About the Program

Shandaken: Governors Island is a residency by Shandaken Projects and the Trust for Governors Island. In the course of this program, five residents at a time receive free studio space on Governors Island for one year each, and develop public programming to present to the island’s hundreds of thousands of visitors toward the end of their term. This collaboration invites residents to pursue individual goals in the studio while also responding to the island and its myriad conditions. Shandaken: Governors Island is open to cultural practitioners working in any discipline—including the visual arts, writing, dance, and more—who currently live in New York City.

Located in the heart of New York Harbor between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront, Governors Island is an unparalleled place for cultural practitioners to work. An eight-minute ferry ride away from Downtown Manhattan, the island boasts 172 acres of public parkland, historic architecture, and wide-open views. It holds a uniquely important place in the history of New York, and is currently home to a robust cultural program.

Although the main focus of Shandaken: Governors Island is residents' studio practice, participants will also be invited to explore, study, and learn about the island. These on-site experiences will result in resident-led events related to their work on the island to take place May through September. Free and open to the public, the composition and scale of these presentations are open, and may include ephemeral formats such as tours, performances, and non-traditional lectures. Please see our public program archive for examples.

Shandaken: Governors Island is ideally suited for cultural practitioners who have completed their formal eduction. "Cultural practitioner" could describe a visual artist, creative writer, dancer, academic, performance artist, or any other individual who contributes to the cultural landscape of New York City—however ideal candidates will have practices that can fit seamlessly into the unusually office-like studio environment we provide.

Studios are available October through September of the following year. Partial allotments are not available. This program is open to cultural practitioners of all career levels, however applicants should be prepared to demonstrate that their current studio practice primarily takes place on weekdays during typical business hours.