Artist in Residence Positions Open Call!

The McElroy House: Organization for Cultural Resources is excited to partner with Sipp Culture and the Artists at Work program to bring on two local artists in residence for a year long community-based partnership!

These two artist in residence openings are paid positions through the Artists at Work program, a national workforce resilience program designed to support the rebuilding of healthy communities through artistic civic engagement. Conceived as a public/private partnership, this program will provide a living wage salary, plus full health benefits and professional development resources directly to participating artists. This program is designed to put artists to work as artists. Any qualified artist who is not currently working in their field is eligible to apply!

The Artist at Work program provides financial support to participating local cultural organizations and connects both to the work of local social impact initiatives in areas such as antiracism, justice reform, sustainability and equitable development, health, economy, homelessness and housing, child welfare, and immigration. It is designed to impact the whole ecosystem of a community.

If you have seen the mural in the downtown Dardanelle Post Office, you have seen some of the artwork that came out of the 1930s Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) artists work program. Artists At Work was an idea inspired by the WPA and founded by THE OFFICE performing arts + film with an initial pilot in Western Massachusetts in 2020. Following that success, AAW was recently awarded $3M by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand its program in other parts of the country, including the Mississippi Delta Region. More information can be found at 

The selected artists will participate in the following ways:

  • Engage with their own creative practice daily.
  • Work in partnership with the McElroy House and the Social Impact Initiative, devoting 12-15 hours per week over the course of the year.  
  • Submit a statement of intent for a project that will be developed over the course of the program.
  • Commit to a project or area of work as the focus on the 12 month residency in partnership with the McElroy House, creating new work that will be accessible to the community.
  • Work closely with the McElroy House to envision and execute community accessible art that helps build and sustain equitable community.
  • Sustain a commitment to exhibit and share this work and participate in events that are free and open to the public. 
  • Attend monthly Professional Development workshops and Artist Work Shares (via Zoom).
  • Be responsible for monthly progress surveys (via email) to be submitted to THE OFFICE performing arts + film.
  • Be employed by THE OFFICE performing arts + film for the 12-month term and receive a salary and benefits.
  • Keep a video, audio, or written journal and/or other documentation of the work created during participation and share this documentation bi-monthly, which could also include:
    • Virtual and/or in-person field trips
    • Discussion or presentation of works in progress
    • Remote and/or in-person studio visits
    • Collaborations with community organizations

Annual salary is based on the living wage for our region and is set at $25,614. Full employer covered insurance is also available for those who opt in. 

What we’re looking for in potential artists:

We are looking for two artists of any medium (can also include traditional craftspeople) who will work closely with the McElroy House to create engaging community-based art that brings people together across divisions to build and sustain community. Please note that the following list is a wish list and a point of entry. Even if you don’t fit all of these descriptions, please apply! We will be looking at the applications as a whole and are not interested in simple checklists.

  1. A direct connection to the Dardanelle, Yell or Pope County area. (required)
  2. Interest in, or willingness to, engage historical content and research as part of their artwork and artistic practice. 
  3. Interest in, or connection to, stewarding the land, agricultural and natural resources abundant in our area. 
  4. An intergenerational approach to their art—-something that connects across generations both past and future. 
  5. It is important that our artists be representative of our diverse community. At least one of our artists in residence needs to be fully fluent in Spanish as a first language or grew up in a bilingual home.
  6. A willingness to approach art as an avenue for trauma-informed community work.
  7. Excellent communication skills and timely communication. 
  8. We would love to work with an artist who can approach our space as a site for an interactive installation that involves our mutual aid resources, including the garden, the craft nights, and the food pantry. 

Professional requirements include: 

  1. Experience organizing and/or being an integral part of a large group project.
  2. Three professional references and/or character references which include people who can speak to your reliability and commitment to your life’s work and your community. 
  3. Established experience in preferred medium (no less than a year)
  4. Excellent communication skills either verbal or written or both 
  5. Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States as a salaried employee. 

To apply for this positions please send:

  1. At least three samples of your artwork. These do not need to be professional photos. Smart phone photos are fine. 
  2. Three letters of reference with willingness for a call back to those references. These can be character references rather than specific art references. Basically, we just need to know you’re dependable, willing to communicate about any concerns, and will fulfill jointly agreed upon obligations.
  3. A cover letter which answers the following questions (or use this google form):
    1. Why are you interested in this position?
    2. What led you to start making art? 
    3. What is your connection to the Dardanelle and/or Yell and Pope County region?
    4. Who are your mentors? This could be anyone from Frida Kahlo to your grandmother. We just want to know who inspires you to do your best work.
    5. What do you know about both the long arc and recent history of this area and/or what do you want to know? (We’re not looking for a historian. Just someone who cares about and/or wants to learn about how the past influences the present and how an understanding of this information can help us build a future!) 

Questions? Call 479-957-0551 or send an email to

About the McElroy House:

Watch this film about our work!

The McElroy House film, produced by Bruno Seraphin and McElroy House members

Located in the small town of Dardanelle, Arkansas, McElroy House is a grassroots organization working to bring people together across differences and find local solutions to local problems. Valuing its landscape and its cultural resources, McElroy House explores how the past informs the present, and how, by building bridges across generations and cultures, we can work toward a stronger and more inclusive future. We are both a place and an idea. McElroy House hosts weekly craft nights and bilingual gardening gatherings; tends to a grief and joy garden; runs a mutual aid food pantry, and holds story circles and living room conversations. The organization believes that community members are experts in their lived experience, and it works to carve out space where people can come together to build equitable, beloved community. 

Mission Statement: McElroy House is a beginning and a journey. A brave space to unravel racism, xenophobia, and bigotry. To weave together a just and kind small town community. McElroy House accomplishes this by coming together across differences and practicing our humanity, through gardening, crafting, and granny skills. The organization is women-led, lending a nurturing aura to its intergenerational rootwork. McElroy House’s humble quest is to plant seeds of self love, self acceptance and healing for all.

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