Open Call

Call for Applications: June 2020 Desert Fellowship

Blue Sky Center

With Funding
Free / No Costs
New Cuyama, United States


Ideal Desert Fellow candidates are self-directed, community-centered artists with interest or experience working in rural places. You work across or between mediums, using creative practice to reflect, respond, imagine, critique, subvert - or something else entirely. You engage with history, grapple with the present, or address the future. You enter new communities with sensitivity and create work that builds upon values of equity and inclusion. Fellowship Objectives: To invite exchange and collaboration between Desert Fellow, Cuyama Valley residents, and Blue Sky Center. To further arts enrichment and access within the Cuyama Valley. To highlight rural places as culturally vibrant places for artists to live and work. To expand the field of socially engaged arts to include rural places. To creatively build the capacity of Blue Sky Center as an organization and community resource.

Number of Participants

While Blue Sky Center recommends Desert Fellows come alone, we do have accommodations for partners and/or families available. Feel free to reach out to our staff at if you have any questions!


Selection Results (Announcement Dates)


June 01, 2020 - June 30, 2020


  • $400.00 travel budget
  • $1,750.00 stipend (one-time)


Co-Working, Desk Space, Gallery, Individual Studio, Library, Stage, Wood Shop


Live/Work, Private Room, Shared Bathroom


Dinner, Snacks

Public Programs

Community Engagement , Courses, Discussion, Mural Projects, Open Studios, Schools, Teaching Exchange, Visiting Professionals, Workshops, Yoga


Animation, Blacksmith, Book Arts, Dance, Dance Groups, Documentary, Dreamers, Glass, Immersive Experiences, Interdiscplinary Arts, Jewelry, Land Art, Makers, Metalsmith, Music, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Poetry, Printmaking, Public Art, Puppeteers, Social Practice, Sound Art, Textile, Theatre, Thinkers, Video Art, Visual Arts, Web Development


English, Spanish

Program Description

Over the course of three to four weeks, Blue Sky Center’s 2020 Desert Fellow will share a body of work and/or artistic practice that thoughtfully engages local residents. This work will be site-responsive, with an on-site proposal process guided by Blue Sky Center staff and community champions. The Fellow’s experiences listening and learning from Cuyama Valley communities is the primary focus of this residency. Priority will be given to artists with Spanish language proficiency and working class experience. Concurrently, the Fellow will work alongside Blue Sky Center staff to further the Blue Sky mission and build organizational capacity. These projects will be decided in conversation with Blue Sky staff prior to the Fellow’s arrival and will take up to 7 hours/week (one BSC work day). Specific areas of community interest include welding, agriculture, dance, performance, and body-centered practices.

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