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.

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.

COVID-19 forced us to re-evaluate the timing of the next Tough Art residency, and create the Tough Art @ Home for 2020. You can see these works below.

We are focused on restarting the Tough Art residency program in 2021, as 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 have asked all interested artists to reapply to express their interest when the residency returns. 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