Artist-In-Residence Program

A hand holds a tray of colorful paints in front of a redwood tree.

NPS / A. Gran

The National Park Service, California State Parks and Redwood Parks Conservancy coordinates and delivers the parks' Artist-in-Residence program. The program provides an opportunity for eligible artists to spend up two to four weeks at Redwood National and State Parks to pursue their particular art form while surrounded by the awe-inspiring landscape of the parks. The program provides access to work on projects in one of the most inspirational places on Earth.

Writers, sculptors, photographers, painters, dancers, cinematographers, musicians, composers, and other visual and performing artists may apply for this opportunity to draw upon the multifaceted qualities of the park for inspiration. All of these artists translate the national park's purpose--as a place of pleasure and preservation--into creations that bring others enjoyment and deeper understanding.

During the residency, the artist will be given ample time and opportunities to find inspiration throughout the park. There will be also be opporunities to interact with park staff and the public. As part of the program, the artist will be expected to provide at least one public presentation. This is to help the next generation of artists see the parks through new perspectives.


Program Information

  • The Artists-In-Residence program at Redwood National and State Parks offers both established and emerging writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the opportunity to participate.
  • All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • International artists may apply, but the park is not able to facilitate visas at this time. 
  • Artists must pass a federal background check to access some NPS facilities.
  • Artists must apply as an individual, not on behalf of a group. 

A committee of park partners and community arts leaders will review application materials and select the artist.
  • The selection criteria include:

    • Degree of integrity, artistic maturity, and professionalism

    • Quality of work

    • Appropriateness to the residency as illustrated by the particular art form and its connection to the park resources. Art should address the park's primary themes of:

      • The ancient redwood forest evokes a near-universal experience that provokes the human spirit, but challenges human description.

      • As icons of and inspiration for the modern conservation movement, the coastal redwood forest represents a living example of our changing (and sometimes competing) cultural and social values over time.

      • These rare forests, watersheds, and marine environments are home to an interrelated biotic community of plants and animals and provide increasingly important refuges for a number of rare and endangered species. The restoration of these ecosystems offers hope for the future of these irreplaceable species and the human capacity for inspiration, stewardship, and sustainability.

      • The journeys of Tolowa, Yurok, Chilula, and Hupa peoples, who continue to inhabit these rich and diverse lands, reveal cultural clashes of sometimes horrific proportion and stories of human resilience that provide enduring lessons about human rights, resourcefulness, interdependence, and respect for life.

      • One of the most geologically active areas in the world, the dynamic landscapes of Redwood National and State Parks are shaped by powerful earth movements, dramatic water events, and a changing climate. These same forces continue to shape the entire Earth, and instill in us an awareness of the interconnectedness, overwhelming power, and resilience of nature.

      • Redwood National and State Parks is a place of hope and restoration. Amplifying traditional voices, restoring forests, and the reintroduction of the California condor are some of the pieces needed to restore the puzzle of the north-coast redwoods.

    • Artist’s personal statement of desire to participate in the residency, viewing the stay as a serious opportunity for enrichment and personal development as an artist

  • The Artist In Residence program requires the selected artist to donate an original piece of art, representative of the artist's style and reflecting the artist's residency, within six months of the artist's stay. This donation will be directly to Redwood Parks Conservancy for their use in fund-raising. Work is not being accessioned into the NPS museum collection at Redwood.
  • Selected artist(s) will also be required to present a public program during their residency.
  • Artists must provide their own supplies and transportation during their residency. Limited indoor space for storage or work may be available.
  • Artists must abide by all rules and regulations of the park. This includes prohibitions against collecting items in the park (with a few exceptions), not installing anything in the park, and not attaching to or climbing trees. 

Selected artists will be provided a stipend of up to $5,000 to facilitate their logistical needs. Half of the amount will be awarded upon arrival at Redwood National and State Park. The second half will be awarded upon receipt of the donated artwork to Redwood Parks Conservancy.


Frequently Asked Questions

We want you to be as successful as possible and are willing to negotiate your length of time here, but generally the residencies last 2-4 weeks.

Generally, Park housing is provided to artists.  The unit is typically a private bedroom within a shared house of other park staff.  While in park housing, guests or additional family members are not permitted to stay in the park provided housing.  

Yes - in certain areas only - but not on trails, in housing, or in offices. Pets are required to be on leash at all times and you must pick up after your pet. Generally, it would be challenging to bring a pet as part of the Artist in Residence Program. 

The presentation is to be conducted during the residency and park staff will help you coordinate the details. It may be in the park, at a local school, or a campground.

Redwood will work with selected artists as much as possible to give them their ideal residency dates, but generally the residendencies take place in spring and fall.

Whatever your preferred medium is! 

Artists will donate one piece of work from their time as AIR to the Redwood Parks Conservancy. The format for the donated piece will vary depending on the medium and will be agreed upon before the Residency begins. The piece may be donated up to 6 months after the completion of the residency.
Any additional pieces of art belong solely to the artist, however the park would love to have a record of pieces created as part of the residency. 

There is some interior space in the park to store and safeguard materials. The area is an storage space adjoining an NPS office.  The space has no climate control and cannot house volatile supplies. 

Your time here will largely be on your own schedule. We will help coordinate a few logistics such as the public program, but day to day you will set your own schedule.

You will need to provide your own transportation to the park and around the park. While a vehicle is strongly recommended, there may be alternatives including biking and public transportation.

Last updated: March 20, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1111 Second Street
Crescent City, CA 95531


707 464-6101

Contact Us