Fall & Spring Residency Guidelines
Watermill 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.
For more information about the application process and Watermill residencies, click here.
Click HERE to download the Fall and Spring residency guidelines as a PDF
+1 (631) 726-4628
Proposals must be received by June 1, 2012, 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.
Residencies are scheduled by mutual agreement between accepted Artists-in-Residence and the Watermill Director. Residencies are scheduled during the following terms:
Fall (September–December 2012)
Spring (February–June 2013)
Residencies can be scheduled for a minimum of one (1) 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 its residency program. All proposals must be submitted via Slideroom. There are NO exceptions. Both still image and video work samples are accepted, though for time-based and performance works the inclusion of high-quality and well-edited video is strongly recommended.
Please visit watermillcenter.slideroom.com to submit your proposal.
Please be sure you specify that correct program as there are two programs listed:
1) Fall 2012 / Spring 2013 Residency Program – general application for all artists.
2) ArteEast Partnership - Spring 2013 Residency Program: application artists based in the Middle East and North Africa. if you apply to this partnership you will automatically be eligible for a general Watermill Residency should your proposal not be accepted into the partnership. There is no need to apply to both. [See below for more information]
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 all technical assistance, contact email@example.com. Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on June 1, 2012.
For questions about the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposals can be made for the further development of works-in-progress or for entirely new works. Past Artists-in-Residence have included performance and theater artists, filmmakers, sound designers, 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 the Selection Committee page to see the list of this year's Committee members.
The application process includes the uploading of sample materials and an online narrative application. Please ensure that your proposal narrative and work samples are accurate and complete before submitting. 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.
The uploaded information should be in the following order:
1. One (1) still image representative of the proposal, such as a dramaturgical or research image (this image may be used for initial publicity about your project if you are selected.
2. One (1) photo portrait of the lead applicant
3. Remaining uploads should be samples of previous work. Wherever possible, please upload moving image work that is no longer than five minutes in duration. Each selection should be a separate upload and should begin with the most important action (please do not include credits). Do not include more than three moving image uploads. The process will prompt you for description details, including date, venue, project, collaborators, etc.
Community Outreach & Documentation Requirements
Artists-in-residence 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. Artists-in-Residence are also required to document their artistic production during their stay at Watermill. Documentation guidelines will be provided to accepted proposals.
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. 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 inforamtion 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 Residency Manager. We also encourage prospective residents to attend any of the Spring 2012 Open Rehearsals to observe the activities of current Artists-in-Residence.
ArteEast: residency supporting the development of a new work by artists based in the Middle East and North Africa. Artists, art practitioners and instructions based or active in the Middle East and North Africa are invited to apply for the opportunity to participate in a residency program at The Watermill Center. Eligible participants are citizens and/or residents of the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Eygypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syran Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. Click here for more information. Be sure to select the program titled: ArteEast Partnership : Spring 2013 Residency Program. This partnership residency will take place between January and June 2013.
CPR - Center for Performance Research: a partnership to allow Watermill Fall and Spring Residency artists the chance to showcase their work in New York City. Each year 2 - 4 artists who are accepted to The Watermill Center Fall and Spring Residency Program will be invited to present thier work at CPR - Center for Performance Research in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Click here for more information.
Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab: Director’s Lab alumni can apply to The Watermill Center following their program at Lincoln Center. Each accepted application then has a workshop presentation both at The Watermill Center and at Lincoln Center.
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 17 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, 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 places and hung thoughout all living, working, and viewing spaces. Artists have the unique opportunity to work amoungst these museum pieces and to work with the Center staff to re-curate their environments at the discretion of the 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 many technical resources. 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.
The studio spaces have hardwood floors (unless otherwise noted), white walls, and many windows. The Watermill Collection is placed throughout all living, working, and viewing space. Artists have the unique opportunity to work amongst these museum pieces. There is some flexibility to their placement, but that is left to the discretion of the Director. The Center does NOT have a traditional stage or "proscenium-based" rehearsal stage (such as a black box theater). The space is an inspirational environment that encourages experimentation, not final execution; we do not have a technical staff to assist with rehearsals or construction.
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.
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
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
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
Master residence for staff use
Two smaller studios/galleries
Site Plan (PDF)
Interior Floor Plan (PDF)
Summer Application Guidelines
View the International Summer Residency Program guidelines here.
Summer Program 2012
Application deadline: Friday, March 30, 2012 at 5pm
The 2012 Summer Program runs from July 16 to August 19.
Admission to the program is by selection only. All applicants to the Summer Program are asked to submit the following materials online only; there are no exceptions. The Watermill Center uses Slideroom to gather applications and work samples for its International Summer Program.
The Application will be available online starting December 5, 2011 at: watermillcenter.slideroom.com
There is a $10 USD fee per proposal. Payment is accepted on the Slideroom website. If you are unable to make this payment for any reason, please notify us by using the Contact form and selecting "Summer program".
Specific application instructions are available step-by-step via Slideroom. The sections include: Personal Info, Questions, References, Letter of Motivation & Resume/CV, and Media uploads. Media samples should include current photograph/headshot and worksamples. Wherever possible, video work samples are strongly recommended. For any technical assistance during the process, please contact email@example.com. If you have any work samples that are not electronic that you would like to include, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to determine if the items are appropriate for the application process.
Applicants will be contacted via e-mail upon receipt of their application. Final admission status will be announced at the beginning of May 2012.
About the Program
During the Summer Program, every artist works collaboratively across SITE SPECIFIC EVENTS, PERFORMING ARTS PROJECT WORKSHOPS, DESIGN PROJECT WORKSHOPS as well as lectures, landscaping and design/build projects. Artists apply as individuals and work across the programmed projects and events.
The first two weeks focus on the realization of an evening of installations and performances staged across the entire eight acres. Throughout the following three weeks, each day the artists split their time across the total program listed above. All work is delivered through mentorship of Robert Wilson, his collaborators and a cross-section of multi-disciplinary producers and specialist within a workshop environment.
Click HERE to read The Watermill Center Mission Statement.
For the past 18 years, one of the most important programs of The Watermill Center has been the International Summer Program led by Artistic Director Robert Wilson. Each summer approximately 65 artists from over 25 countries gather at Watermill for five weeks of intense creative exploration and artistic development. The Summer Program provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to learn from established professionals in a laboratory environment. This program requires everyone, regardless of experience, to live and work communally; assisting in chores, cooking, gardening, construction or collection maintenance. This approach is crucial to understanding the collaborative working process and respecting shared resources.
With the opening of its new building in 2006, the Center became a year-round performing