CONNECT Curatorial Residency Call for Proposals

Deadline April 12th, 2022, 5 PM CST

Replies with decisions will be sent by April 29th, 2022.

CONNECT is a two-month residency supporting women, femme identifying, and nonbinary curators of color. The residency has a reciprocal approach, linking curators to Roots & Culture’s community of artists and audiences, and enriching and deepening the value of relations in the art world. CONNECT aims to increase curators’ visibility, expand their network of artists and arts professionals to work with, build their audience, and develop credentials, while limiting affordability barriers. Roots & Culture is committed to establishing equity through direct payments to curators and artists from historically excluded and oppressed communities.

In 2022, Roots & Culture is elated to provide lodging through our partner SIDE BY SIDE, a 500 square-foot one bedroom dwelling that serves as a part-time micro-residency for BIPOC artists, arts laborers, and culture leaders attached to the home of Artist (and R&C Board Member) Jen Delos Reyes at Garbage Hill Farm, an urban farm in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood.

Roots & Culture  provides a stipend of $5000. A portion of this funding should be used to pay artists participating in the exhibition — an amount of $200 per artist, up to 10 artists.

Beyond the stipend and artist fees, Roots & Culture offers a shipping budget of $500, budget for printing and signage, PR, and reception costs. We do not provide extra budget for travel or production costs. We acknowledge that we do not provide an enormous budget beyond stipends, though in the DIY spirit of Roots & Culture, we encourage curators to think creatively within the parameters of the gallery’s inventory of equipment and facility and labor resources. We can provide a list of specifications as well as a floor plan, via e-mail.

You should also check out past CONNECT exhibitions herehere, here, and here.


CONNECT is open to curators working locally as well as nationally.

CONNECT is exhibition-based. Applicants will submit a proposal for a single exhibition that they will be responsible for organizing at the gallery. The exhibition will open late July 2022, date TBD.

To apply:

Send all materials to

Submit a 300-word exhibition proposal, a current CV, 15 images, and/or up to 3 two minute video excerpts of works representative of the proposed show. Please send materials organized into folders, zip files, or via a third party download/ hosting site. Google Drive is a preferable option. We are waiving proposals fees in 2022.

The proposal should reflect a fully formed exhibition with artists and artworks which the curator has already established relationships with. After the acceptance date of the proposal, some modification of exhibition details will be allowed.

At this time, Roots & Culture will only accept proposals from individual curators.

Proposals submitted past the deadline may not be considered for the review.


The reciprocal component of the residency includes the expectation for the curator to visit the studios of 12 artists who have worked in Roots & Culture’s other programs. These studio visits are meant to connect our community of artists with the curator. There is no expectation for the curator to program these artists in their exhibition.

In addition to connecting the selected curator to Chicago’s up and coming artists, Roots & Culture will also help introduce the resident curator to the city’s network of arts professionals, including members of our Board of Director’s Programming Committee who are available for mentoring, offering feedback on the exhibition, and providing critical engagement.


SIDE by SIDE is a 500 square-foot one bedroom dwelling that serves as a part-time micro-residency for BIPOC artists, arts laborers, and culture leaders attached to the home of Artist Jen Delos Reyes at Garbage Hill Farm, an urban farm on a quiet street in a post-industrial corridor in McKinley Park in Chicago IL. The farm is committed to organic regenerative farming practices, closed loop production, and the elimination of single use plastics in distribution. They grow food for CSAA (Community Supported Art/Agriculture program) members, neighbors, community pantries, and make household cleaners and beauty products that can be refilled onsite. The farm’s CSAA and product sales is what helps provide the funding to support all operations. The farm is home to chickens, birds, rescue chihuahuas Mei-Mei and MoMo, and twin goats, Bucky and G.O.A.T.

SIDE by SIDE is an artist-led system of support that aims to be self-sufficient, not relying on tenuous arts funding, and instead creating a structure of interdependence between arts organizations inspired by mutual aid groups. The project models sustainability on a variety of levels including working on the scale of one’s life, humane workloads, just compensation, solar energy, and more long term plans that move toward personal space sovereignty.

SIDE by SIDE partners with values aligned, explicitly anti-racist organizations who offer paid opportunities and select the residents. Roots & Culture is proud to be the first partner organization and will be hosting our 2022 CONNECT summer resident at SIDE by SIDE.