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Opening reception for A Necessary SHIFT. Foreground: Carolyn Sickles, Golden Ridge, 2013


SHIFT residency, formerly the Residency for Arts-Workers as Artists, was launched in August 2010 to provide an unprecedented opportunity: studio space and peer support for practicing artists who also work as arts professionals (administrators, curators, directors, and others). This program honors these individuals' longstanding commitment to supporting fellow artists-- one that necessitates sacrifice of time and flexibility-- with a unique environment to build on their own art practices. Seven residents are selected from nominations based on their outstanding contributions to the art community plus their potential for artistic growth in a shared interactive environment.

Halfway through its fourth year, the residency has accommodated twenty-eight artists working in a range of genres from video and sound to painting, installation, and social practice. In their roles as arts professionals, these artists contribute to the heart of institutions throughout New York City.

Although this is an evolving program, the basic structure is as follows:

  • The full cycle of residency takes place over the period of a year.
  • Beginning with a  three-week intensive in August, residents transform EFA’s 3,000 square foot gallery into an open, collective studio space with 24-hour access.
  • Residents participate in a series of activities including presentations, brainstorming sessions.
  • Monthly follow-up meetings are held to maintain a creative momentum after the intensive session is complete.
  • At the conclusion of the year, there is a final evaluative retreat followed by a public presentation, which   discusses each resident’s progress and strategies for future creative work.

This residency was conceived of by Michelle Levy, an artist, arts adminstrator, and the Director of the EFA Project Space program at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Levy, who has worked in the non-profit art field in New York City since 2000, was struck by how little infrastructure was in place to support the creative life of artists who work for organizations. This residency begins to address the issue.

Residents represent a number of organizations including Abrons Art Center, Artists Alliance Inc., Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, CUE Art Foundation, Elastic City, Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology, Flux Factory, FreeDimensional, Henry Street Settlement, International Center for Photography, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Metropolitan Opera, Museum of Arts & Design, Museum of the City of New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, NURTUREart, Residency Unlimited, Time Out New York, Triangle Art Association, Vera List Center for Art + Politics at The New School, and Wave Hill.

Participants of SHIFT residency include:

Tova Carlin, Sean Carroll, Paul Clay, Jonathan Durham, Francis Estrada, Chantel Foretich, Howard Halle, Elizabeth Hamby, Felicity Hogan, Gisela Insuaste, Sidd Joag, Jamie Kim, Theresa Marchetta, Naomi Miller, Karen Ostrom, Douglas Paulson, Hatuey Ramos-Fermin, Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria, Ellen Uzane Schneiderman, Roddy Schrock, Todd Shalom, Carolyn Sickles, Chad Stayrook, Rachel Vera Steinberg, Amber Hawk Swanson, David Terry, Sarah Walko, Beatrice Wolert.

Our current, 2014-2015 SHIFT residents:


Please visit the new website dedicated to SHIFT Residency www.shift-efanyc.org