By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Cidade Maravilhosa is well-known for its cultural contributions in the form of music, dance, and even film; but the city also has a thriving arts scene, and there are residencies available in Rio for creative foreigners looking to have an experience of this wonderful city that goes far beyond the beaches and bars.
Inspired by the name of a city imagined in Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities,’ Despina is a 400m² building located in Rio’s historical ‘Centro’ district. While seven studios are permanently occupied by artists living and working in Rio, four are kept free for international artists participating in the Despina Residency Programme.
By inviting people from around the world to live and work in Rio for between one and three months, Despina aims to create an atmosphere of dynamic exchange between artists, as well as between the resident artists and the wider public. Because of this, residents are encouraged to hold public workshops and talks, with the studios being open to the public during events and exhibitions. Despina also puts on regular courses, performances, film screenings and other events, many of which are free.
In an interview with University of the Arts London, artist Sarah Crew reflected on her time spent in Rio, “The physical act of being in Rio, to be able to explore the landscape and the challenges in documenting this, lead me to seek a different way of exploring and discussing the delicate balance between the human, landscape, and animal…”
For more information, go to their website. Budding artists need to hurry as applications for this year’s round of residencies closes on May 28th.
Located on Rua Benjamin Constant, in Glória, Capacete is an almost twenty-year-old artistic space that offers up to fifteen artists’ residencies annually, with a focus on the research and practice in multi-disciplinary art as well as critical thought.
“This program is neither a school neither an art residence; it shall be an experimental program were all participants and contributors live an active space of horizontal discussions,” their mission statement proclaims.
Like Despina, Capacete is also dedicated to encouraging its resident artists to engage with the wider community in Rio and regularly holds seminars, talks and exhibitions, usually on a Wednesday. The programme is specifically aimed at artists who are at the beginning of their career.
There is a current open call for ten participants willing to take part in Capacete’s 2019 residency programme that runs from March until December 2019. Aspiring artists must once again hurry as the deadline for applications is on May 18th. For more information, go to their website, or their facebook page, which appears to be more up-to-date.
Located in what was once the Museum of Theatre in Botafogo, Casa Rio is a studio space and residency for artists and people who are working on broader cultural projects in Rio de Janeiro. It is owned by the state government and managed by the NGO ‘People’s Palace Projects do Brasil.’
The residency is open to artists as well as curators from around the world and can last anywhere from one week to three months. “Residencies are available to artists, producers and researchers developing creative projects, of any nature, and not necessarily linked to Rio de Janeiro. However, the applicant must state their reasons for choosing Rio de Janeiro for their project’s development,” their website states.
The space also holds regular events and workshops. Residencies are open all year round and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For more information go to their website.