Library Arts Residencies

I've been working on a proposal for an artist talk and exhibition series at a Rhode Island public library and compiled this short bibliography for my own reference. I'm interested in library artist residencies and related initiatives that are accessible to the public (especially to those who don't identify themselves as artists or makers), include a stipend, and involve education or outreach as part of their structure. 

Library Arts Residencies- Resources and Research

The Library As Incubator Project was a groundbreaking project that, in its own words, existed to "promote and facilitate creative collaboration between libraries and artists of all types, and to advocate for libraries as incubators of the arts." This collection of blog posts from the Linkubator organizers concerns artist residencies and collaborations in libraries.

The Bubbler @ the Madison Public Library is an innovative and energetic 2-year exploration of “the makerspace” and how it can serve the community. Here's an article surveying the Bubbler on a Simmons blog, and information on the Bubbler’s semi-monthly .

Providence Public Library’s Creative Fellowship - PPL’s Creative Fellowship is an annual collaboration between their Special Collections staff and an artist, who will perform creative research on a pre-selected topic and reflect it back in an exhibit featuring material from special collections. Here is a reflection from last year’s artist on their research, collaboration with staff and finished project.


Appleton Public Library’s Artist in Residence program features a bimonthly local artist who hosts a variety of artists’ talks, events and collaborative projects during their residence. From their website- “Artists from the Fox Valley in Wisconsin provide a two-month long residency period (January-February, March-April, etc.). The Friends of the Appleton Public Library fund residency stipends and supplies for AIR. Expectations of a residency include: installation of an exhibit or display, a lecture, a demonstration, and a workshop. The goal is to provide an enriching creative experience for our patrons.”

-Brookline Library’s Artist in Residence program just celebrated its inaugural year (article from Wicked Local)

-Ward Public Library’s Artist in Residence application (longterm studio residency), has been in existence since 1976 “to help make art more accessible to the Ward community”.

“Recognizing that the arts are vital to the culture and heritage of the town of Ward, the Ward Public Library is undertaking a leadership role in creating an environment in which the arts can grow. In fulfilling this role the Ward Public Library is committed to these fundamental principles: Recognizing the integrity of artistic expression of all cultures. Encouraging artistic excellence. Working to increase public awareness and involvement in the arts.”