Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Artist residency

About Our Residency Opportunities

At the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, we create transformative opportunities for our Artists-in-Residence to explore and realize their most important ideas by providing: access to a supportive and rigorous intellectual community, robust opportunities for studio and social practice, generous live/work space, an abundance of time, extensive technical assistance and financial support.

The Bemis Center currently supports artists with three residency programs: at our main campus in the Old Market, at Carver Bank in North Omaha and through opportunities to work with our community partners.

The Bemis Center was recently recognized as one of the "Top 10 residencies around the globe" by ArtInfo, and Jane Alexander, the former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has called the Bemis Center "one of the great treasures of its kind in the country."

Bemis Center Old Market Live-Work Studio Residencies

For more than 30 years, the Bemis Center has supported artists through its Old Market residency program at its 110,000-square-foot main campus located in downtown Omaha’s historic Old Market neighborhood. These residencies provide artists from around the world with long-term opportunities to focus on their practice and to engage in critical dialogue with the Bemis Center community. The Bemis Center provides Artists-in-Residence with community engagement opportunities, unmatched staff support, and regular access to artist assistants and interns.

Artists-in-Residence enjoy a generous live/work studio for up to three months, complete with a private kitchen and bathroom. The Old Market campus, offers 24-hour access to extensive installation spaces and production facilities, and can accommodate a broad range of artistic activity, including conceptual, material, performative and social practices. Residents also receive a $750 monthly stipend to help with materials, supplies, and living expenses while in residency.

The application cycle is now closed. For updates on upcoming application deadlines, sign up for our newsletter or check our web site for future announcements. To receive our newsletter, click here.

Bemis Center Carver Bank Studio Residencies

Opened in late March 2013, Carver Bank is a partnership between the Bemis Center, Rebuild Foundation and Theaster Gates, the Chicago-based artist, cultural planner and performer.

The Bemis Center supports Carver Bank residents by providing a critical boost to artists who have demonstrated a prior commitment to their professional careers. During the six-month residency, the Carver Bank Artist-in-Residence Program provides a dedicated studio space and a $500 monthly stipend, as well as an additional $250 monthly expense allowance that can be used to defray material and professional development expenses. The opportunity is specifically for artists who demonstrate a connection to Omaha’s Near North Side neighborhood, and is open to all types of artists or collaboratives—with an emphasis on artists of color, North Omaha residents, and those whose work critically engages issues of race and ethnicity.

Located on the site of Omaha’s first African-American owned bank, Carver Bank’s 2,600-square-foot facility is a space designated for public participation and cultural adventure, serving as a hub for the creative life of its neighborhood and community.

The Bemis Center provides Carver residents with mentoring and critique of their work during the residency. In addition, Carver residents will have access to technical fabrication support, artist assistants and interns, community partners for public programming, opportunities for exhibitions, presentations or performance, support for community outreach, and scheduled access to Bemis Center Old Market installation and production facilities.

The application cycle is now closed. For updates on upcoming application deadlines sign up for our newsletter or check our web site for future announcements. To receive our newsletter, click here.

Community Arts Residencies

The Bemis Center’s Community Arts residencies provide opportunities for local and national artists to engage the Omaha-Council Bluffs community through studio and social practices.

Through collaboration with artists, organizations, schools and businesses, Bemis Center Community Arts programs seek to raise public awareness of art and empower the local community to engage with a wide range of contemporary issues. Past projects created through the Community Arts residencies include public sculpture and murals, curricula development, urban interventions, and artist professional development.

Currently, our primary Community Arts residencies are operated in partnership with Heartland Family Service, the region’s largest social service provider. This innovative Community Arts Residency program offers a two-way engagement, emphasizing both exceptional arts experiences for individuals at Heartland Family Service and the impact of community involvement on artists’ professional practices.

Artists who are interested in community engagement and social practice are encouraged to apply for residencies through our Old Market or Carver Bank programs.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
12th and Leavenworth
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130
Fax:: 402.341.9791