Tough Art Residency Program

Created in 2007, the Tough Art artist residency is one of the Children’s Museum’s longest running and most rewarding programs.

The program connects artists from across the spectrum of all the arts to the resources and visitors at the Children’s Museum. Selected artists generate and implement interactive, immersive and/or collaborative projects and connect the art-making process to the larger museum context and the museum visitor. Artists are tasked to make a direct impact on the visitor experience by creating an entirely new piece to be displayed in the Museum. Throughout the residency, artists prototype and evaluate their process to achieve the desired outcome.

COVID-19 has forced us to re-evaluate the timing of the next Tough Art residency, as we plan for the Museum’s reopening.

Each year it is a pleasure to work with artists and see what they create. We believe the magic of the Tough Art residency comes from the on-the-floor prototyping, where children interact with the art.

So we are currently focused on restarting the Tough Art residency program in 2021, when we resume in-person activity at the Children’s Museum.

Thank you to all of the artists who have applied for the residency for your patience. Due to the length of the Museum’s closure, we will be asking all interested artists to reapply to express their interest when the residency returns, including applications that were kept on file from 2020. We will let you know when the Tough Artist application window reopens, and strongly encourage you to reapply at that time.

We take great pride in supporting artists by hosting residencies, staging exhibitions and commissioning site specific art works, and we look forward to the time when we can safely restart these programs.

We will continue to explore virtual residency projects as we cultivate the best ways to connect artists and their work to our audience.

Tough Art @ Home 2020

We had the first-ever virtual version of our Tough Art program in 2020. Five incredible artists created art-making activities inspired by their creative process for you to try at home.

Check out their projects here


Past Tough Artists

F.I.N.E. Art Residency

Fresh. Innovative. Nonstop. Expression.

The F.I.N.E. Artist Residency series invites artists to exhibit their work and lead programs that introduce new and exciting art and art-making techniques to Museum visitors, staff and educators.

The program is intended to support emerging artists in their development, as well as give opportunities for established artists to the share their techniques with a wider audience. To be considered for the F.I.N.E. Art Residency, please contact Lacey Murray at [email protected] to schedule an interview.


Past F.I.N.E. Artists

Michael David Battle & Ada Rajkovic
Emily Newman

Dalia Shevin
Zena Ruiz
Zany Umbrella Circus

Zach Dorn
Steffi Mayer-Staley
Tugboat Printshop
Attack Theatre
The Drift Crew

Stacy Innerst
Bob Ziller
Kathryn Carr
Jennifer Myers
Tsawa Monks of Gaden Jangtse Monastery
Sister I’Asia
Kate Pfeil & Mark Barlow

Wade Kramm
La Verne Kemp
Dick Esterle
Petra Falluaux
Laura Jean McLaughlin
Michael & Jade Corle
Sibel Deren Guler

Joana Ricou
Bovery Lee
Schmutz Company
Ron Donoughe
John Miyazawa
Amisha Gadani
Scott Andrew, Adam Atkinson, and Michael McParlane
Mayumi Matsuo


Amanda Long
Amy Johnson & JULIACKS
Cara Lynn Kleid
James Maszle