RFP ║ Alembic Residency #7

Request for Proposals
2019/20 Alembic Resident Artist Program
Deadline: April 29, 2019
Residency Period: June 17, 2019-March 31, 2020

Photo: Alembic project IN/BODY by RaShaunda Books

Alembic = apparatus used in alchemy or distilling. The word “alembic” is also used metaphorically for anything that refines or transmutes, as if by distillation (as in “the alembic of creative thought”). PWNW || LAD invites artists working in original and contemporary time-based performance, whose work engages a strong movement, body or dance-based component, to apply for year 7 of our Alembic Resident Artist Program. 

The Alembic Residency

Three Portland-area artists or artist groups will receive 100 hours of studio time to be used between June 17, 2019 and March 31, 2020. Additional time once the 100 hours is reached can be rented at $5/hr during the residency period.

There is funding for each artist to engage a mentor/dramaturg/outside eye of their choice to visit rehearsals, give feedback, engage in conversation, help the process along in any way the two (artist and mentor) dream up. This person will receive a minimum honorarium of $300. We will have a short-list of possible folks if you need help deciding.During the course of the residency, the artists will have the opportunity share the results of their studio time with each other, the panel, mentors, and invited friends. A weekend of work in any stage of completion will be presented in March 2020, with a minimum of fee $500 paid to each project. Depending on funding, there may be more!

Post Residency Perks: Each artist can continue to rehearse at PWNW for a discounted rate of $7/hour in the year following their residency. In addition, each artist is eligible to be considered for an evening-length-performance during the two years following their residency as part of PWNW’s Alembic Co-Production Series.

Our vision and goals for the residency:

With this opportunity, PWNW wants to make a significant difference in the lives of artists, creating conditions to make the acts of exploration and creation easier. Through the Alembic Residency, we support artistic investigations that are movement-based, but that may incorporate other disciplines and collaborations, with a focus on experimentation. In each application cycle, there are many artists who fulfill the criteria in their own individual ways. However, we can only choose three. Since one of our goals is to create the grounds for a lively confluence of diverse creative ideas, artistic and personal backgrounds, the selection of a fertile mix of artists and approaches is a part of the process.

We also wish to state that PWNW seeks to engage a more diverse and inclusive participant body and strives to recognize individuality and create equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, class, gender, ability, ethnicity, sexuality or age. The demographic survey that is part of the application is a tool we hope will help us evaluate our progress towards this goal.


  • Your work may involve other disciplines, but is rooted in movement and/or the body.
  • You should not be enrolled in an academic program.
  • Alembic Alums whose residency began prior to 2014 may apply again.
  • You need to realistically be able to take advantage of the 100 hours of rehearsal and have enough flexibility to meet with your fellow Alembic Artists for an introductory meeting/meal plus 2 session to share what you are working on with your cohort and invited guests.
  • You need to be in Portland most of the residency period, including March 2019, available to perform or otherwise share results of your residency to the broader community.



1- Send a quick email ASAP signaling your intention to apply.
2- Answer all the following sections of the Application Narrative, and assemble into a single document. You don’t need to separate the sections on separate pages.
3- Save it as a PDF.
4- Email your application by 11:59 pm April 29, 2019 to THIS LINK.
5- Fill out our online demographic form HERE, also by the same deadline April 29. This information, kept anonymous, is used to evaluate the reach and access of our programs and in reporting to our funders. Please note: This information will NOT be made available to the Alembic Panel as a part of your application. The Panel will be provided anonymous aggregated data of the full applicant pool.


1. Your name, pronouns, and contact info including email, mailing address, phone and website if any.

2. Bio (up to 400 words)

3. Artist Statement: You and your process (up to 500 words–Please also look at the Criteria for Selection below when writing)

  • How does your work align or intersect with PWNW’s mission to advance experimentation in contemporary performance? Why is PWNW the place for YOU at this time in your life?
    • You might include any interest in the questioning of artistic form or content, hybridity, open-endedness, exploration, how your process addresses the unknown.
  • What are your personal and artistic goals and what are your goals for the residency period? You will be sharing your work in some form near the end of the residency, but it does not have to be a finished product.
    • Include any motivations, intentions, or inspirations that are a critical part of your artistic process as a whole or for the proposed residency.
    • Describe any concepts, materials, subjects, processes, structures, or questions central to your work.
    • How do you envision working with a mentor/advisor/dramaturg, and/or do you have someone in mind you would like to work with?

4. Work Sample + Info

  • Sample: Prepare 1 or 2 samples of a continuous selection from a work (no short clips as in promo reels) of previous or in-progress work, 5-8 minutes total. Be aware that, due to the volume of applicants, we cannot guarantee that the panel will watch more than 2 minutes of your sample. So choose cue point(s) with that in mind.
  • YouTube or Vimeo links preferred–or possibly some other online platform. The work should as best as possible represent your current areas of investigation.

HINT- See how to link to a specific portion of your video:

YouTube: Super easy. Go to your video. Click the SHARE option below the video. In the popup window that opens click the box that says “Start at…” and fill in the time. Then copy and paste the link.

Vimeo:  Simply append #t=0m0s to the URL. Replace the 0 with your desired values (m=minutes \ s=seconds) and the link will scrub forward to the specified point. Example:https://vimeo.com/147258245#t=6m5s  starts 6 min and 5 sec into the clip.

  • Work sample Info:
  • Year of Premiere  + Year of Performance, if different
  • Title and URL (Vimeo or YouTube link) as stated above.
  • Credits, including your role in the production
  • Viewing points if needed – For example: “Please watch minutes 8-11 of this sample. Or use the above HINT to link to a specific starting point in a longer video.
  • Length of sample & length of complete piece, if an excerpt. Also where in the piece this was. For example: This excerpt begins 30 minutes into a 55 minute piece.
  • How does this video relate to anything you have written about in your Artist Statement?

5. Recommended panelists [optional]: Feel free to recommend a Portland artist, arts writer, curator from performance, visual or media arts.

Criteria for Selection: based on evidence from writing, work sample and knowledge by the panel of the artist’s work. 

  1. The artist’s work aligns with PWNW’s mission to advance experimentation in contemporary performance and media arts
  2. The artist demonstrates a keen investigative spirit and a self-aware intelligent questioning of her or his own process.
  3. The artist is specific about areas of exploration, concepts, starting points etc.—even if the form of a final product is not envisioned at this time.
  4. The time spent at PWNW has potential for significant impact on the growth and process of the artist.

In addition to the above Criteria, the panel will also consider the makeup of of the group as a whole, looking for a group that is heterogeneous in terms of qualities such as background, aesthetic approach, stage of artist’s career, etc.

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