA Fellowship?

A Baldwin Fellowship consists of exclusive use of a private studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day anywhere from one week to four weeks. BFTA does not offer classes or instruction.

Who is eligible to apply?

Baldwin For The Arts encourages applications from Global Majority Artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics. Emerging and established artists may apply in the following disciplines: Literature, music composition, visual arts, interdisciplinary and film, media, and digital makers. Applicants who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply. Doctoral candidates who have finished all coursework may apply.

Do you accept applications from international artists?

Not at this time.

When are the application deadlines?

Applications are accepted between March 15th to April 15th, 11:59 PM EST.

How do I apply? What does the application include?

The application for residency is submitted online through the SlideRoom application portal. Requirements include a description of your proposed project, a letter of reference, and information about your artistic work such as education, training, and artistic achievements, as well as examples of current work. There is a $15-$17 non-refundable application processing fee which is paid online by debit or credit card.

What is the cost of a residency? Is financial aid available?

There are no residency fees. A nonrefundable processing fee of $15-$17 (USD) is required with each application. Any applicant who may experience difficulty in paying the fee is encouraged to contact Admissions. Artists are responsible for the cost of travel to and from BFTA. Funding is also available to help reimburse artists for costs associated with travel, including shipping of materials.

How long is an average residency? Is there a minimum length of stay?

While artists may request residencies of up to four weeks, the minimum length of stay is 1 week.

How often am I allowed to apply?

You may apply once in a 24-month period. If you are placed on the waiting list and not offered a residency or have to cancel your residency, you may reapply after a 12-month wait.

Am I allowed to defer my residency?

Residencies may not be deferred. However, if an applicant is accepted but cannot accept the dates offered, they will then be placed on the waiting list for the season. If an applicant is not called from the waiting list, an applicant may reapply after 12 months.

Does BFTA offer residencies for emergencies, such as an impending deadline?

Yes, BFTA has a policy for “emergency time,” which enables Fellows to request a short residency to assist with their situation. Before submitting your request, please review the following conditions for emergency time:

  • The applicant must be a Baldwin Fellow, meaning a prior artist-in-residence at BFTA.
  • The applicant must not have been already denied a residency for the same period being requested.
  • The applicant must have a legitimate emergency situation. This is defined as circumstances beyond the applicant’s control which prevents critical work from being accomplished and precludes waiting until the next application period. Emergency time requests should not be used as an alternative to applying.
  • Priority will be given to those who have not previously benefited from the policy and to those who have been impacted by a natural disaster.
  • The applicant should either have a current reference on file, or the applicant must provide a new reference.
  • Residencies for no more than four weeks can be offered.
  • Openings in the schedule are filled first by individuals on the waiting list, then by those requesting emergency time.
  • The applicant must write a letter of request and contain the reason for the request, dates of availability, the desired length of stay, a project description, and space requirements and be submitted by email.

If you are awarded an emergency time residency, you will have to wait the standard two years to reapply through the regular application process for another residency.

Do you allow collaborations at Baldwin?

Yes. Artists collaborating on a project must submit individual applications and appropriate work samples, along with a joint description of the work they intend to do at BFTA. Examples of a previous collaborative work (either completed or in-progress) may be submitted. Please specify your work space needs (i.e. whether or not separate studios are required). Admission status is determined by averaging the individual application scores of all collaborators.

May I apply with my spouse?

Couples working on collaborative projects may apply as collaborators (see the question above). Couples working on their own creative projects may apply individually and request parallel residencies. If both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. No other provisions are made for partners at BFTA.

May I bring my partner, child, or pet with me to Baldwin?

To sustain the sense of community among those in residence, guests cannot be accommodated for meals or overnight stays. You may choose to arrange for day visitors at your studio or in our main hall. With the exception of licensed service animals (as defined by the ADA), pets are not permitted.

If I miss the application deadline, may I be placed on the waiting list?

No. Each season, a waiting list of applicants is selected by the admissions panels. If you miss an application deadline, you must wait until the next deadline to apply.

How do I know if Baldwin received my application?

You will receive a confirmation email from SlideRoom once you hit the submit button on the payment page of the application. If you do not reach the payment page, you have not completed the application. If you are uncertain of which steps are incomplete, please email Admissions for assistance. BFTA will send a follow-up confirmation email once your application has been processed. This may take several weeks following the deadline.

My work falls into more than one discipline. May I apply in more than one?

You may apply in only one discipline. We encourage you to apply in the discipline that most closely relates to the project you are proposing to work on at BFTA If you have questions, you may email Admissions to discuss which discipline is the best fit your application.

What are you looking for in a Project Description?

Please write a brief description of the work you intend to do at BFTA including any special space or studio requirements you may have. If you are proposing to continue work on the project you submitted as your work sample, please indicate where you are in the process. Visual applicants should know that the panel looks primarily at the work sample, and attention should be devoted to the quality of the sample images. The project description should include the size and medium of the proposed work along with a list of materials you intend to bring. This will ensure that an appropriate studio is assigned to you. Interdisciplinary applicants are asked to include an explanation of the form and content of the proposed project. BFTA encourages experimentation in all disciplines and the admissions panels recognize that your project may evolve or change completely while you are in residence.

I don’t have professional documentation or training. Should I bother to apply?

Yes. Talent is the sole criterion for acceptance to BFTA. Professional training and achievement are not required. You may use the appropriate sections in the application form to highlight information relevant to the pursuit of your creative work.

I don’t know a well-known or established artist in my field to use as a reference. Whom should I ask?

References do not need to be well-known or established artists. We do ask that they be knowledgeable in the field in which you are working and that they be familiar with you and your creative work.

I’ve applied before. Do I still have a letter of reference on file?

Letters of reference that were submitted as part of a completed application are kept on file for four years. If you do not know when you last applied, email Admissions to inquire about the status of your reference letters.

When will I be notified of the result of my application?

Applicants will be notified of admission status on July 15th.

Do I need to mail in work samples?

Applicants must submit digital work samples through the BFTA application on the SlideRoom portal.

What are the work sample requirements for applying to Baldwin?

Detailed work sample requirements are listed for each discipline on the SlideRoom application. Please refer to SlideRoom’s media requirements for acceptable digital formats.

Who reviews my application?

While Admissions will review your application for completeness, it is an anonymous panel of experts in the field in which you are applying who reviews your application for a Baldwin Fellowship.

How often do the admissions panels change?

Panel members rotate on a three-year cycle with staggered terms for each member.


Baldwin for the Arts accepts Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and POC (Global Majority) Artists working in the following disciplines: Literature, music composition, and visual arts. Emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. Applicants who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs as of the date of application are ineligible for a residency and therefore cannot apply.

Baldwin For The Arts (BFTA) offers barrier-free access in its main buildings and some studios. There are no medical facilities or medical personnel on site. We strongly suggest that applicants with special medical needs contact us before applying.

Work samples

Baldwin For The Arts requests work samples which support the proposed project and have been completed within the past four years. All work samples are uploaded and submitted through the online application. Applicants unable to submit new work for the panel to review should include a note of explanation. Those applicants whose proposed project does not fall clearly within an artistic discipline should contact Admissions to discuss which discipline would best fit the proposed work.

  • All submitted work samples should have been completed within the past four years, unless otherwise noted. A note of explanation should accompany any work sample completed outside of this timeframe.
  • Any work done with a collaborator must be noted. Please describe your role with respect to the work.
  • Work Samples are submitted by uploading media within the online application.
  • For technical support regarding any of the media requirements, please see the Help page on the SlideRoom application or contact


Applicants are required to have one reference on file completed by someone who is knowledgeable in their field and is familiar with them and their work. Applications that do not have a completed reference on file will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. References that are submitted as part of a completed application are confidential and will be kept on file for four years.

  • Applicants: The reference process is initiated by you, the applicant, from within the online application. You will add the name and contact information for your recommender in the Reference step of the application which initiates a secure link to be sent to your recommender. This can be done in advance of submitting your application. It is your responsibility to ensure the request is fulfilled. The deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.
  • Recommenders: As a recommender, you will receive an automated email from SlideRoom once the applicant has entered your contact information. This email will contain a link specifically tied to the applicant, which should be used to complete the recommendation. As stated above, the deadline for all references is one week after the application deadline.

Residency periods

Baldwin For The Arts residencies run from October 15th through May 15th. Maximum length of stay is four weeks. Minimum length of stay is one week. Please include exact dates for which you are applying. Applicants should also include what dates they are not available for.

Processing fee

A nonrefundable processing fee of $15-$17 (USD) is required with each application. Applicants pay the processing fee by debit or credit card through a secure site on the online application.

Any applicant who may experience difficulty in paying the fee is encouraged to contact Admissions. Funding is available to help reimburse artists for costs associated with travel, including shipping of materials.


Applicants will be notified of admission status approximately 1 month after the applicable deadline.


Couples must apply individually. If both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. There are no provisions for partners, pets, or children at Baldwin For The Arts.


All applicants, including artists who have had previous residencies at Baldwin For The Arts, must submit a complete application that includes recent work samples.

For further assistance, please contact Admissions.


Baldwin for the Arts is a public charity recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your contribution is deductible for federal income tax purposes as permitted by law.