About Artist Residencies & How To Apply

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 a residency of eight weeks during the months of June, July and 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 site to utilize.

2018 Artist-in-Residence Program


Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is not now accepting applications. The 2018 Artist-in-Residence will be selected in April.

Who May Apply

Professional American visual and performing artists, writers, composers, and other artists.

Goals For The 2018 Residency

This year, the park is looking for an artist who will create content that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as materials teachers can use before site visits, social media and/or promotional materials.

  1. Artists will be asked to use their work answer an essential question about the site. Examples of a question might include: When does a positive personality trait become a tragic flaw? In the face of adversity, what causes some individuals to prevail while others fail? How do our values and beliefs shape who we are as individuals and influence our behavior?
  2. Subject matter will entail using the park’s historic buildings to tell the Hoover story.
  3. Plans and leads at least one public workshop, demonstration, lecture, exploratory walk, performance, or other artist-led experience for park visitors.
  4. Provides one such public presentation in the artist’s home community about the artist’s work and experience during the residency.

How To Apply

Send a cover letter stating your preferred period of residence (eight weeks within the available time period) along with the following:

  1. A resume/CV and summary of creative work (exhibitions, collections and publications where your work has appeared).
  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 compact disk:
  • Visual artists provide six (6) JPEG files of at least 200 pixels per inch;
  • Videographers provide 2-3 short clips of video;
  • Writers submit ten (10) double-spaced, typewritten pages of a manuscript in a PDF file;
  • Composers or performing artists provide five (5) to seven (7) minutes of audio or video recording on a compact disc.

Applications must be emailed, post-marked or delivered in person to:

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

Or email your application to:

heho_information@nps.gov, Subject line: AIR Application

If you have any questions please contact Byrony Forbes at 319-643-2541 or heho_information@nps.gov


Selections will be made based on merit and how the artists' work can communicate the park's national significance and its relevance to park visitors.

Responsibilities & Duties

The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) will be enrolled in the Volunteer-in-Parks (VIP) program after reading and signing form OF-301A, Volunteer Services Agreement. The agreement will outline the artist's duties related to the goals of the residency. It may be terminated by either the AIR or the National Park Service at any time.

The artist works an average of 40 hours of work per week in the park or other approved locations. Days and hours of work will be worked out before the residency begins. The artist provides park staff notice each morning about his or her activities and likely whereabouts.

The artist 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.

Within three months after the residency, the AIR will complete and deliver the final products of the residency.

Within one year after the residency, the AIR will provide one public presentation in the artist's home community on the artist's experience and of the artwork produced as a result of the residency, along with some form of documentation to the park.

Lodging & Area Information

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

The house is furnished and air-conditioned. It has a telephone line for local calling. A washer and dryer are in the basement. The kitchen is fully equipped. 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 and an alarm system. If park staff needs to enter for maintenance work, they will 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 The Public

The artist is encouraged to interact with park visitors as they interpret the variety of cultural and natural resources of the park, including its historic structures, artifacts, cultural landscape, creek, and tallgrass prairie.

Identifiable portraits of persons are not permitted without their written permission. The park will provide the artist with a model release form to obtain permission.

The artist will present at least one 60-minute public program during their residencies. The programs may suit the artists medium, interest, and experience, but must be approved by the AIR coordinator.

Artists 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 AIR coordinator will work with the artist to find suitable places in the park to work and to store equipment and supplies.

The artist will be given a key and an alarm code only to his or her quarters. The AIR will not have access to the park's computer network.

The AIR may have access, with permission from the Chief Ranger, to public historic structures during park operating hours. He or she may work behind barriers if there is no apparent risk of damage to the structures and museum collection, and no safety hazard for visitors. Furnishings and museum objects may not be rearranged or touched without the permission of the Chief Ranger.

Access to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the administrative office of Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, a private not-for-profit organization, is excluded from this arrangement. The park or the artist may make additional arrangements with NARA as needed.

Last updated: March 30, 2018