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Rent-Free Studio Applications Now Open for 2023-2024 Season

In September of 2020, SPACE launched the Rent-Free Studio Program at 536 Congress Street. This program offers 12 months of free studio space to Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and/or other artists of color living in Maine. After 3 years, SPACE is proud to announce the opening of the fourth annual Rent-Free Studio program for the 2023-2024 year!

All studio artists have 24-hour access to their private studios, with wifi, updated electrical, access to single-stall bathrooms, and a small shared kitchen. In addition to the studio, awardees will have a listing on SPACE’s website with links to projects, and opportunities to participate in open studio events. SPACE’s studio building is non-smoking, and communal spaces are cleaned regularly. All studio tenants are given contact information for SPACE staff for any issues that arise regarding studio access, maintenance, or safety concerns. At this time, our studios are accessed via a staircase at the 536 Congress Street entrance and SPACE is working on a multi-year accessibility plan for our facilities.

Applications are open today through Oct 15th, 2023, and will be juried by previous year’s recipients. This 2023-2024 application cycle will award two (2) artist studios and four (4) residencies. The notification date for awardees is October 25th, 2023, with a projected move-in of November 1st, 2023. 

Past artists-in-residence are encouraged to reapply for a full-year studio opportunity. Those artists who have received rent-free studios in the past are not eligible to reapply. They have been offered an opportunity to keep their studio without being put on the waitlist for our active studio community.

We strongly encourage you to nominate someone who you think would be a good fit for SPACE’s Rent-Free program. To nominate an artist, email jocelyn@space538.org and share their contact information. 

The Rent-Free Studio Program would not be possible without our generous anonymous donors and the Moser Family Foundation. To our donors: Thank you!

If you are interested in contributing to the Rent-Free Studio Program, please contact either Executive Director Kelsey Halliday Johnson at director@space538.org or Managing Director Jocelyn Leighton at jocelyn@space538.org, or visit our website’s donation page at https://space538.org/support. Thank you! 

Window installations by Daisy Braun (left) and Ryan Adams (right), SPACE, 2020

SPACE Reader


🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️