Headlands Center for the Arts


Location: Golden Gate National Park, San Francisco, California

Mission: Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

The Marin Headlands was originally home to the Native American Coastal Miwok, who lived seasonally here for thousands of years. In the 18th century, Spanish and Mexican ranchers occupied the land, eventually giving way to Portuguese immigrant dairy farmers. In the 1890s, the first military installations were built to prevent hostile ships from entering San Francisco Bay. The Fort Barry buildings were erected from 1907 to 1913 and served as an active military center until 1950.

The National Park Service (NPS) took over the decommissioned buildings in 1972, inviting several mission-based nonprofits to act as park partners and specifically writing an arts center into the park’s Master Plan. In 1982, a founding Board of Directors of local artists, activists, and civic leaders incorporated Headlands Arts Center (renamed Headlands Center for the Arts in 1989). The organization launched an ambitious plan to rehabilitate the historic buildings through artists’ commissions, empowering artists to re-envision the physical space and future use of the facility. In 1994, the organization secured a twenty-year agreement with NPS for use of the Fort Barry buildings.

Cost: Fully sponsored 4- to 10-week residencies with optional monthly stipend of $500

Number of Artists: Up to 25 Artists at a Time

Accommodations: 100- to 2000-sq.-foot studios, Private bedroom in shared house, Five chef-prepared meals per week, Access to vehicles on-site, Facilities access: Basic woodshop; audio/video equipment; artists’ library with computers, scanner, and printer, Wi-Fi in designated spaces

Length of Stay: 4 – 10 weeks

Demographic: Artists not currently enrolled in an academic program, Former Headlands’ Artists in Residence (AIR) may not apply within five years of previous Residency, All other Alumni of Headlands’ Programs are eligible to apply for the AIR Program at any point,

Medium: Visual (painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation, conceptual), Writing (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting), Performance / Dance, Film / Video / New Media, Music / Sound, Arts Professionals, Architecture / Environment, Interdisciplinary Arts

Benefits: Participation in monthly “Show & Tell” nights, Participation in seasonal Open House, Access to Headlands Public Events, Field trips to Bay Area museums, galleries, and cultural venues, Become part of Headlands Alumni Network, To support and invest in individuals at the cutting edge of their fields, whose work will impact the cultural landscape at large. To provide these artists with the support and opportunity to take their work to the next level and to explore and experiment, To bring artists and thinkers into a dynamic community of local, national, and international artists: a professional network of creative practitioners and thinkers, To encourage artists to explore their ideas and work within the context of the Marin Headlands, a part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, To bring an international community of artists to the Bay Area and create opportunities for engagement and cross-cultural exchange with local artists and audiences

Deadline: June 1, 2013



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