Creative in Residence

Creative in Residence at the Children’s Museum of Richmond

The Creative in Residence (CiR) program creates opportunities for children and families to observe and engage directly with creatives in an informal manner, while also providing the resident with open studio access and materials for the duration of the residency to develop a project that culminates in a final gesture, the format of which will be determined by materiality.

If you have questions about the program or application process, please reach out to Chloe Abbadessa at

Residency Overview

In 2019, the Children’s Museum of Richmond (CMoR) hosted its first Creative in Residence since 2000. We had to take a hiatus during the pandemic, but are excited to restart this impactful collaborative experience. This program creates opportunities for children and families to observe, learn about, and participate in creative workshops, structured activities, and open studio sessions led by an emerging or professional creative. The CiR program is open to all working in various media including, but not limited to, visual art, performance art, poetry/music, etc. This individual should be passionate about the role creativity plays in early childhood education and eager to engage the public with their skills.

Main Objectives

  • Introduce children and their caregivers to the endless possibilities of creativity and investigation through a Process over Product approach to making.
  • Introduce creative programming that supports STEAM and school-readiness goals for children and reinforces the museum’s mission of learning through play.
  • Increase accessibility to art for young children and inform caregivers how creative activities can be translated to a home environment.

CiR Expectations

  • Must be able to provide your own transportation to both museum locations:
    • Richmond: 2626 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
    • Chesterfield: 6629 Lake Harbour Dr., Midlothian, VA 23112
  • Schedule and complete a total of 40 hours of program time within regular museum hours (9:30-5:00 Tues-Sun), with each shift lasting a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Program components include a mix of open studio hours, facilitated workshops, and demonstrations at both museum locations.
  • Actively engage both children and adults during each program component.
  • Work with the Art Studio Coordinator to set up a balanced schedule that enables museum visitors to understand and participate in the medium as the project progresses to the final deliverable.
  • Once a schedule is set and promoted, show up on time and maintain the schedule; notifying the Coordinator in a timely fashion if alterations need to be made.
  • Maintain accurate time records.
  • Provide work to display for the duration of the residency period at both museum locations.
    • Participate in an opening for the final artwork to be revealed or performed at the end of the residency.
  • Participate in all relevant staff training and briefings.

Definitions of each program component outlined below:

Open Studio Hours – CiR will be creating one final installation, artifact, or performative work that will be documented and/or displayed depending on the nature of the piece. During open studio hours, the CiR will actively work on developing this final gesture in the studio while engaging children and caregivers.

Workshops – CiR will develop and lead open-ended activities that align with their work/medium. These workshops are interactive and museum guests can create something that can be taken home.

Demonstrations – CiR will plan and lead demonstrations of their process for public viewing, including any visual illustrations of processes that are not able to be demonstrated and signage.

CiR will receive:

  • Stipend of approx. $2,000 to be distributed in two sums during and upon completion of the 40-hour residency.
  • Materials stipend for supplies/equipment, to be agreed upon but not to exceed $1,000.
  • Open access to the museum art studios during regular museum hours (Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30am-5pm).
  • Opportunity to develop and implement a creative educational program around your personal practice.
  • Opportunity to showcase your work publicly and create in collaboration with the museum’s guests.

Selection Process

The Creative in Residence will be selected by a committee organized by the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Decisions will be based on proven experience working with children and caregivers, artistic merit, and relation to themes of community art, culture, identity, family, and play in the proposed project. The museum encourages creativity and innovation, however, work must not contain or require dangerous/toxic materials, heavy machinery, or materials otherwise not suitable for use by children. All applicants will be notified of a decision once the selection process has concluded. The Children’s Museum reserves the right to interview candidates and observe instruction before making a final decision.

Please Note: Due to the sensitivity and requirements of working with children, the selected applicant MUST clear a background/criminal check prior to their residency acceptance.


  • October 17th Google Form Application Opens
  • November 25thApplication Period Ends
  • Late November/Early December – Top 3 Applicants Identified, a 30-minute demonstration in the Richmond museum location by each applicant (scheduled for early December).
  • Mid-December – 2024 Creative in Residence Identified

Residency to occur between January – June 2024.

Past Creatives

Nastassja Swift – Fall 2019

Nastassja was the Children’s Museum’s first Creative-In-Residence in nearly two decades, providing art workshops and demonstrations for families at all of our museum locations. Her sculptures, Tickled Pink, were made using traditional wool felting techniques to create a permanent art feature in the museum that encourages laughter and joy.