St. Roch Community Church believes that creativity, expression, and self-reflection are integral to thriving communities, and that the arts embody a diverse and beautiful exchange between members of a community. Artistic practice deeply benefits from substantial time set aside for artists to explore, experiment, revise, and cultivate, as the fruit of this time is a generous offering. Members of St. Roch Community Church delight in extending time and welcome to artists who are dedicated to a career in the field and to community playing an essential role in the formation and extension of their practice.
Since the inception of St. Roch Community Church in 2007, the Artist in Residence Program has connected St. Roch church members and neighborhood residents to artists looking to community for support in shaping and solidifying their artistic work and career path. Though the residency is a mere nine months in duration, we strive for the impact upon the participating artist and surrounding community to be generative and exponential. Moving into the second fifteen years of the residency program, we hope to ensure that resident artists continue to build on, enjoy, and be galvanized by relationships forged during the residency program. The arts are a pathway to building more fair, just, and aware communities that honor diversity and the inherent beauty within.
St. Roch is a body of Christians looking to humbly steward the resources entrusted to us; artists applying for the residency are not required to identify as Christian. Previous residents have come from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds; some have first-hand experience with a Christian church, and some have not. We are truly interested in why a residency at our church might be interesting or compelling to you at this stage in your artistic career; please feel free to communicate openly and honestly about such. Welcoming and learning from a variety of perspectives in the life of this body is a core dynamic to hosting the residency program. Rather than offer a residency program where isolation, retreat, or short-term/project-oriented productivity is the goal, we envision a space in which the artist has ample time, connection, and opportunity to grow their entire practice and person while in residence.
Couched within the heart of New Orleans and the complexity of a gentrifying neighborhood, we provide a combined live/work studio apartment located on the same property as the church sanctuary, offices, and youth space. The property is a hive of activity, but also connected to open spaces like the adjacent St. Roch park and neutral ground. Resident artists are offered a modest monthly stipend for living and supply expenses for all nine months of the residency program. While there are no programmatic expectations or requirements placed upon artists in residence, all previous resident artists have brought a dynamic and engaged skill set to the St. Roch community and organically integrated into various programmatic initiatives. Neighbors to the church have opened their homes to welcome resident artists for meals, parties, and games; connections have been easy for our resident artists to make. Because several St. Roch Community Church members are practicing artists and educators in New Orleans, resident artists have been introduced to curators, gallerists, and arts professionals in the city and at large who have increased the visibility and scope of our residents’ practice through inclusion in exhibitions, panel discussions, and other opportunities. Our desire is to immerse the resident within our small but robust congregation and the neighborhood and city at large.