The application period for Tough Art 2023 is closed - look for the next Call for Artists in Winter 2024

residency goals

  • Produce artwork that is tough enough to withstand public interaction, especially that of children

  • Work collaboratively with Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh staff to create and develop an engaging work of art to be exhibited in the museum

  • Give artists a platform to display their work and reach a potentially new audience, which in turn, provides new avenues of art exploration for the museum

Meet the 2023 Tough Artists here.

See past Tough Art projects here.


The residency program invites artists to be in residence June through mid-September. During this time, they will work in the museum to develop and create new works to be exhibited in Fall/Winter of that year.

Artists may apply as individuals or as a team. Three artists/teams will be chosen to participate.

Each residency artist/team receives an honorarium and materials budget.

*Transportation to and from Pittsburgh, along with housing, is allotted for one out-of-town artist.


-$5,000 honorarium
-$3,500 materials budget
-Access to fabrication facilities
-Opening reception
-Professional photographs of final artwork

One Out-of-town Artists will also receive:
-Housing for duration of residency
-Up to $1,000 to fund transit to/from Pittsburgh at the beginning and end of residency




Artists with demonstrated capabilities in their medium will be considered for the residency. The program is intended to support emerging artists and give opportunities for established artists to the share their work with a wider audience.

Artists with demonstrated capabilities for creating interactive, immersive, sculptural or media-based projects are encouraged to apply.

Artists from any location (local, national, international) are eligible.

You must be 18 years or older to apply.

How to Apply

Each Tough Art Application should include:

Application Materials

  • Letter of Application (1 page limit)
  • Résumé/CV (2 page limit)
  • Short biography (150 words or less)

Artwork Portfolio (Please choose ONE of the following options):

  • A maximum of 10 images
  • Video, sound and/or animation; a maximum of five minutes of material will be reviewed
  • Combination of up to 5 images and up to 2 minutes of video, sound and/or animation

More Info & Questions

For additional information on the Tough Art residency, including information on benefits, expectations, and the application process, please see the PDF below.

If you have additional questions about the Tough Art residency, please direct them to [email protected].