The Core Program: critical studies residencies

The Core Program: critical studies residencies

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)

View of Rewrite the World at the Glassell School of Art, 2020–21. Shown: Cecilia Vicuña, Palabrarmas, 1980 (edited 2015). 16 mm film transferred to video (silent), 2 minutes. Photo: Will Michels. 

March 2, 2021
The Core Program: critical studies residencies

Application deadline: April 1, 2021
Core Program at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
5101 Montrose Street
Houston, TX 77006

Critical studies fellowships are offered to highly motivated, exceptional critical writers or curators who have completed their undergraduate or graduate training and are working to develop a sustainable practice. The Core Program offers a unique opportunity for these practitioners to engage with emerging artists in an intensive peer group. Core artists and critical studies fellows participate in a yearlong seminar, the content of which is driven by contemporary concerns, the interests and work of the fellows, and the Core lecture series and visitors. Critical studies fellows may apply for support for a curatorial project in their second year.

During the Core term, distinguished artists, critics, curators, and scholars are invited to meet individually with the residents, lead seminars, and deliver public lectures. Recent visitors include Charles Gaines, Krista Thompson, Martha Rosler, Kaja Silverman, Stan Douglas, Fred Moten, Emily Jacir, Rit Premnath, Lauren Berlant, Helen Molesworth, David Hartt, Gerard Byrne, Huey Copeland, Sharon Hayes, Hamza Walker, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, and Tania Bruguera.

The residency term is nine months, from September to May, and fellows may apply for a second term. Each spring the program mounts an exhibition of work produced by the artists during the residency, which is accompanied by a publication to which the critical studies residents contribute texts based on their original research. Residents receive a 20,000 USD stipend, 24-hour access to a private studio or office, and borrowing privileges at the Museum’s Hirsch Library and Rice University’s Fondren Library.

Limited administrative and financial support is available for successful international applicants seeking J-1 visas through the program’s partner organization, International Arts & Artists. No support is provided for obtaining other visas.

The 2020–21 term was conducted remotely with the safety of our fellows, visitors, and supporters a priority, but we hope to return to our usual residency model in the fall, in which case Core fellows will be expected to reside in Houston for the duration of the term

How to apply
Applications for the 2021–22 Core term are due April 1, 2021. For instructions and more information, visit

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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
March 2, 2021

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