The Cass Project launches new artist residency program with Penn Dixie Fossil Park

Since the beginning of our time, artists have utilized natural areas as places for inspiration and creation. Today, national parks around America offer artists opportunities to go explore and create new work based on their surroundings. The National Park Service currently offers over 50 established residency programs that provide artists with a unique opportunity to produce work, interact with the visitors and be exposed to a varied cultural setting, while learning more about the environment and science behind their surroundings. Starting this summer 2018, The Cass Project is excited to announce a new partnership with Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve to establish an artist residency program. Paid artist residency opportunities in Western New York are very limited, especially ones as unique as this partnership. When I first moved to Buffalo 3 years ago, I established and operated for two years a socially engaged artist residency program out of the house I rented on the West Side in Buffalo, called, Project Grant. Through this experience I gained valuable knowledge about different communities and neighborhoods, and formed partnerships with various organizations and businesses. This new partnership with Penn Dixie will be rooted with the same values and furthering to develop the social practice model of Project Grant.

Application Process: Artists are to apply (see attached) by May 21, 2018. This residency will initially be a commuter only residency, open to artists living within driving distance to the park. There will be no housing opportunities for the approved applicant. This residency will be open to any artist working in visual, dance, theater, performance, literature, or music disciplines. Collaborative teams may apply, but be aware the stipend is a flat rate and will not be increased if more participants are involved. Through a peer review process that includes staff from both organizations, a qualified applicant will be selected for one 4-week summer residency. The selection will be based upon artistic merit, submitted statements (artist and project), strength of proposed community orientated programs and final project, including overall appropriateness for site and resources.

Provisions to Selected Artist: Penn Dixie and The Cass Project will provide selected participant in 2018 with a $1000 stipend and access to educational facilities and staff associated with the park. The artist will be responsible to provide their own supplies and equipment for the production of art works, while some limited in-kind support can be provided for acquiring materials associated with the community-based programs. Resident Artists will be required to have their own transportation to and from the park.

Obligations of Artists:¬†Artists will be asked to present at least one public program during their one-month residency, and commit to participating in a free public event in October. The community engagement program can be a workshop and/or talk, an exploratory walk or performance that is presented on site at the park during open hours. This interaction can be tailored to an individual’s medium, interest, and experience for park visitors.

Upon completion of the residency, participating artists will be asked to donate one original piece of artwork from, and representative of, their residency in the park to Penn Dixie and The Cass Project.

Questions about the application or process can be directed to: Tina Dillman,