an artists' stipend a materials budget 24/7 studio access 1,200 sq ft of studio space



What Is Session?

Session provides artists a 1200sf workspace in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and 6-8 weeks to develop a new inquiry-based project meant to push the boundaries of their practice. They will receive an artist fee, project expenses, technical support, and mentorship collectively valued at $20,000. Throughout the session, we will facilitate public interactions with the Recess community, as well as connections among intentional communities as identified by each artist. Our hope is that these engagements provide an opportunity for mutually beneficial exchanges that not only refine the artists’ thinking, but that challenge dominant social narratives and activate new forms of artmaking.

We see artists as more than just producers of cultural experiences during their time in Session. Rather, Session is an invitation to join and be immersed into the Recess community. In efforts to center care and accountability, a portion of the funds, as well as staff and peer support, are earmarked for the weeks leading up to and/or after the Session. Recess aims to provide flexible and personalized forms of care and resource allocation so that artists can show up with as much capacity as possible in their personal and professional lives.

Is Session a Good Fit For You?

  • Session is not a traditional residency program in which artists are provided “time away” to produce work. Structured engagement with staff, youth, peer supporters, and invited communities should benefit your project rather than burden it.
  • Session is not an exhibition opportunity to present fully realized art works to a general public. Artists should be able to identify key audience(s) that would help build upon and fulfill the project’s premise and purpose, as well as strategies to reach out to them.
  • We expect the physical manifestation of the project to change and grow throughout the Session. Artists should be able to describe how their project would look and feel at the start, and how its trajectory might evolve over the two months.
  • Recess partners with artists to build a more just and equitable creative community and society. Does your project demonstrate radical thinking towards imagining and shaping networks of resilience and safety?

Zoom Info Session

PAST | Thursday Feb 17, 2022 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Artist & Community Fellow Prerana Reddy and current Session artist Rowan Renee lead a virtual tour of the Session space followed by a short info presentation and Q&A.



Please read all application guidelines and FAQ (below) before submitting any materials for consideration. Recess will only consider complete proposals submitted in the correct format.

Project Description

You must fill out all of the required questions below when prompted in the Submittable platform. Limit your answers to each to 200 words or less:

  • What questions, concepts, and/or methodologies are you hoping to further explore through Session?
  • How does the proposed Session respond to a need for systems change and/or narrative shift?
  • What will be installed in the gallery at the outset, and how will it evolve over time?
  • What communities or demographics are you particularly hoping to reach, and why are they integral to your project? How will you invite them?
  • What modes of engagement and public programming do you imagine?
  • What is the desired length of your Session (Generally, Sessions are 6-8 weeks long. If you require a different length, please explain)

You must include the following items in the “File Upload” section:

  • Project Budget
  • Work Samples (total of 10 images, videos, and/or audio samples)
  • Image, Video and/or Audio List / Work Descriptions
  • Resume or CV

The application requires the following items saved as individual files named with your first initial, last name, and description. Ex: jsmith_expenses, jsmith_CV

1. Project Budget

Please use the project budget template to make an itemized list of possible expenditures. The budget template is available both as a PDF document and as an Excel file. The Excel File is fillable using Excel or Google Sheets, or you can use the PDF version simply as a guide. Additional expenses category rows can be added as needed. Note that your own Artist Fee is suggested to be $2000, and cannot be less than that amount. Project Expenses are recommended to be between $8000-$10,000. These need not be final numbers. Care circle fees–payments to your support network before, during, and after your project–are $5,000.  An additional $3000 of the total $20,000 budget will be held in reserve for contingencies, installation and documentation expenses. 

If selected, the budget will be discussed and potentially amended with Recess staff. Do not add an automatic contingency amount, as overages will be approved by staff as needed. The total of the artist fee and project expenses should not exceed $12,000, unless additional outside funding or in-kind support is explicitly listed in the budget notes. There is no expectation that outside funding needs to be raised for a successful Session project.

2. Work Samples

Documentation should show work created within the past two years and/or renderings of the proposed project. Renderings are strongly encouraged, but not required. Media files should be titled with your first initial, last name, and number (e.g. jsmith1.jpg, jsmith2.jpg). Video and audio submissions must be Mac compatible. Each clip will be viewed for no longer than 2 minutes. Please submit work samples according to one of the following options:

  • 10 .jpeg images (12 images if applying as a group), at 72 DPI resolution minimum, no dimension exceeding 1,000 pixels 
  • OR––up to 2 video or audio samples sent as links to online work (preferred) or as Quicktime files no larger than 3 MB (each clip will be viewed for no longer than 2 minutes) and up to 8 .jpeg images (10 images if applying as a group)

3. Work Descriptions/Image List/Video List

A numbered list of images, audio, or videos with title, year, size, and medium of work. Include a brief (2-3 sentences) description of work if necessary

4. Resume or CV

CVs should be no longer than 5 p



If you have any questions about project fit, application questions, or need technical or access support to complete your submission, please don’t hesitate to contact us at We will not be able to answer inquiries after 4 pm EST on Monday, March 28th, so we encourage you to submit your application early in order to have the opportunity to address technical issues. 


Q: How much are artists paid for participating?
A. Artists receive a minimum $2000 fee. This is in addition to the project expenses budget of $8-10k.

Q: When will Sessions take place?
A. Sessions will occur some time between September 2022 & August 2023.

Q. Are Sessions open to non-US citizens?
A. Yes. However, material stipends and honoraria will be reported to the IRS for tax purposes. Thus, we do ask that non-US citizens have either US residency status (with a valid Social Security number) or a valid work visa that runs through at least the end of the residency period.

Q. Should members applying as a group each provide a resume, artist statement, and examples of past work?
A. If your collective has a combined resume and bio, you may submit that.  If not, each person in your group should submit a resume and artist statement. Groups can send up to 10 images, divided amongst members as you see fit. If you have worked together in the past, please submit examples of past collaborations. If this is your first time working as a group, individual work is fine.

Q. Can I submit more than one application if the proposals are totally different?
A. Please select the idea you think is most in line with Recess’ mission. You can always reapply with new ideas next year, but please only one application each round.

Q. Can I build costs of travel and accommodation into my budget?
A. Artists receive a stipend that should be used towards purchasing the materials and hiring specialized support essential to realizing their proposed project. At this time, these funds cannot be used for accommodations. Your personal honorarium, however, can be spent however you see fit.

Q. How much should my budget propose?
A. You should propose a budget as close to your projected materials costs as possible. If granted a Session, artists will revise and finalize the budget with Recess staff. Generally, materials stipends range from $8,000-$10,000 with occasional exceptions on both ends of that spectrum. Note that we can’t cover living expenses.

Q. Can the project stipend include an artist fee for me or honorariums for other artists or performers?
A. The majority of the project stipend should go towards physical materials, but can also include performer, facilitator, speaker, or technical support fees that are essential to your proposal. Recess reserves the $2,000-minimum honorarium for the participating artist, so you needn’t use funds from your materials stipend to pay yourself.

Q. What do you mean by “modes of engagement and public programming?”
A. We never ask artists to propose participation for participation’s sake. Instead, we’re interested in creating an active space that changes and evolves over the course of a project. Given the varying limitations on in-person gathering caused by COVID, we welcome ideas for digital and hybrid forms of engagement, as well as more intimate or small group in-person interactions. Artwork and programs can engage audiences through visual, intellectual or auditory means, or more explicitly through direct participation. We ask that each proposal define public engagement in terms of the specific needs of the project.

Q. Will the gallery be open to the public during my Session?
A. Recess normally has open hours depending on city-wide restrictions related to the pandemic, Sessions projects may be open by appointment only. We encourage you to be thorough in your public engagement strategy, keeping in mind that many immunocompromised populations, for example, may be uncomfortable visiting in-person spaces for several months to come. As a result, please consider virtual, internet-based resources as you put together your project proposal.

Q. What kind of tools and AV equipment does Recess have?
A. We have a rudimentary wood shop equipped with basic saws, drills, and tools. AV equipment includes we have flatscreen monitors, a PA system, a microphone, audio recorders, projectors, and some lights. We have a 2011 Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera and a 2019 Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder , as well as a Lowel Tota-Light One-Light Kit. We are also members of Materials for the Arts, where all Session artists are welcome to visit to procure various materials.

Q. Do renderings of the proposal count towards my work samples quota?
A. Yes. It’s usually very helpful to include renderings of the project among your work samples, as it helps selection panelists understand the Session you’re proposing in the context of your existing body of work. The renderings don’t need to be technically polished–hand-drawn images are welcome!