STUDIOS AT MASS MoCA
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Assets for Artists?
Assets for Artists is a professional development program for artists, providing a residency program at MASS MoCA and other services aimed at helping artists sustain a lifetime of creative work. We have many years of experience providing financial and business tools for artists in all disciplines, including optional one-on-one coaching for artists-in-residence at MASS MoCA.
How is Assets for Artists affiliated with MASS MoCA?
Assets for Artists (which operates the Studios at MASS MoCA) is a program of MASS MoCA. The Assets for Artists program is also supported by other key partners including the Midas Collaborative and ArtBuilt, and funders such as the Barr Foundation, the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
What’s the deal with MASS MoCA?
MASS MoCA – the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – is one of the world's largest centers for making and showing the best art of our time. Located on a 16-acre campus in North Adams, MA, it encompasses a vast complex of 19th-century factory buildings and occupies nearly one-third of the city's downtown business district.
What’s the mission of the Studios at MASS MoCA?
This residency program is intended to embolden artists and foster the creative revitalization of North Adams.
How are artists-in-residence selected?
Selected applicants have all gone through two rounds of jurying, with juries consisting of MASS MoCA curators and residency managers, as well as esteemed artists (typically artists who have exhibited at MASS MoCA or participated previously in the Studios at MASS MoCA residency program).
How much does the residency program cost, and is there financial aid?
$650 per person per week is the maximum fee charged to attend the residency program. Our financial aid budget allows us to support the majority of participants with some level of financial aid; the amount of aid reflects a combination of financial need and the artistic merit of the application (as judged by our selection committees).
We do not currently have full fellowships except in very rare circumstances (when there is restricted funding for artists in particular locations), so almost all artists invited to attend a residency are expected to pay a fee to make it possible to offer the program.
When are residency fees due?
50% of the residency fee is due upon acceptance into the program (submitted with a signed residency contract) to secure your slot. This first payment is non-refundable. The balance of the residency fee is due upon arrival at MASS MoCA.
What happens if MASS MoCA cancels my residency?
In the highly unlikely event that the Studios at MASS MoCA has to cancel your residency, your residency fee payment will be refunded in full.
Coming and Going
What are my options for traveling to North Adams?
Travel guidance for car, bus and train is available here.
Visitors arriving by plane generally fly to Albany, NY (1-hour away) or Hartford, CT (nearly 2 hours away). Boston’s Logan Airport is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes away by car, and the New York City airports are 3 to 3 ½ hours away.
When should I arrive for my residency?
Check-in is between 3PM and 5PM at MASS MoCA’s box office. For check-out, we ask that you vacate housing by 11AM, and your studio by 3PM. (See your contract for the appointed day of check-in and check-out.) You must return your apartment and studio keys or you will be billed for the replacement cost.
If you are unable to arrive or depart during the designated hours, you must make special arrangements with Assets for Artists staff. Email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance, or contact Carolyn Clayton at 413-320-3556 for day-of communications.
About Your Residency
What is provided during my residency stay?
Residents will receive 24-hour access to private studio space on the MASS MoCA campus, plus lodging in newly renovated furnished apartments across the street from the museum, right in the downtown. Learn more about our facilities here.
Residents will also receive the benefits of “temporary membership” during their stay at MASS MoCA: access to the galleries during regular museum hours; invitations to member openings; member discounts on performing arts events; and member discounts at the museum store.
The residency fee will include one group lunch per day at the museum cafe.
What professional development services will be provided during my residency?
One-on-one business and financial coaching is available to each participant during their residency period. A4A Director Blair Benjamin will meet individually with interested participants. (Business and financial coaching is absolutely optional!)
How do I apply for the other programs available through Assets for Artists?
Our application dates, deadlines, and qualifications vary for our programs. Please note that our non-residency programs specifically serve artists living in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. You may visit our Workshops or Matched Savings pages to see what we’re currently offering and how to get involved.
About the StudiO Space AND HOUSING
For full details on our studio and housing spaces, visit our Facilities Page.
What materials does the residency provide?
We provide a minimally furnished studio (including a work table and chair) for each participant. Easels, additional worktable space, or alternative seating, can likely be provided, but you should consider bringing the essentials to meet the needs of your practice. If you have special pieces of furniture or equipment you would like to request, please let us know and we may be able to help out! Although we cannot guarantee special requests, we’ll do our best to help you find the proper equipment you’ll need for your time here.
All art materials and most equipment must be provided by the participant.
We have a roller etching press and a hydraulic flatbed press that may be used for a variety of printmaking techniques (but nothing using acid). We also have a 45-inch Herald floor loom and a 22-inch Harrisville floor loom (looms must be requested/reserved long in advance to be sure that one will be available during your residency).
What does the studio space look like?
For full details on our studio and housing spaces, visit our Facilities Page.
Life in North Adams
What is there to do in North Adams?
With such institutions as the Williams College Museum of Art, the Clark Art Institute, and, of course, MASS MoCA in close range, there’s no shortage of events. The Berkshires offer a plethora of outdoor activities available year-round.
And if you are coming in the summer, you can also take advantage of world-class music, theater, and dance at Tanglewood, Williamstown Theater Festival, Barrington Stage, Berkshire Theatre Group, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance.
Will I have cell phone service?
Yes! Probably. We have widespread coverage in our area by most carriers. However, we must warn you that T-Mobile has a notorious dead zone in North Adams. There is a Verizon store around the corner from your housing where you can purchase a temporary phone.
Where can I buy groceries and other necessities?
Right around the corner from the museum in walking distance is a small shopping center with a Big Y grocery, and Rite Aid/Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. Minutes down the road (by car) are a Stop & Shop supermarket and a local food co-op. For a full list of shopping, basic services, and other amenities click here!
Is there laundry in my apartment?
Yes. There is a washing machine and dryer in each apartment.
What is the weather like in the Berkshires?
Our weather can get hot and humid in the summer, and it is cold (and often snowy) in the winter. Spring and fall both fluctuate wildly. During the summer, both the studios and apartments will have air conditioning (but if you're here in the warmer months and you generally run hot, you might want to bring a small fan!). During the winter, the weather is hard to predict. Be prepared for some cold nights and t-shirt weather days. And although we heat all of our buildings and provide blankets and comforters, if you run cold, you won't regret bringing along some blankets/sweaters for extra warmth. By November, some winter weather will likely kick in. For late fall and winter residencies, pack a heavy coat, water-resistant outerwear, and some sturdy shoes (hiking boots are always advised considering some of our more popular outdoor attractions)!
Is parking available on campus?
Yes. All residents with cars will be able to park for free in a MASS MoCA-owned lot near the museum.
Can I have mail delivered to me during my residency?
Yes! All mail (including packages via UPS/FedEx) can be sent to:
Attn: Studios at MASS MoCA
1320 MASS MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
We ask that you not send packages long in advance of your arrival because we have limited space for safely storing packages.
Should I rent a car for my stay?
North Adams is easily navigable without a car. The studios and apartment are within a 5-minute walk of each other, and also just around the corner from downtown (with many restaurants) and a shopping plaza with pharmacies and a supermarket. If you want to explore nearby towns during your residency, having a rental car could be handy -- but otherwise it isn’t necessary, especially considering that nearby rental car options are limited).
Guest and Pet Policy
Do my temporary museum member privileges apply to guests?
You may welcome guests and visitors to your personal studio space at any time. However, if you receive any visitors during the residency, they have to pay for their own museum admission.
Can I bring my spouse/partner, child/children, or other guests to stay with me during my residency?
Unfortunately, our current housing arrangements do not accommodate additional guests for an extended stay due to space constraints. We often can accommodate a spouse/partner staying for a single night (such as when dropping off or picking up a resident) if you request that in advance so that we can get the pre-approval of other artists staying in that apartment. Please do not assume that you have permission for a guest to stay over. Our policy is to not allow guests except for logistical reasons when it has been pre-approved for a single night.
Some artists have chosen to rent affordable AirBnB apartments in the area for their family/guests. We are happy to provide suggestions.
If my arrival coincides with a welcome dinner, may I invite a spouse/partner who drove with me to attend the dinner?
Please let us know in advance if you would like to have a spouse/partner attend a welcome dinner with you. The cost for a guest is $35 per person, and we can often add your guest to the reservation if space allows.
Can I bring my pet with me to the residency?
No, pets are not allowed in the Studios and residency housing, with the exception of service animals with the appropriate paperwork.
Additional questions? Contact email@example.com.