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The Howard Hughes Corporation, (HHC), in collaboration with the Howard County Arts Council will present the 2021 Merriweather District Artist-in-Residence (MD AIR) program in Downtown Columbia, MD, and is seeking applicants. Up to four artists or teams will be selected from submitted entries and provided with a stipend of $10,000 each to spend six weeks, during July 5 - August 31, 2021, creating a work of art in a medium of their choosing:

  • Contemporary Art x Technology Artist (3 Artists): The MD AIR program will select up to three artists who specifically produce work that integrates art, innovation, and technology. The highest priority will be given to artists who work within this medium.
  • Music x Technology Artist (1 Artist): MD AIR expanded the program in 2020 to include a new and 4th residency position.The music and technology residency for specifically for an artist who has a direct focus in music creation, production, and performance. The artist selected for this position will have studio space with the three artists. The music residency position was inspired by the rich musical history that has happened on the stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion. The residency is supported by the Soulful Symphony.

The MD AIR program is an integral part of the creation of an urban core in Downtown Columbia. HHC, as the master developer for this new Downtown, understands the role that creativity, innovation and the arts play in defining the personality of a community. The projects that will be selected for the 2021 MD AIR program should relate to the advancement of HHC’s goals for this new urban center. More specifically, the projects should:

  • Define and advance the identity of the Merriweather District as a Center of Culture and Commerce;
  • Build meaningful engagement between the artists and the community;
  • Expand public understanding of the importance of vision, creativity and innovation in evoking a sense of place and community, culture and commerce; and
  • Build a community of artists involved in the evolution of and connected to the Merriweather District.


MD AIR is open to local, national and international artists working in all media including, but not limited to, performance, video, 2-D and 3-D visual arts, dance, music, and the spoken word; priority consideration will be given to artists exploring light, music, technology and/or interactivity in their work.

  • Applications will be due by 11:59 p.m. on February 22, 2021.
  • Collaboration: Applicants must apply and be accepted individually; however, the artist may choose to work with a partner; the team will be counted as one artist for purposes of the stipend, housing, and other benefits.
  • Artists will be required to spend at least four weeks in the provided studio space.
  • Must be age 21 or over.
  • Other requirements are more fully explained below.

The selected artists (Artist) will be required to spend at least four (4) weeks in the studio space to be provided by HHC (Studio). Artist will be able to gain access to Studio from Monday, June 28th to set up their space prior to beginning their project on July 5th. Artist will have to vacate the studio and living accommodations by August 31, 2021.  Artists are required to participate in the public exhibition during August 19-23rd. Please note: dates are subject to change and will be announced with prior notice. 

HHC will designate a residence for the use of Artist during the period of time from July 5 - August 31, 2021. One private furnished apartment and parking space will be available for each Artist for their use during this period of time. If Artist is working with a team, HHC cannot guarantee that it can provide additional residential space to accommodate team members. Additional information about the residence will be provided to the selected Artist.

Portfolio Requirements

  • For Visual Art: Please submit digital images for up to 5 examples of work you have done within the last 3 years. Each image must be a separate JPG file not to exceed 72 DPI each and sized no larger than 1200 pixels on the longest dimension. Label each image file using LastName_FirstName_ 01” format.  Please include an image list with corresponding file names as a separate jpeg with a brief description of each submitted artwork including title of artwork, date, medium, and dimensions. If the artwork is kinetic or interactive, images may be accompanied by a video file (see below).
  • For Performing Art and Audio Files: Please submit up to 5  mov, wmv, avi, or mp4  files, each file should not exceed 80 MB, or provide links to YouTube or Vimeo of work you have done within the last  3 years. For uploaded files, label each video file using LastName_FirstName_ 01” format. Include a list of videos for uploaded and linked files with corresponding files names as a separate jpeg with a brief description of each submitted work, including all pertinent information (Title, length, materials used, interactive or kinetic elements, presentation details, participants if it is a collaborative work, etc.) 
  • Proposed Project: Please provide a brief description about the project you would like to work on during the Residency, including your goals for this residency period, and why this residency would be important to you. If applicable please include any concept drawings, sketches, etc.

Project Timeline

February 22, 2021: Proposals due

April 1, 2021: Artists notified

June 1, 2021: Contracts due

July 5, 2021: Residency Begins

August 31, 2021: Residency Ends

By submitting, you acknowledge that you have read the full Call For Entry, which can be found here.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is available here.

Only complete applications and properly formatted attachments will be forwarded to the selection panel for consideration. HHC reserves the right to refuse incomplete or improperly formatted applications. Handwritten statements will not be accepted. Please review the Call For Entry and FAQs for a full description of MD AIR before submitting an application. 

If you have questions regarding the MD AIR Program, the Call For Entry, and/or FAQ, contact Kellyn Mahan, at Kellyn@12BeesCreative.com 

If you have trouble submitting your application online, contact Elli Hernandez, HCAC Gallery & Programs Coordinator at exhibits@hocoarts.org.

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