About Artist Residencies & How To Apply

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A woman in a uniform shirt and hat photographing yellow flowers in the prairie.
Photographer Linda Staats at work in the prairie in 2008

Linda Staats

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site offers one four week residency during the months of June, July or August. The National Historic Site provides lodging and a secure place for equipment and supplies at no cost to the artist. During the residency, the artist interacts informally with the public, presents public interpretive programs, and contributes a piece or pieces of work for the park to use or display.

2020 Artist-in-Residence Program

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is now accepting applications. Applications must be postmarked or delivered in person by February 16, 2020.

Who May Apply

Professional American graphic artists and designers


February 16, 2020


No later than March 7, 2020

Goals For The 2020 Residency

The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) creates digital and print content (like posters, poster templates, illustrations, or infographics) that can be used in park media (such as websites, publications, or promotional materials). The AIR:

  1. Uses their work to answer the question, how do our values and beliefs shape who we are as individuals and influence our behavior?
  2. Uses the park’s historic features to tell the Hoover story through their art.
  3. Plans and leads at least one public workshop, demonstration, lecture, exploratory walk, performance, or other artist-led experience for park visitors.
  4. Presents in their home community about their experience and work during the residency.

The Artist-in-Residence Coordinator ("the coordinator") will select an artist based on how their work can best meet the goals of the residency.

How To Apply

Send a cover letter stating your preferred period of residence (four weeks during June, July, or August) along with the following:

  1. A resume
  2. A statement of no more than one (1) page explaining how your artwork will meet the residency’s goal
  3. Samples of recent works. All samples must be submitted via email or on a disk:
    • Graphic designers provide six (6) JPEG or PDF files with resolutions of at least 200 pixels per inch

E-mail us your application by February 16, 2020. Or, mail or deliver applications to:

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Artist-in-Residence Program
110 Parkside Drive
P.O. Box 607
West Branch, Iowa 52358

If you have any questions please contact Seth Goodspeed at 319-643-2541 or e-mail us.

Responsibilities & Duties

The AIR will enroll as a National Park Service volunteer. The volunteer agreement will outline the AIR’s duties related to the goals of the residency. Either the AIR or the coordinator may terminate the agreement at any time.

  1. The AIR works an average of 40 hours of work per week in the park or other approved locations. The coordinator and the AIR will determine the days and hours of work before the residency begins. The AIR notifies the coordinator or their designee each morning about their activities and likely whereabouts.
  2. The AIR is responsible for all supplies and materials needed for his or her artwork. Reimbursement may be available for some out of pocket expenses incurred during the residency.
  3. Within three months after the residency, the AIR will complete and deliver the final products of the residency.
  4. Within one year after the residency, the AIR will provide one public presentation in their home community based on the residency.

Lodging & Area Information

The artist lodges free in one of the historic homes at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Water, electricity, and gas are included. Free parking is available behind the houses. The house may not be accessible to persons with disabilities.

  • The house is furnished and air-conditioned. It has a basic television and wireless internet. A washer and dryer are included. The kitchen is fully furnished. The park will provide sheets, blankets, and towels. The AIR may want to bring an alarm clock, a fan, a light blanket and DVDs.
  • The house has exterior locks. If park staff needs to enter for maintenance work, they will attempt to contact you 24 hours ahead of time. In case of an emergency, park staff will contact you immediately before entering.
  • Churches, medical care, and groceries are available in West Branch (population 2,100). Iowa City (population 70,000) located 10 miles west, offers excellent medical care, cultural, and recreational activities.

Working With Visitors

The artist is encouraged to interact with park visitors as they work among the historic and natural features of the park.

  • Identifiable portraits or photographs of persons require their written permission. The coordinator will provide the artist with a model release form to obtain permission.
  • The AIR must render digital media accessible. Digitized visual art, photographs, and illustrations must have alternate text. Videos must be captioned and audio described.
  • The AIR will present at least one 60-minute public program during their residencies. The programs may suit the artist’s medium, interest, and experience, but the coordinator must first approve. AIRs must provide their own supplies and equipment for these presentations.

Studio Space, Storage, & Access

Aside from lodging, the park does not have a dedicated studio or storage space for artists. The coordinator will work with the artist to find suitable places in the park to work and to store equipment and supplies.

  • The AIR will get a key to their quarters only. The AIR will not have access to the park's computer network. The AIR must provide their own computer and software it necessary for their work.
  • The AIR may have access, with permission from the Chief Ranger, to public historic structures during park operating hours. They may work behind exhibit barriers if there are no safety hazards or risk of damage to artifacts. The AIR may not rearrange or touch furnishings and museum objects without the permission of the Chief Ranger.
  • The agreement excludes access to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The coordinator or the AIR may make additional arrangements with NARA as needed.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Last updated: January 17, 2020