To encounter the world with residencies and to stay for a limited duration in a creative surrounding, away from the distractions of everyday life became more and more important for artists of all fields as well as for cultural institutions within the last century.
Along with it goes the meeting of cultures to foster an intercultural dialogue. At the moment we are living through an osmosis of cultures facilitated by travel, technology and the interconnectedness of our contemporary economies and cultures.
As pioneer of the idea of offering an artist residency, realising a multi-disciplinary programme as an experiment with no precedent, the MacDowell Colony, USA, founded in 1907 can be named. Till today this idea, may it be a retreat deep in the forest or studios in ex-factories, manifested and was carried forward rapidly. At the same time an Artist Residency is also a magnificent platform for representing own culture and heritage offering exchange on individual, but also on national, European and international level. The network Res Artis, based

in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, names over 400 registered Artist Residencies worldwide. Michelle Aldredge, artist and cultural promoter located in New Hampshire, USA, speaks of more than 800 residencies in about 40 countries all over the globe on her homepage Gwarlingo.
According to my research I would state the number is even higher and rising rapidly, as e.g. rather universal projects and programmes like those of the ECOC-cities, the European Capital of Culture titled towns (two every year), establishing Artist Residencies aside, or collaborations of media, arts, and science universities and institutions set up for taking place only once like F-A-S-T, Dresden, Germany.
On the other hand there are so many houses offering this kind of ‘retreat with artists’ working space that are not (yet) institutionalised, but run and also financed privately, at least partly. I already have been lucky enough to discover breath taking places and heart-warming people, working restlessly and ambitiously to create a very special place for inspiration and commutation.

We find a wide range of Artist Residencies enfolding, from heavily subsidised and high reputation institutions, in need of renowned representatives of the arts and culture of their own country abroad and giving their fellows a monthly royalty and project money, to NGO’s ensuring their survival through fees from their guests/participants, or privately founded endeavours apart from grant-aides or art funding institutions.

Hence, this blog is not supposed to provide a universal overview of all existing programmes, stipends and mansions, nor deadlines, application guidelines or costs, but to give a personal insight in Artist Residencies, the people behind the curtain and what makes the locations or aims so special for me. Evidently I can only write about places I’ve been to and people I got in touch with.

This project is based on personal interest and not on any financial intentions.
Prospectively the number of articles will expand bit by bit and will broaden the mapping of the great variety of residencies. …And hopefully this is interesting content for you!

And why titled ‘culture vulture’?!?
Well, do you consider yourself as willing and able to travel to venues and showcases of special cultural events, like film-, music-, dance-, theatre- or photo festivals? Do you like to meet people from random places of this world and enjoy exchanging with them? And do you love to discover hidden locations, treasures of nature, healing surroundings and inspiring atmospheres? So… you might be one yourself!

June 2014 in Wrołcaw, Poland – getting prepared for the European Capital of Culture 2016; promo tram and street art sculpture installation ‘Transition’ by Jerzy Kalina in the city centre.

Info: Together with Wrocław, San Sebastián in the Basque Country, north of Spain, will be ECOC 2016. Detailed information on the plans and programme for Donostia-San Sebastián 2016 can be found on their website and on Facebook.

ECOC cities 2014 are: Umeå, Sweden and Riga, Latvia
ECOC cities 2015 are: Mons, Belgium and Plzen, Czech Republic