Monira Residency in Chicago

Who We Are:

Since 2011, the Monira Foundation (formerly Mana Residencies) has awarded rent-free, non-living studio space to artists in Chicago, Jersey City, and Miami. Started by Karline Moeller and Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, this residency was through invitation only, but for the first time in 2023, we will be accepting artists through an open call. This residency is the gift of time, space, and community for artists.

Our mission is to provide a stimulating, rigorous, and contemplative environment where talented and committed artists benefit from a large studio workspace and the support of a vital creative surrounding community. Studio space is still critical to the practices of the overwhelming majority of artists but remains at a premium, especially in major Urban areas like Chicago; a residency at Monira facilitates production and helps strengthen professional and intellectual bonds among diverse individuals.

Program Overview and Facilities:

The selected artist/artists will have access to a private studio that is about 300 square feet for 12 months. The space has basic studio furniture, like a work table and chair, and easy access to sinks. It is adaptable to artists’ needs, with multiple electrical outlets and internet access. Residents are given a stipend each cycle for providing a public program and fully participating in the residency. The stipend amount for the 2024-25 cycle is $500 (with the possibility of more if new funding is granted).

In addition to much-needed physical space, residents will receive visits from artists, curators, critics, and collectors at specific points during their residency. Artists are also often invited to participate in shows and other opportunities that arise during the year.

Special Notes:

Artists accepted into the program must be prepared to actively use their studio space and not be enrolled in any other program during their residency. Studios will be assigned on a rolling basis throughout the year, and not all artists will start simultaneously. The program director will coordinate dates for each cycle. Given the nature of this program, we ask that artists consider their needs for a studio before applying so that they know they will thrive in the spaces offered. For the 2024-2025 cycle, studio spaces will begin opening from December 2024 to June 2025.

The residency is at 888 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ (inside the Mana Contemporary Building). The Path train has a drop-off location close by in Journal Square. There is also ample parking in the lot for those who drive.

Application and Selection Process:

Applications will open  May 6, 2024, and close June 28, 2024. In each application, we ask you to provide an artist statement (150 words),  tell us why you are interested in the Monira Residencies Program (250 words), and submit 5 images or videos of your work. It can be in any media, though our program best serves visual art practices. No composite images or files with multiple images exceeding the 5 requested will be accepted (the application will not be reviewed). You may share video links as part of your portfolio. Each link will be viewed as part of the 5  and not additional. Please note in the description which sections to view and remove and password restrictions. Videos, images,  and statements cannot have artist names or identifications, as we work hard to keep our applications blind. Image descriptions should include title, media, year, and relevant description.  We aim to keep this application equitable and heavily focused on the work submitted. Reviewers will not see applicants’ names during the process and will only have access to the artist statement, the program statement, and the portfolio. They will not spend more than 10-15 min with each application, so plan accordingly.

Each application will also ask for general information and a recent resume for internal use only. Please ensure your Slideroom account is up to date when submitting, as we rely on their system to communicate during this process.

The Monira Foundation will convene a panel of arts professionals from New Jersey and New York to select the 5 artists for the upcoming year. This panel will only be announced after each cycle (about 10 weeks after the open call ends) and will change yearly. We will likely send notifications in late September or early October this cycle. For application questions, please get in touch with Anne Muntges at

Jurors look for:

1. Artistic Excellence: compelling work with a distinct voice and vision.

2. Evidence of Commitment: A history of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it publicly

3. Impact: Will this residency help artists further their practice and/or career?

4. Engagement: The artist participating will engage with the Monira Foundation community and the general public through studio visits and community programming.

The Monira Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for all individuals and groups’ diverse beliefs and values regardless of age, sex, race, or ability. The Monira Foundation will not discriminate among these grounds and encourages all established artists who would benefit from this program to apply.

There is a modest $15 fee for each application. 5 dollars goes to Slideroom, and the remaining 10 helps pay our reviewers/curators for the time spent reviewing and thoroughly considering each submission. It also supports the program so that it can continue year to year. If you are unable to pay, contact Anne Muntges at

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