NYC Artist Safe Haven Residency Program

New York City Artist Safe Haven Residency Program

In 2017, the historic Westbeth Artists Housing community in New York City’s West Village offered a block of apartments for artist safety hosting. A group of arts and advocacy organizations formed a coalition around these apartments, creating an innovative prototype for urban artist safety hosting that would become the New York City Artist Safe Haven Residency Program.  

Our growing coalition now includes Artistic Freedom Initiative, ArtistSafety.net, Residency UnlimitedPEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC)Fordham University, Tamizdat, and Westbeth Artists HousingThrough this coalition, an essential housing resource is coupled with legal aid, professional development, advocacy, community engagement, and other servicesThe residency program is designed to house, integrate and nurture artists at risk, with placements ranging from six months up to two years. 

By fall 2020, the program will have provided placements to eight at-risk artists in residence from Iran, Syria, Tunisia, Congo, Vietnam, India, and Nigeria. 

About Westbeth Artists Housing

Located in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village, Westbeth Artists Housing is a non-profit housing complex that has provided affordable live-work space to New York City’s artists since the late 1960s. Formerly the Bell Laboratories headquarters, Westbeth was redeveloped in 1968 by the J. M. Kaplan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts into one of the world’s  largest artist communities. In addition to 383 housing units, the complex includes a large gallery, theater, visual art, music, and dance studios, community room, and childcare center. 

About Westbeth Artists Housing

Located in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village, Westbeth Artists Housing is a non-profit housing complex that has provided affordable live-work space to New York City’s artists since the late 1960s. Formerly the Bell Laboratories headquarters, Westbeth was redeveloped in 1968 by the J. M. Kaplan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts into one of the world’s  largest artist communities. In addition to 383 housing units, the complex includes a large gallery, theater, visual art, music, and dance studios, community room, and childcare center. 

Artist Safety Hosting Guide

The Artist Safety Hosting Guide was co-written by Artistic Freedom Initiative and ArtistSafety.net. It was published in the fall of 2019 with support from our New York City Artist Safe Haven Residency Program coalition, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. The guide offers reflections on the history, ethics, and best practices of artist safety hosting in New York City and elsewhere, tracks the development of our coalition-led residency program, and includes a section dedicated to legal assistance for at-risk artists.