2020-21 Artist in Residency: Down to Earth

Calling All Artists!

The application is now open for the new artist residency at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens! Down to Earth is a creative project partnership between Capital Fringe, Caandor Labs, and Friends of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, a proud partner of the National Park Service.

We are offering four paid artists’ residencies under the theme Down to Earth. The aim is to provide an outlet for DC, Maryland, and Virginia artists and creatives to create artwork or experiences that examine our ability and fortitude as human beings to tackle the climate emergency and systemic racism. Projects developed through the residency engage the landscape and wildlife of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, using them as inspiration or as a metaphorical or literal canvas. 

The residency provides access to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. It surrounds 10 acres on the edge of the marsh that borders the east side of the Anacostia River and is located along Anacostia Avenue in the northeast part of Washington, DC. As the only National Park Service site devoted to the propagation and display of aquatic plants, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a unique landscape with a rich botanical, educational, and recreational history. From the Nacotchtank to Colonial settlers to contemporary African American communities, people have called the area around Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens home for more than 4,000 years.

About the Program

The first week of each seasonal residency starts with an onsite introduction to the park, its history, and staff. In addition,  research and production/creation timeline/flow of the residencies is established that week. Each residency period will be thoroughly followed, documented, and eventually presented in a seasonal online zine in partnership with Caandor Labs.

Submissions are welcome from DC, Maryland, and Virginia artists, either as solo artists/creatives or in teams (disciplinary or interdisciplinary). We encourage all genres of art and performance.

We are inviting four cohorts, either solo or teams, to four 13-week residencies in 2021.

Artist in Residency Schedule

The seasonal residency schedule is as follows:

  • Residency #1 Winter Dec. 21 – March 20
  • Residency #2 Spring March 21 – June 19
  • Residency #3 Summer June 21 – September 21
  • Residency #4 September 22 – Dec. 21 

Each accepted artist or team receives $10,000–the equivalent of 20 hours of work per week plus materials. Those accepted are required to visit the park regularly in their residency to gain inspiration. 

Applications are live (click here) and will close on November 30, 2020.

Each seasonal residency will have a limit of 50 applications.


If you have questions during the application period, please contact Julianne Brienza (julianne@capitalfringe.org). Julianne is holding virtual office hours Wednesdays through Fridays 2 pm – 4 pm. You can sign up for a 15-minute slot here: http://bit.ly/15minzsignup

Down to Earth Artist in Residency Program is generously supported by:

Prince Charitable Trust, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Nora Roberts Foundation, and individual donors of the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Capital Fringe.


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