Headlands Center for the Arts

Chamberlain Award

Honoring visionary artist and former Headlands Program Director Ann Chamberlain, the Chamberlain Award is a fully sponsored artist residency and cash prize designed to support an artist who displays exceptional merit working in the discipline of social practice. This award supports artists whose creative work implements non-traditional media in order to contribute to conversations about society, while directly manifesting change for individual lives and communities.

Residencies of six to ten weeks include dedicated use of a private studio, chef-prepared meals, comfortable housing, and a cash award of $10,000. The Chamberlain Awardee will become part of the dynamic community of artists and thinkers who catalyze Headlands’ hub for critical conversation, reflection, and art practice. The award is made possible with generous support from the E. Ann Chamberlain Fund.

Award Period

  • Please note: Due to the uncertainties created by COVID-19 and its impact on our 2020 and 2021 residency seasons, we have decided to waive application fees, normally $35-$45. Additionally, as we continue to assess how best to serve our 2020 Artists in Residence, please know your application for a 2021 residency may be held for consideration for 2022 instead. If that proves necessary, you will be notified and will have the opportunity to update your application.
  • Application period for 2021 program is April 1 through June 26, 2020. Residency period is March–November 2021.

Application Fee

  • Early Bird (April 1–May 29): $15
  • Regular (May 29–June 26): $25

Program Goals

  • To support and invest in creative individuals at the cutting edge of their fields, whose work seeks to catalyze dialogue and change, that takes note of different histories, and promotes community engagement.
  • To provide artists working in social practice with the support and opportunity to take their work to the next level, and to explore and experiment
  • To bring artists and thinkers into a dynamic community of local, national, and international artists: a professional network of creative practitioners and thinkers
  • To encourage artists to explore their ideas and work within the context of the Marin Headlands, a part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • To bring an international community of artists to the Bay Area and create opportunities for engagement and cross-cultural exchange with local artists and audiences

Program Details

  • Fully sponsored 6- to 10-week residency
  • Paid roundtrip airfare
  • 100- to 2000-sq.-foot studio
  • Private bedroom in shared house
  • A maximum four week stay for families in the Family House (by request only and subject to availability)
  • Five chef-prepared meals per week
  • Access to vehicles on-site
  • Facilities access: Basic woodshop; audio/video equipment; artists’ library with computers, scanner, and printer
  • Wi-Fi in designated spaces
  • Up to 15 Artists in Residence living on-site
  • Up to 25 other local Headlands artists working in studios on-site
  • Participation in monthly “Show & Tell” nights
  • Participation in seasonal Open House
  • Access to Headlands Public Events
  • Field trips to Bay Area museums, galleries, and cultural venues
  • Become part of Headlands Alumni Network


  • Artists not currently enrolled in an academic program at the time requested residency would take place. Eligibility of artists enrolled in PhD programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Alumni of Headlands’ Artists Programs are eligible to apply for the Chamberlain Award, with the exception of previous recipients of Alumni New Works, Chamberlain, Chiaro, or Tournesol Awards.

Selection Criteria

  • Merit of past work that exemplifies and contributes to conversations about socially engaged, non-traditional, and interactive media to include:
    • Non-studio based art
    • Art that takes place in public spaces
    • Art that engages viewers in interactive and participatory modes
    • Art that recognizes social and ethnic diversity
    • Art that reflects on human lives
  • Readiness to engage with and benefit from the residency experience at Headlands (see program goals)
  • Potential to develop creative practice and impact the community at Headlands and beyond

Selection Process

  • Headlands’ staff reviews applications to ensure completion and eligibility
  • Submissions are reviewed by a jury of knowledgeable and esteemed artists and arts professionals
  • The jury evaluates each artist’s materials and selects finalists
  • Finalists are invited to present their work in a 20-minute phone or Skype interview to determine the final award selection

Application Materials

A full application includes the following:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Letter of interest, outlining your specific interest in working at Headlands and how program participation will affect your practice
  • List of three references and email addresses; please note, we do not want letters of reference
  • Documentation of recent work (see specifications below for guidelines according to discipline)

**Artist collaboratives should apply together by submitting ONE application per group, specifying the number of individuals on the application form. Headlands can accommodate no more than three total artists in a collaborative group.

Please select from the following list materials appropriate to your practice. The category headings are guidelines; please submit whatever type of materials best represent your work.

You have 12 media uploads (which can include one type, or a combination of jpegs, video, and audio samples). The other 3 available uploads are for submitting your Statement of Interest, curriculum vitae, and optional image index (PDF).

Audio Samples: You may submit up to 30 minutes of audio.

Video Samples: You may submit up to 30 minutes of video. Because of Slideroom’s limited capacity, video links can be listed on a PDF and uploaded in the media section—please remember to include any necessary passwords.