Artist and Activist Residencies

For several weeks in Spring, Autumn and Winter, we will be collaborating with the grassroots groups Radical Renewable Art and Activism Fund (RRAAF), Hope Street Collective, and freelance artist Jude Williams, to make the cottages available for free as a place of retreat for local activists campaigning for environmental and social justice, and for artists, particularly those who use activism as part of their practice.

All three cottages will be available, providing space for seven people. Our intention is to provide a place of refreshment, inspiration and connection for artists and activists dealing with the high-stakes, and often intractable issues of the climate and nature crises, and systemic injustices.

Our vision is that activists and artivists can use a week at Upper Woodburn in whichever way suits them best – whether to connect with nature, find new energy in time spent walking, time alone, or time spent connecting with others. We will provide a small indoor meeting/studio space and a large undercover but outdoors space for people to gather but the time will be your own to create, walk or connect with others.

We are currently shaping what the retreats will look like with help from RRAAF, Hope Street Collective and individual artists and activists. We will have some themed weeks and some which are completely self-directed.

We won’t be able to pay a stipend for artists and activists but there will be no cost for the accommodation and we will have a travel fund for those who need help in travelling to Upper Woodburn.

The First Residency

Our first residency will take place 2-8 October 2022 and will be, in some ways, a pilot to find out what works and how we can take this onward.

The first residency will be curated by a group who have been dreaming together what these residencies could look like, and then, after the first, we hope the participants will help to set the theme of the next residency and help bring together the next set of participants forming a thread between the residencies as they evolve.

The format

The first residency will be very open-plan and free with the first two evenings set aside for talks from each participant about their own activism and/or creative practice. We will have another gathering together towards the end to draw together threads and to plan for the next residency, setting a direction or a theme.

The first evening of each residency will be a welcome meal for the participants in the residency and for the organising group.

The accommodation:

Across the three cottages there are seven bedrooms and so we will be accommodating seven participants. More information about each of the cottages are here. Each person will have access to a workspace: either a desk in their room, the dining table in their cottage, or in the garden studio. Two of the cottages are accessible by wheelchair and those with mobility issues, let us know if you have any other accessibility needs.

We envisage shared evening meals alternating between the cottages and will put the participants in touch to coordinate.

How to Apply:

We are seeking activists who use creativity as part of their activism and artists for whom activism is a key part of their practice. The first residency has no central theme and so are welcoming people operating in all areas: for example, social and racial justice, climate and environmental justice.

We aim to have a mix of activists and artists, those at the start of the career and those with experience, those who work on different issues, and those with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

We will prioritise those locally in Glasgow area and the central belt of Scotland, people who have less access to resource, and those who are active in campaigns/activism currently. Because we are running these residencies regularly we hope that those who are not successful first-time-round, but fit the criteria, can join us on a subsequent one.

Email Kat at if you have any questions. If you want to register your interest click the button below or email describing a bit about your activism/creative practice and what caught your eye about the opportunity.

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