Create Change Residency Guidelines and FAQ

You can also download the 6-Month Residency FAQ and Application Guidelines HERE

Overview and Guidelines

The Laundromat Project offers up to 3 artists projects a six-month residency program for artists of color interested in developing and mounting a socially-engaged, socially-relevant, and participatory public art project in their local laundromat and/or other community public spaces. The residency is open to artists of color living in or deeply invested in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood.* As our flagship program, the Residency runs from April to October and requires a significant time commitment. Residents should expect to spend as much time building relationships with their neighbors and local community organizations to realize their project as well as producing their projects, which will be sited at their local laundromat and/or community space.


*All Create Change Residency projects taking place in Hunts Point / Longwood should be community responsive and plan to engage directly with community residents at the Kelly Street Collaborative Space, our creative community hub in partnership with Workforce Housing Group, Kelly Street Garden, and Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association. For the past 2 years, The LP has transformed a 2 bedroom-apartment on Kelly Street into a thriving creative community hub, with artist studios, arts programming, and community partnerships. The Hunts Point / Longwood artist-in-residence will have access to studio space, located at The Kelly Street Collaborative Space, to work from and possibilities to engage the larger Kelly Street community with LP staff support.


As part of the program CC Artists-in-Residence receive:


  • A pre-season planning meeting


  • A one-day orientation


  • Professional development workshops, trainings, and discussions


  • Potluck dinners


  • “Doctor’s” hours professional individualized consultations


  • Check-in meetings with LP staff and consultants


  • An opportunity to host a open studio to LP staff and greater Create Change cohort


  • The LP’s Annual Public Art Potluck


  • Final Evaluation Session


  • Contribution to Blog posts and guest contributions on The LP’s blog Spin Cycle


Please click and consult calendar of events to review exact meetings dates and times.


Similar to the Fellowship program, the Create Change Residency is intended to move artists from a conventional public art model of simply placing static art objects in public spaces to one that emphasizes the ways art and artists can serve as catalysts for social action, problem-solving, and relationship building in their own communities.


Residents should expect to commit the time and attention to developing and presenting their Laundromat and/or Community space based project, participating in the Fellowship’s workshops, potluck dinners, and open studio dates. Residents should expect to spend at least 300 hours over 6 months working on their Laundromat/Community space based project.



Benefits to Artists


  • $7500 in honoraria and up to $2500 in production funds to produce and present a laundromat-based and/or other community space(s) public art project over 6-months.


  • Opportunity to develop and incubate a community-based project in your own neighborhood (Bed-Stuy, Harlem, or Hunts Point / Longwood).


  • Opportunity to pilot a new work that engages others in the development of the project.


  • Access to an incredible range of information designed to deepen and expand one’s socially-engaged creative practice.


  • Access to a rich network of local and national peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents.


  • Formation of a strong long-lasting peer network where one can share their creative vision, strategies for change, and ideas.


  • Access to a peer network of over 150 Create Change alumni living and working in New York’s five boroughs and nearby cities like Jersey City, Yonkers and Philadelphia.


  • As alumni, eligibility to receive grants from The Laundromat Project for future community-based projects.


  • Preference for ongoing professional opportunities, such as speaking engagements, press coverage, commissions.


  • The Create Change Hunts Point / Longwood artist-in-residence will have access to studio space, located at The Kelly Street Collaborative Space, to work from in collaboration with the larger Kelly Street community and LP staff.


 Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for creatives who:


  • Are already creating positive local impact with a demonstrated socially engaged artistic practice.


  • Want to develop their individual creative practices by incorporating tools for social engagement.


  • Want to build community among artists working to create impact with their creative practice.


  • Believe that listening first and doing second is the best strategy for developing community-based art projects.


  • Live and/or be deeply invested in one of our anchor neighborhoods: Bed-Stuy, Harlem, or Hunts Point / Longwood.



To participate in this program, artists should:


  • Self-identify as a person of color.


  • Have a demonstrated creative practice.


  • Already be making socially-engaged art.


  • Live and/or be deeply invested in one of The LP’s anchor neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem and Longwood / Hunts Point.


  • Have demonstrated their ability to connect their artistic practice to local community topics by having already completed at least one community-based projects.


  • Be at least 21 years of age.


  • Can commit the time and attention to developing and presenting their community-based project, participating in the Fellowship’s program workshops, site-visits, potluck dinners etc. Residents should expect to spend at least 300 hours over 6 months working on their laundromat-based project.


  • Not be currently enrolled in any degree-bearing program.


Selection Criteria


Strong Create Change Residents have:


  • Demonstrated record of artistic excellence in their work samples and resume.


  • Familiarity or interest in local issues impacting their neighborhoods.


  • Willingness to take risks and step out of comfort zones.


  • Interest/Ability to actively engage non-artists in all aspects of your creative process.


  • Problem-solving skills, resourcefulness, and flexibility.


  • Capacity for critical analysis.


  • Deep respect for their neighbors, and the ability to collaborate with a broad public.


  • Demonstrated ability to carry out a project of this scale.




Artistic Merit

  • Has the applicant demonstrated a command of the medium(s) presented in their work samples?


  • Does the applicant’s work samples illustrate technical strength? Is the applicant’s work conceptually strong?


Project Clarity & Feasibility

  • Is the project description and purpose clear?


  • Can this project be completed within 6 months? If not, has the applicant indicated how the project will continue after the residency is over?


  • Has the applicant identified the resources and support needed to realize their project? If they have listed resource and support needs that exceed $2500, do they offer an alternate strategy for acquiring these resources?


  • Based on the work samples and the applicant’s past experience, will they be able to realize the project that they have proposed for the residency?


Relevance to Neighborhood

  • Does this project respond to the specific needs of the applicant’s neighborhood?


  • Does the project incorporate the culture of the applicant’s neighborhood?


  • Has the applicant demonstrated a familiarity or interest in local issues impacting their neighborhood?


  • Is the project relevant and of benefit to the applicant’s neighborhood?


  • Does the applicant demonstrate a deep respect for their neighbors and the ability to collaborate with a broad public?


  • Will the applicant compellingly engage non-artists in all aspects of their creative process?



  • Has the applicant identified additional resources (e.g. partnerships with schools, faith-based organizations, neighborhood leaders, local business owners, councilmen, etc) that will allow them to complete this project with excellence?


  • Will the project continue after the residency term is complete?


  • Will the applicant work with any of the aforementioned community partners and their neighbors to insure that the project continues past their residency term.



Can I propose a project that is not located in a laundromat?


Yes. Your proposed project can take place in any space that is similar to a laundromat–libraries, parks, community centers, and any other space that is easily accessible to the public and operates as a hub in the proposed community qualify.


Do I have to get permission from the owner of the laundromat (and/or other community spaces) I have in mind before applying to Create Change?

Yes and no. While your exact laundromat location does not need to be confirmed by the application deadline, we do strongly encourage you to field interest of possible laundromat owners, and other community spaces (such as community gardens for example) in advance and confirm the partnership before submitting your application as we expect that each resident will begin their project at the start of the residency. 


What if I don’t live and/or am deeply invested in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, or Hunts Point / Longwood?

You should consider applying to the Create Change Fellowship instead since our residency projects take place exclusively in these three neighborhoods. Once you have completed our Create Change Fellowship, you would become eligible to apply for a commission opportunity to mount a community-based project in any of New York’s five boroughs.




The Create Change Residency was created to provide opportunities for artists and communities that are typically underserved by mainstream arts institutions. If you are concerned about whether your project or participation would meet the eligibility requirements or goals of the program, you may want to consider participating in the Create Change Fellowship program instead while keeping an eye out for future opportunities to join our teaching team for our community art workshop series, or getting involved with the organization in other ways.


What if I am a writer or performing artist? Do I have to be a “visual artist” to apply?

Artists working in any art form are eligible to apply, as long as your project can accomplish the goals of the residency and is feasible in the space and context of an active laundromat and/or other community space. Whether spoken word, film, sound, dance, or literature, there are many other mediums that can work besides visual art.




The answer to this question is variable and contingent on your project goals. Feel free to consult The LP’s program staff if you have further questions.




The LP won’t be able to shepherd the permit application process but will be able to support you by providing the necessary organizational materials needed to apply for your permit(s). Prior to submitting your application, please be in touch with Program staff about the permits you foresee needing to obtain. The LP will certainly support projects that both do and do not require permits.


Can I seek other funding to support this project?

Absolutely, though it is not a requirement.


If I am accepted as a resident, what happens to my project after the residency term is complete?

The LP encourages Create Change Residents to create a sustainable structure for their projects so that the work may continue after the residency term is complete, if appropriate. Strong participatory public art projects allow for the project’s neighboring community to maintain the work after the artist has mounted it if they would like. For example, one artist who was responding to the recent library cuts in her neighborhood built and maintained a book cart as part of her project. Once the residency term was complete, their laundromat adopted the book cart and took responsibility for its maintenance.


What if I don’t use a laundromat, but I still want to apply?


Yes you can still apply, you are not required to do your project there. However, your project should take place at a public space, community space or an informal gathering space such as community gardens, parks, sidewalks, small business, etc.


I’ve already participated in several artist residencies. What is unique about this program?

The Create Change Residency has been designed to help you deepen your public art practice while resourcing you to be a creative community leader in the place you call home. Overall, Create Change is an opportunity to develop a more visible, active presence in your own neighborhood while connecting with a cohort of like-minded artistic practitioners who have similar values.


What is a socially-relevant project—what are the range of issues other artists have worked on in the past?

Social relevance can be broadly defined. Perhaps the content or form of your project will be based solely on input from your neighbors…or it may be inspired by an issue that has surfaced in your neighborhood recently (e.g. stop and frisk; health and wellness issues; the need for more green spaces; the closing of an important senior center; etc.). It is also possible to create a socially relevant project that does not have any overt political content or call to civic action, but simply allows connections between neighbors in meaningful, lasting ways.


What are examples of past residency projects?


Past Create Change projects have included The People’s Laundromat Theater, a laundromat-based film festival; Good Trade a project that re-created the Native American custom of trade in an urban environment and allowing a mutual exchange between neighbors.; and The Department of Local Affairs, a social hub where community members engaged and shared stories collected as a Lonely Planet-style guidebook. Artists have worked in sculpture, drawing, mosaic arts, bookmaking, film, gardening, and music. To learn more about past projects and artists, please visit our Projects page.


Since I already have experience making socially engaged work, why do I need to participate in professional development workshops and potluck salons?


Even though Residents should have already completed at least one socially engaged project, past Residents have deeply appreciated the opportunity to fine-tune their community-based practice, knowledge, and skill base, particularly in communion with other like-minded and often helpful artists.


Some of the topics and themes covered in our workshops every year include: cultural organizing and community organizing, building local partnerships, deep listening skills, policy approaches for artists, sustaining one’s practice, and communication strategies. Our workshops are led by experts from the arts, community organizing, policy, and other related fields. We also believe in the tenets of popular education and draw from the immense and diverse knowledge of the Residents and Fellows themselves, whenever possible.


The potluck salons are similarly an opportunity to build one’s network over food and conversation. The LP’s rich network includes local and national peers, activists, arts professionals, curators, funders, and change agents and over 150 Create Change alumni living and working in New York’s five boroughs and nearby cities like Jersey City, Yonkers and Philadelphia. Upon completion of this program, all Residents receive a certificate and become eligible for exclusive alumni opportunities, such as LP grants and speaking engagements.


Can high school students, college, and graduate students apply?

Unfortunately, we are not able to support Create Change projects led by high school, college, graduate students or student groups at this time. Please consider volunteering with The Laundromat Project to support our core programs or day-to-day operations.


I am a working artist but have a ‘day job’ to earn a living. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. Create Change’s structured activities primarily take place on weekday evenings and weekends with the understanding that many artists have day-time employment. However, as you determine your capacity to commit to the full-span of a Create Change Residency, remember that you may be working in a new and deeply engaged manner that includes mounting a project at a laundromat, pulling your neighbors into your process, and meeting with other Create Change artists, so time will be a valuable tool and resource throughout the residency.


How much time should I plan to spend on my project?

Residents should expect to spend at least 300 hours on their project. Make sure you can give your neighbors, this program, and your project the time they deserve.


What kind of community interaction is The Laundromat Project hoping each project will have?

Whether you choose to partner with a civic group/community-based organization to shape your project, or you maximize the space of the laundromat to informally solicit the expertise, talents, and perspectives of your neighbors, the key is that this is a public art project. We expect that artists will meet with their neighbors and various community groups. They should expect access to training through our Fellowship program to assist them in the process. Be prepared to get out there and talk to people before, during, and after creating the piece. And be prepared to be have fun and to be transformed!




No, not at all. Since artists in this program will have more time to develop and present their projects, The LP realizes that they may want to work with multiple venues. This is not at all a requirement nor does it make an application stronger to do so.


If I apply to be the The 2018 Create Change Hunts Point / Longwood Artist-IN-Residence, will I have the same benefits as the residencies in the LP’s Other anchor Neighborhoods?


Yes, the 2018 Hunts Point/Longwood Artist-in-residence will receive the same benefits as the other artists-in-residence such as honoraria, production funds and professional development opportunities. In addition, the Hunts Point/Longwood artist-in-residence will have access to studio space at our The Kelly Street Collaborative Space.