Residency Program

Applications for The Watermill Center Residency Program will be accepted between April 1 and June 11, 2014 (deadline at 5pm EST).  Please check back here for updates.

The 2015 application is now closed.  Please check back spring 2015 for the 2016 residency application. 

Application Guidelines found below along with a video that walks you through the process. 

Click HERE to read about the 2014 Residency Program Artists.


The Watermill Center Residency Program began in 2006, when the Center officially opened as a year-round facility. Over the course of the program, up to twenty collectives or individual artists take up residence at the Center to create collaborative works that critically investigate, challenge, and extend the existing norms of performance practice. By June of 2013, the Center will have hosted over 100 residency groups.

The Residency Program, which runs from January to June and September to December, gives young artists the opportunity to utilize The Watermill Center as a home and a workshop to create and develop their own work. Each residency varies in length according to artists’ and project needs and generally lasts from two to six weeks, when artists have a concentrated period to focus on their work. Residencies are chosen by a distinguished international selection committee composed of artists, academics, and cultural leaders across all disciplines.

In addition to creating and developing their work, artists share their creative process at Watermill with the community through open rehearsals, workshops, and artist talks. We believe this is an important growth experience for young artists as they learn to talk about their work, interact with the public, and receive audience feedback as they move forward in the process of creation. The Center supplements these public gatherings with lectures, seminars, screenings, educational partnerships, internships, and other creative engagements throughout the year.

Watermill is part of a growing international network of like-minded institutions and offers resident artists the opportunity for personal and artistic development within this network of contacts. For example, residents have gone on to (or will) perform at the New Museum, PS122, Clocktower Gallery, Americas Society, Performa, the Donaufestival near Vienna, Kampnagel in Hamburg, CPR - Center for Performance Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center and other institutions.

The Watermill Center Residency Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



The Watermill Center is a "laboratory for performance" that supports the development of experimental and cross-disciplinary art. Watermill invites emerging artists to submit ambitious proposals for the creation of collaborative work that critically investigates, challenges, and extends the existing norms of performance practice. Watermill also welcomes research proposals from established scholars. Watermill possesses a strong international profile and continues to extend its network of associates, encouraging proposals from artists based within and outside the U.S.


Watermill Program Staff
+1 (631) 726-4628


Proposals must be received by June 11, 2014, 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.


Residencies are scheduled by mutual agreement between accepted Resident Artist and Watermill Program Staff during the following months of 2015:

January – June
September – December

Residencies can be scheduled for a minimum of two (2) week and a maximum of six (6) weeks during the above referenced terms. Occasionally, there are two residencies running concurrently, and/or educational and community outreach programming is scheduled during the term of a residency.


The Watermill Center uses Slideroom to gather proposals and work samples for this application process. All proposals must be submitted via Slideroom. There are NO exceptions.

Please visit to submit your proposal. 

There is a $10 USD fee per proposal that can be paid on the Slideroom website. Application instructions and further guidelines are found on the Slideroom website. 

 For technical assistance with your application please contact Slideroom directly at

For questions about the program, contact Program Staff, 631.726.4628 or

Proposals must be submitted and received no later than Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm (EST).


Proposals can be made for the further development of works-in-progress or for entirely new works. Past Resident Artists have included performance and theater artists, filmmakers, sound designers, puppeteers, architects, composers and musicians, visual artists, dramaturgs, scholars, and authors.


An International Selection Committee convenes in mid-July to review proposals. The Selection Committee includes prominent artists, scholars, and arts professionals. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the artistic quality of the submitted work samples, the originality of the artist's ideas, and the ambition of the project's realization. Please visit to see the list of Committee members.


Please visit for a list of information sessions hosted in New York City and Watermill through out the application process.   



On Slideroom you will be led through a series of forms that allow you to articulate yourself as an artist or artist collective and give details on your proposed project. Please follow the instructions carefully and be sure to answer the questions as completely as you can.


1) All applicants are required to complete a project budget and upload it as part of your application here. This budget should be for the ENTIRE PROJECT, not just the Watermill Residency portion. There is a section built into the form for the Watermill Residency portion specifically. We imagine that some projects will have final productions or exhibitions planned after their time at Watermill. All fields are not required on the form, and we have provided a number of opportunities for you to explain each line of the budget as well as a large section at the bottom for general notes.  Please follow these instructions for preparing your Project Budget Form:

1.     Download this form and work on it externally. Here is the direct url if you need to cut and paste it into your browser:

2.     You must view, edit, and SAVE the form in ADOBE READER. You may download ADOBE READER for free HERE:

3.     Once you have downloaded the file SAVE IT ON YOUR COMPUTER under a different name. Add the lead applicants last name to the end so it reads: WMC_Residency_Project_Budget_Form_LASTNAME.

4.     Include notes where indicated for anything that you would like to further explain. There is large space on the second page for general budget notes. Please indicate any income that is confirmed.

5.     Save the file under it's new name as you continue to work on it.

6.     Upload the finished version to your application where indicated in the attachment section.

2) Since we recognize that some of you might have prepared budgets for your project that don’t match our formatting style, we have provided a space for you to upload a budget formatted however you like. This is completely optional.  The budget form above (#1) is required to submit your application. This additional version is optional.

3) Lead Applicant CV – please upload a CV for your lead applicant as a PDF file where indicated.

Media (Work Samples)

The application process includes uploading sample materials of your work. Applicants may upload images (JPEG), video (.mov, .wmv, or .flv), or PDF documents. For good image quality and fast upload, image files should be sized no larger than 1280 x 1280 px @ 72 dpi. Please keep video files under 20MB and they should be no more than 3 minutes in length (if they are longer be sure that the first 3 minutes that play is the section you would like the committee to review). Applicants can embed media to their application from these external sites:  YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud. Media cannot be mailed to Watermill separately from your application submission via Slideroom. The staff must be able to play the media directly in Slideroom during the committee meeting and many committee members review applications remotely.

The uploaded information should be in the following order:

  • 1.     1st upload should be an image and it should REPRESENT your project. If your project hasn't been developed yet please include a sample of previous work that is in line with the work that will be created at Watermill. (This image may be used for initial publicity about your project if you are selected).
  • 2.     2nd image should be a portrait of the lead applicant.
  • 3.     3rd image can be a group shot - a portrait of the collective applying for a residency
  • 4.     Sample Material: this material should be a sample of work that you (or your collective) have made. It should give the Selection Committee a sense of your work.

If you have technical questions about the media upload section please contact Slideroom directly at



Community Outreach, Education & Documentation Requirements

Resident aritsts are required to conduct at least one public performance or event. This is often an open rehearsal, screening, or artist talk. Workshops and other community events are strongly encouraged. Each residency is a also encouraged to have an Education component to their residency – use the space provided in the PROJECT DESCRIPTION section to give ideas for potential Education programs. Watermill staff will work with you on coming up with something based on this answer.

Resident artists are also required to document their artistic production during their stay at Watermill. Documentation guidelines will be provided to accepted proposals.


The Watermill Center provides local transportation, housing, and workspace as part of the 2014 Residency Program.  Applicants are responsible for their own production and living expenses during the term of the residency, including food, travel to and from Watermill, art materials and supplies, and equipment rentals.  As of 2014, Watermill has started providing a modest stipend to offset these expenses.  Details will be provided to you upon acceptance into the program.    

The Watermill Center will offer signed letters of support for outside funding, as initiated by the artist, and can offer advice for any potential funders for assistance. Watermill will act as a fiscal sponsor for any fundraising efforts you might make within reason. If your proposal is accepted information will be provided to you about how this can be done.


We encourage advance visits to the Center, if possible. All visits must be arranged in advance with the Program Director.  We also encourage prospective residents to attend any of the Spring 2013 Open Rehearsals to observe the activities of current Artists-in-Residence. Upcoming events can be found here:

Residency Partnerships

The Watermill Center has partnered with several arts organization including ArteEast, CPR – Center for Performance Research, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, among many others. These partnerships may result in additional performance, community outreach, or education opportunities in associations with these organizations. More information will be made available when applicants are accepted to the program.

The Facility

The Watermill Center was founded in 1992 by its Artistic Director Robert Wilson as an international, multidisciplinary center for studies in the arts and humanities. For the past 20 years, the Watermill Center has been home to an International Summer Program led by Robert Wilson, focusing on new projects that he is developing in all areas of the arts. With the opening of its new building in 2006, the Center became a year-round performing arts laboratory for emerging artists. Expanded programs in the Spring and Fall include workshops and classes, artist residencies, conferences and lectures, and a variety of local and international educational partnership programs. Watermill has partnerships wth other arts organizations such as ArteEast, CPR - Center for Performance Research, New York Theatre Workshop, and Lincoln Center's Directors Lab and collaborates with institutions such as Park Avenue Armory, Kampnagel Hamburg, CUNY's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Taipei Cultural Center, Chez Bushwick, and RADIALSYSTEM V in Berlin.

The Center seamlessly combines performance and rehearsal sites with working and communal living spaces. Its flexible and multi-purpose interiors house formal and informal performance spaces, the Watermill Art Collection, a selection of Robert Wilson's own furniture designs, an extensive reference library, kitchen facilities, and a dormitory. The Center is situated on six acres of wooded and landscaped grounds in a rural environment.

The Center does not provide a traditional theater studio environment. Rather that a black box, the main studio spaces have black-stained hardwood floors, white walls, and many unshaded windows. There is no separation between Gallery or Studio; The Watermill Collection is placed and hung throughout all living, working, and viewing spaces. Artists have the unique opportunity to work amongst these museum pieces and to work with the Center staff to re-curate their environments at the discretion of the Program Director. Watermill encourages artists to experiment with The Center's locations (inside/outside, domestic/professional, theatrical/gallery), to engage with the Collection and architecture, and not to concentrate on the final execution. Therefore, we do not presently have a lighting grid or a technical staff to assist with rehearsals and construction. It is truly a 'laboratory' for performance.

The Center is located in Water Mill, New York (Southampton, Long Island), approximately two hours by car from New York City and JFK airport.  Directions can be located on our website here:

The Watermill Center is about living and working as a community, so it is necessary that everyone shares responsibilities. Respecting the building, the site, fellow artists, and the rest of the Watermill community is integral to a successful experience.

Basement Level

Epoxy over cement floors, unless otherwise noted.
Garage gallery (8' h x 72' l x 28' w [2.5m h x 22m l x 8.5m w)
Rolling garage doors (heated)
Can be used for workspace, office space, and receptions.
Research library with print and audio-visual materials
Fully-equipped kitchen
Dining room (capacity: 50)
Outdoor dining courtyard (capacity: 100)
Public bathrooms with showers
3-in-1 handicap accessible
Laundry room with four washers and dryers
Collection archive containing artifacts, objects, and audio-visual materials 

First Floor

Rehearsal Room (18' h x 54' l x 28' w [5.5m h x 16.5m l x 8.5m w)
Marley dance floor is available to layover hardwood floors.
Two small studios/galleries
Dormitory (sleeping capacity: 8; additional 4-6 beds available offsite)
Two public shower rooms attached to dormitory

Second Floor

Master residence for staff use
Two smaller studios/galleries


Application Process Video

(This video was created in 2013.  While some aspects of the application process having changed, much of the information can be applied to this application process.)