Residency For Artists On Hiatus is an amazing initiative by Shinobu Akimoto and Matthew Evans. Over the years they have given stipends to artists for months-long periods – to stop making art.

In response to the current slow-down (and paradoxical speed-up) that the current health crisis has engendered, the folks at RFAOH have launched an emergency #weareallonhiatus project on Instagram.

Here is their pitch, with info on how you can take part:

“It is surely a tough time all over the world as many of us face a forced hiatus (or worse) but we, the members of RFAOH community, have known the benefits of non-production and taking a break, and are fortunate to have “creativity” which we believe is the true antibody for survival. RFAOH invites people worldwide to join our online community, by sharing what you are doing when not making art, or not being able to do what you want to do. How are you being creative during this down time? What are your hiatus endeavours? Or maybe you are making art!?!

To participate:

Post an image(s) and/or a story of your hiatus (in any language) on Instagram with the hashtag #weareallonhiatus, and that’ll automatically be archived on the #weareallonhiatus page. Follow the hashtag #weareallonhiatus, so that you’ll see others participating. We would like it if you let us know where you are.

Please note:

  1. Unfortunately there’s no “stipend” for your participation this time. (;
  2. Instagram says: “We may remove posts in a hashtag page if people are using the hashtag to post content that goes against our Community Guidelines.”
  3. Copyright the image/post if you want; we have no guarantee that someone like Mr. R Prince or a future resident artist-on-hiatus may steal it because your post is so dumb good.

RFAOH has always questioned what we could do from a position of powerlessness, to circumvent gates and obstacles in the artworld. But now, we are facing something much bigger and harder. While we are so thankful to see a number of support initiatives happening for artists, we also wanted to share our usual RFAOH spirit.  Our ex-resident Milena Kosec once suggested that RFAOH should accept ALL the residency candidates on hiatus — Well, here’s our first open and organic “residency” where you get to know and connect with more artists (or non-artists) on hiatus worldwide.

And ultimately, let’s use this platform to be empathetic and supportive of each of us at this challenging time. We sincerely hope that those who are NOT on hiatus, working non-stop at great personal risk are staying safe; they deserve our utmost respect and indebtedness. As well, while we try to build the “creative immunity” against hardships together, we hope this emergency project will see the end VERY soon.

Stay safe everyone, and for now, see you at our #weareallonhiatus residency!”

You can read more about their mission and work here: http://residencyforartistsonhiatus.org

Author: Victoria Stanton

Montreal-based performance artist, writer, and educator Victoria Stanton explores live action, human interaction, video, film, photography, and drawing.

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