The Arts Initiative invites University of Michigan graduates (current and previous academic year) of Masters-level creative disciplines to apply for the second cohort of the Creative Careers Residency. The Creative Careers Residency is a transitional program providing support for full-time, self-directed creative practice in architecture, art and design, performing arts, intermedia arts, or creative writing.

While pursuit of an advanced degree in a creative practice provides support, structure, and most importantly, the time necessary to develop and execute creative work, after graduation many practitioners lose these networks of support necessary to develop significant work, posing a significant barrier to the transition from degree to sustained work. The Creative Careers Residency seeks to reduce these barriers to creative practice post-graduation, by providing the time, structure, and funding support to transition from academia to post-graduate endeavors.

Goals of the Creative Careers Residency Program:

  • To provide transitional support for creative artists, parallel to the scaffolding typical of academic disciplines, to assist graduates in their transition from “graduate student” to “creative professional.”
  • To foster the continued artistic growth of recent graduates by allowing them to practice their artistic discipline full-time.
  • To set up U-M graduates of creative disciplines for success in a deep creative practice by providing the infrastructure of support necessary to do so.
  • Reduce barriers to artists without generational wealth to develop sustainable careers as artists.
  • To increase the presence of and interactions with artists-in-residence across campus.
  • To support early career creative practitioners as a bridge to the next tier of artist residencies

Benefits to the Residents:

  • Cohort of fellow creative residents, with regular check-ins, ideation and feedback sessions
  • Stipend of $40,000 for a 9.5 month residency period (June 15-March 30)
  • Health Care coverage
  • Supplementary allowance for supplies and travel
  • Support for an engagement with the public (i.e., talk, exhibition, performance)
  • Media support
  • A desk space can be available
  • Campus engagement (up to 5 hours per week on average): As Mentor for the Arts Initiative Creative Fellows interdisciplinary group of U-M students; through development of up to two workshop or equivalent for U-M students through one of our partner units


  • University of Michigan Winter 2022-Spring 2024 master’s level graduates (MFA, MDes, MM, MA, MArch, MS, MUD, MURP) of Art & Design, Architecture/ Urban Design/ Digital and Material Studies, MMs/ MAs/ MFAs in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing.
  • Creative Careers Residents must be available to be “in residence” throughout the duration of the program June 15 2024-March 30, 2025 (travel time should be pre-approved and not conflict with campus engagement obligations).
  • Contact with any questions about eligibility.

Application Timeline

Application opens: November 13, 2023
Deadline: Feb 5, 2024
Decisions: by March 1, 2024

How to Submit Via Slideroom

Prospective residents apply with a project proposal and work toward a public engagement that showcases creative work outlined in the proposal. Proposals should address how they align with the Arts Initiative’s mission “to illuminate and expand human connections, inspire collaborative creativity, and build a more just and equitable world through the arts.”

Proposals should address: 

  • How they align with the Arts Initiative’s mission “to illuminate and expand human connections, inspire collaborative creativity, and build a more just and equitable world through the arts” and; 
  • Include evidence of being able to work with students and stakeholders from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

Submit through Slideroom Application Portal

  • CV
  • Portfolio (up to 5 projects; projects can be related sets of images, media, or written work examples)
  • Proposal for the residency project (up to 2-page narrative, can include visuals or other supplemental media).
  • Unofficial transcript (proof of expected graduation date), and, if selected, an official transcript that indicates completion of the degree program.

*The residency does not provide housing or a studio workspace (a desk space is available).

Up to three residents will form a cohort, engaging with each other, the Arts Initiative and its partners, and the wider arts ecosystem of Southeast Michigan.

Selection Criteria:

Quality of creative work examples

Alignment to mission and feasibility of the project proposal

Evidence of ability to cross boundaries to mentor range of students

Meet the 2023 Creative Careers Residents.