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Plovdiv Municipal Artists-in-Residence Program 2022


ContextAiR Plovdiv

The residency program aims at creating new works, partnerships, interventions in public space, inspired by the city and its eclectic mix of ancient history, socialist heritage and modern reality.

The program offers a full scholarship, covering living expenses and production costs, as well as providing living and working spaces in a residential center located in the suburban area of Plovdiv.

The AiR program was initiated in 2021 by the Municipality of Plovdiv.

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▸ Providing an opportunity for artists from different parts of the world to get acquainted with Plovdiv, to do research and to create works in collaboration with local artists and cultural institutions;

▸ Supporting the professional development of artists;

▸ Promoting the development of the local cultural scene;

▸ Generating new events and elaborations related to diverse audiences and the participation of different communities


Program curator: Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva – art historian, critic and curator with 20 years of experience in private and public cultural institutions in Bulgaria.

Program coordinator: Vanya Grozdanova – art manager and curator active in the field of contemporary artistic practices from the local cultural scene.

Hosts of the residential center: Eva Petkova and Sarkis Nersesyan – a couple of sculptors from Plovdiv with extensive experience on the local art scene and participation in various international sculpture forums.



In 2022 the program is aimed at professionals working in one or a combination of the following areas:

Visual arts (including digital media)

Theater and performance

Architecture and sculpture

Music and dance

Applications in each of the listed categories, built over a focus on Social Innovation and Community Projects, also ones planned as Artistic Practice in Public Space, are eligible and encouraged.


The program provides conditions for a 6 weeks stay, depending on the specific preliminary proposal of each candidate. A detailed schedule is to be fixed after the completion of the final selection of participants.

Deadline for applications: March 20, 2022

Period open for residencies: May 20 – November 30, 2022

Working language: English and Bulgarian

Maximum number of resident artists in the same period: 3

During the implementation of the program will be observed the current regional anti-epidemic measures. The organizers, therefore, reserve the right to change the deadlines, cancel approved participations or offer alternative conditions for the residencies.


The application is done in 2 steps:

I. Filling in the online Application Form – available here

II. Sending attachments to the following email address: [email protected]

The subject of the email should be: “CONTEXT2022: Name of the Applicant

The email through which you are applying should contain the following files:

1. Signed Declaration of Consent* (sample) – download here

2. Professional biography

3. Portfolio

4. Preliminary Project Proposal - in free text

5. Visual material (images, video) - if applicable

* Completion and signing of this document declares agreement with the rules of the residency program and commitment of the approved artists to comply with them. The available sample of the declaration should be sent either signed with an electronic signature or as a scanned copy.

Application fee – no.


Selected applicants will be notified approximately 30 days after the application deadline. If you need an earlier notice, please indicate it in the email you are applying with.


All of the below-listed is free of charge for the residents and is provided by the organizers:

▸ Living space for the resident artists – separate rooms in a shared house;

▸ Shared studio (allowing work of at least 2 residents at the same time), with unlimited internet access;

▸ Practical guidelines for research or work;

▸ Mediation in securing a space for public events – opportunity for screenings, exhibitions, conferences/meetings/presentations;

▸ Media coverage of the events within the residency, and organizing individual or group artist presentations.


The residential center is a self-contained house with a yard, located in the suburban area of Plovdiv with excellent communication to the city center. The distance by public transport is about 30 minutes. The place offers suitable conditions for work and life during the artistic residency:

▸ Three separate bedrooms

▸ Atelier and shared workspaces

▸ Equipped kitchen

▸ Washing machine for shared use

▸ Bathroom and toilet for shared use

▸ Bed linen and towels are provided

▸ Bicycles

Residents are responsible for maintaining hygiene and normal living conditions in the residence center during their stay.


1. Expenses covered by the organizer:

▸▸   Remuneration in the amount of BGN 2,000, including all travel expenses, living expenses, artistic fee;

▸▸  For the realization of the creative concepts of each author – after approval – a budget of up to BGN 5,000 will be provided. The amount is final and includes all costs.

It is possible to have more than one visit to the city for research and work both from a distance and on site – based on the project proposal. The granted amount in this case remains the same.

The financing of the approved candidates is done after concluding a contract, in three installments: an advance payment of BGN 2,000; an intermediary payment upon the proposal of a detailed plan and budget for the realization of the work; and final payment of up to 10% of production costs after realization.

2. Expenses covered by the artists.

▸▸ The compulsory health insurance is at the expense of the artists-in-residence.

▸▸ We ask all applicants to get acquainted in advance with the regulations for entering the country – visa requirements, current anti-epidemic requirements, etc.  Selected applicants will be in charge of all related costs, along with the responsibility for providing the necessary documents.

▸▸ All other expenses – different from the above mentioned – which occur during the application process or during the residency stay are at the expense of the artist-in-residence.


Requirements for the Applicants

▸ The call is open to artists, preferably based in Europe, and artists who are Bulgarian citizens or work in Bulgaria regardless of the stage of their career development.

▸ The participation of groups is also allowed, but in terms of funding, it remains within the set limit, regardless of the number of members of the group.

▸ The program allows the participation of artists who prefer to take part in the residency in the presence of their children and/or partners*.

*For this purpose, the organizers will provide – without additional fees – accommodation in the residential center. All other costs related to their stay (including transport) are not reimbursable and are borne by the approved participants.

For the successful scheduling of the residency, the presence of children or partners must be noted in advance in the application email.

Requirements for Project Proposals

▸ Artists are committed to creating new works and their own concepts, as a result of the research done on spot in relation to typical for the city realities;

▸ Applicants are advised to develop in advance liaisons or confirm partnership with local organizations / artists / students from the local schools and art academies in relation to the implementation of their concepts.

▸ Proposed projects should be in accordance with the particularities of the various urban spaces, as well as with their history and modern functions, and meet the present-day requirements for sustainability, safety and conflict-free public environment and urban

▸ Interventions in public space are to be temporary (up to 3 months);

▸ The commitment for professional and correct video and photo documentation is each artist’s responsibility and should be included in their project’s production costs.The Municipality of Plovdiv will be the owner of the right for the usage of the recording, while the authorship right for all of the artworks produced within the residency belongs to their author artist.

▸ Each of the participants is required to participate in at least one public event within the residency program, in which to present themselves and their work.

▸ The implementation of all creative concepts should be in accordance with the Bulgarian legislation together with the regulations in force on the territory of the Municipality of Plovdiv. For the implementation of projects and ideas in public space required is the earliest possible preliminary preparation of any candidate – in terms of the conditions of the local legislation, as well as in terms of the possible spaces for execution.

Requirements for the Selection of Applicants

The artists approved for participation in the residency program will be selected by a committee based on:

▸▸ Preliminary proposal and concept, developed independently or in partnership with local artists and cultural organizations (although these partnerships are not a prerequisite);

▸▸ Potential for realization of the project within the residency;

▸▸ Previous experience of the candidate.

Preliminary project concepts should be developed at conceptual level, if possible with accompanying visual material, and should include relevant research and argumentation. During the residency, changes or further development of the preliminary concepts with which the participants were approved are allowed.

Each of the applicants for the residency program can apply with more than one preliminary proposal, and there is no limit to the number of preliminary projects*. The jury reserves the right to choose a specific project.

** When applying, please send all project proposals in one joint application. If this is not possible, please indicate in the individual emails the serial number and the total number of proposals you offer.

Design of the cover image: Studio PUNKT

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