moCa Artist-in-Residence Program

Posted by Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland ; Posted on 
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moCa Artist-in-Residence Program




As a non-collecting art institution, moCa is a laboratory for artistic experimentation. The AIR program is a new approach to working with artists, built through long-form engagement and extended time together in the same environment.

The museum has made a renewed commitment to engage artists who have been underrepresented and/or historically excluded by moCa and other major art institutions. As a part of this commitment, AIR will prioritize previously-excluded artists and those whose practices have been ignored within museums and cultural organizations.


Kicking off in summer 2021, AIR will offer two, five-month, in-building residencies. The first will be July–November 2021 and the second will be January–May 2022.

AIR Includes

Artists-in-residence will receive an honorariumprogram support, and a private, semi-visible studio space in moCa’s Rayburn Workroom, located on the third floor of the museum. During their time in residence, artists will develop a site-specific project that activates a site in the building outside of the traditional gallery spaces and potentially responds to their experiences in and with moCa. Projects will be installed during or at the end of the residency period and will be on display during the subsequent artist residency. This work will be included in the development of the Essential Question, which is used to guide all interpretative experiences and programs related to the exhibitions on view. Artists will also be able to use this studio space freely to work on projects unrelated to the museum.

AIR encourages an open-ended approach to making, supporting projects of all mediums, including performance, installation, and multidisciplinary works. Cuyahoga County-based emerging or early-career artists who are passionate about working with and within the Cleveland community. While AIR offers a private, semi-visible studio space (see AIR Benefits), artists must be interested in engaging with new people and ideas and value the social aspect of a museum-based residency.

AIR Benefits

Private, semi-visible studio (with two glass walls), at no cost to the artist, in moCa’s Rayburn Workroom, available to the artist during regular building hours. Please note: moCa staff will work with selected artists to ensure they are comfortable in this space and have the ability to work without constant viewership. This studio is not soundproof.

Site-specific project, creatively activating a moCa space (to be determined with the artist & moCa staff) outside of the traditional gallery environments.

Professional development opportunities and interactions with at least one moCa staff member in every department.

Opportunities to connect with visiting artists, curators, and arts professionals.

An honorarium of $2,500, travel stipend of $500, maximum project budget of $4,000, and maximum programming budget of $1,000.

AIR Requirements

  • Artists must reside in Cuyahoga County.
  • Artists must have participated in at least one exhibition or public presentation prior to applying.
  • Artists can work in the studio anytime during regular business hours but must commit to spending a minimum of six hours in the studio per week.
  • Artists will have a private, semi-visible studio space but they also will engage with moCa’s audience by (at minimum) participating in one open studio during their time in residence, to be held on a moCa Saturday.

Selection Process

moCa’s Education and Engagement Committee, a public advisory committee composed of artists, Cleveland community members, and cultural leaders, will review applications and nominate a group of AIR finalists. These nominated applications will then be reviewed by a panel of moCa staff. This group will interview AIR finalists to reach a final decision.

To Apply

The deadline for applying to AIR is Sunday, January 31, 2021 at midnight EST.

Within the application, artists must detail their:

  • Interest in participating in a museum-based residency.
  • Current studio situation and/or need for space.
  • Interest in/experience with developing site-specific projects.
  • Interest in/experience with public programming and audience engagement.
Online Applications

Applications can be completed here.

Paper Applications

Applicants can also request a paper copy by calling 216.658.6930 or visiting moCa’s Welcome Center during regular business hours (Thursday-Saturday, 11AM-5PM). Paper applications and work samples can be returned via USPS or dropped off at moCa’s Welcome Center. If work samples are sent by mail or dropped off in person, please include postage so that moCa staff can return these materials. moCa does not assume liability for physically-submitted work and does not guarantee that materials submitted in this manner will be returned or undamaged. Please address all paper applications to: ATTN: Lauren Leving, AIR Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland 11400 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106.

Additional Ways to Apply

If the above methods of submission do not work for you and for additional questions regarding AIR or the application, please contact Lauren Leving at or 216.658.6930.