Monira Residency, Chicago


Applications will open March 25 – April 26, midnight EST

Who We Are:

Since 2011, the Monira Foundation (formerly Mana Residencies) has awarded rent-free, non-living studio space to artists in Chicago, Jersey City, and Miami. Started by Karline Moeller and Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, this residency was through invitation only, but for the first time in 2023, we will be accepting artists through an open call. This residency is the gift of time, space, and community for artists.


Our mission is to provide a stimulating, rigorous, and contemplative environment where talented and committed artists benefit from a large studio workspace and the support of a vital creative surrounding community. Studio space is still critical to the practices of the overwhelming majority of artists but remains at a premium, especially in major Urban areas like Chicago; a residency at Monira facilitates production and helps strengthen professional and intellectual bonds among diverse individuals.

Program Overview and Facilities:

The selected artist/artists will have access to a private studio that is about 300 square feet for 12 months. The space has basic studio furniture, like a work table and chair, and easy access to sinks. It is adaptable to artists’ needs, with multiple electrical outlets and internet access. Residents are given a stipend each cycle for providing a public program and fully participating in the residency. The stipend amount for the 2024-25 cycle is $500 (with the possibility of more if new funding is granted).


In addition to much-needed physical space, residents will receive visits from artists, curators, critics, and collectors at specific points during their residency. Artists are also often invited to participate in shows and other opportunities that arise during the year.


Application and Selection Process:

In each application, we ask you to provide an artist statement (150 words), a statement that tells us why you are interested in the Monira Residencies Program (250 words), and to submit 5 images or videos of your work. It can be in any media, though note that our program best serves visual art practices. No composite images or files with multiple images exceeding the 5 requested will be accepted (the application will not be reviewed). You may share video links that are uploaded on a PDF page as part of your portfolio. (one link per submission) Each link will be viewed as part of the 5  and not additional. Only 5 works will be reviewed, and no more. Please note in the description which sections to view and remove and password restrictions. Videos, images,  and statements cannot have artist names or identification on them as we work hard to keep our applications blind. Image descriptions should include title, media, year, and relevant description.


We aim to keep this application equitable and heavily focused on the work submitted. Reviewers will not see applicant names during the process and will only have access to the artist statement, the program statement, and the portfolio. They will not spend more than 10-15 minutes on each application, so plan accordingly.


Each application will also ask for general information and a recent resume for internal use only. Artists are not selected based on their showing record, They are selected for their work and readiness to undertake a yearlong residency. Please ensure your Slideroom account is up to date when submitting, as we rely on their system to communicate during this process.


The Monira Foundation will convene a panel of arts professionals from Chicago to select the artist for the upcoming year. This panel will only be announced after each cycle (about 10 weeks after the open call ends) and will change yearly. We will likely send notifications in late June this cycle. For application questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Anne Muntges at


Jurors look for:

  • Artistic Excellence: compelling work with a distinct voice and vision.
  • Evidence of Commitment: A history of active engagement in creating artwork and presenting it publicly
  • Impact: Will this residency help artists further their practice and/or career?
  • Engagement: Will artists participating engage with the community at the Monira Foundation and the general public through studio visits and community programming?


The Monira Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fostering mutual respect for all individuals and groups’ diverse beliefs and values regardless of age, sex, race, or ability. The Monira Foundation will not discriminate among any of these grounds and encourages all established artists who would benefit from this program to apply.


There is a modest $15 fee for each application. 5 dollars goes to Slideroom, and the remaining 10 helps pay our reviewers/curators for the time spent reviewing and thoroughly considering each submission. It also supports the program so that it can continue year to year.  If you are unable to pay, contact Anne Muntges at


Community Give Back:

The Monira Foundation cosponsors two Open House events with Mana Contemporary annually and sponsors visits from curators, critics, and gallerists. Artists are expected to participate and engage. Additionally, artists will be asked to offer one public event during their residency. This can include a talk, a workshop, social media takeovers, or other engagements. At the end of each residency, each artist will be asked to donate a work to the Mana Permanent Collection. These works will be exhibited throughout the Mana Contemporary locations in Jersey City, Chicago, and Miami for exhibitions.


Special Notes:

The artist/artists who are accepted into the program must be prepared to actively use their studio space and not be enrolled in any other program during their residency. Residency periods are from September 2024 – August 2025. The residency occurs at 2233 S Throop St, (inside Mana Contemporary).



  • Does it cost money to apply? Yes, $15. This includes a $5 slide room fee and $10 that the Foundation puts directly into program-related costs. You may request a waiver if this is a hardship by emailing


  • Can collectives or collaborative groups apply? Yes. However, if accepted, the collaborative would share the resources offered by Monira Foundation, including the stipend.


  • Do you provide Housing? At this time, we do not.


  • Can I travel elsewhere during the residency? We do understand that life happens, but participating in this residency means being active in it We do not recommend any long trips or extended travel.


  • Do you have to be a US Citizen to apply? No. We accept all applicants who have a US Social Security Number and can fill out a W9 form for payment, including permanent residents, OPT holders, and Indigenous people born in Canada who can live and work in the United States, among others. At this time, Monira Foundation cannot accept residents who do not have a social security number and does not assist with the process of obtaining a visa.


  • What are the public program expectations and community connections? The Monira Foundation cosponsors 1-2 Open House events with Mana Contemporary annually and sponsored visits from curators, critics, and gallerists. Artists are expected to participate and engage as best as they are able for these things. Additionally, artists will be asked to offer one public event during their residency. This can include a talk, a workshop, social media takeovers, or other engagements. This is always the artist’s design and created around what they can do reasonably.


  • Do Monira Residents donate artwork? At the end of each residency, each artist will be asked to donate a work to the Monira Permanent Collection. These works will be stored safely and made available for exhibition throughout the Monira Foundation locations in Jersey City, Chicago, Miami, and beyond. Ysabel Pinyol Blasi, Executive Director, coordinates with artists for donated works.