Poland Retreat for Jewish Artists

We are pleased to announce that Asylum Arts and POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews are collaborating on a 4-day retreat from February 5-8, 2017 held in Warsaw, Poland. The Poland Retreat for Jewish Artists will bring together 25 emerging artists to learn from local and international industry professionals, working artists and from each other. The retreat aims to bring together an international group of multi-disciplinary Jewish artists to explore the unique history and culture of Poland, and create an artist community founded on reciprocity and inclusivity to build the Jewish cultural landscape. We also hope to inspire artists to explore Polish-Jewish topics and ideas in their creative work.

The retreat will be held at POLIN Museum of the Polish Jews and at other locations in Warsaw. All activities will take place on February 5-8. Every participating artist must commit to attending the entire retreat period, from Sunday to Wednesday, as it is essential to the goals of both communal and professional development. Travel stipends are available for artists coming from outside of Warsaw. 

The retreat will be held in English, and include community building, the opportunity to share and discuss each artists’ work with cultural professionals, visits to key cultural and Jewish venues in Warsaw, and an exploration of the resources of POLIN including the residency program. The retreat will also include peer learning, and opportunities to discuss common issues facing artists, particularly within the Jewish cultural context.

The retreat is fully subsidized, and travel subsidies will be awarded based on location that artists will be traveling from. We will provide housing, food, and local travel during the retreat.

Please apply here by October 24, view our FAQs for more information, and contact info@asylum-arts.org with any questions.



POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is one of the most modern cultural institutions in Poland. It offers a profound experience and promotes new standards of engaging with history. It recalls and preserves the memory of the history of Polish Jews; contributing to mutual understanding and respect among Poles and Jews, as well as European and global societies. The core exhibition, which is the heart of the POLIN Museum, is an interactive 1000 year history of Polish Jews.  It presents the history and culture of Polish Jews from the Middle Ages until contemporary times and takes visitors on a journey in time through contact with historic artifacts, reconstructions, and interactive multimedia.  POLIN Museum also offers temporary and mobile exhibitions, concerts, performances, debates, films as well as workshops for adults and children. 



What does emerging artist mean?
This particular program is best suited to artists in a certain phase of their careers, which we generally explain as falling within 25-45 years old. We recognize that artists of all ages need support and community, but we have a very specific focus for this program.  We understand that the phrase emerging and an age range is a very inexact way of understanding the variety of artist careers.

Do artists have to be Jewish?
We encourage artists to apply who are interested in exploring their personal or family Jewish identity and artistic perspective within a Polish context. We believe that the question, “Who is a Jewish artist?” is something to discuss, but is not something we can answer.

Who else is coming?
We are hoping to bring together a diverse group of artists from a variety of different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines who are interested in exploring their Jewish and artistic identities within the Polish context. We are particularly interested in bringing together artists from Central and Eastern Europe whose stories are less often highlighted in the global Jewish conversation.

What disciplines are you looking for?
We are open to artists of all disciplines including visual art, theater, performance, video, film, new media, dance, writing, music etc.

How cold will it be?
Okay, yes, it will probably be cold and windy, and we encourage you to bring winter gear. We will do our best to supply a lot of warm beverages.

Will I have time to explore my family history in Poland?
The retreat is a very condensed 4 days, and there will not be time for personal exploration of your specific family history during the time of the retreat.  We encourage everyone to extend their stay to pursue personal and professional interests in Poland.  There is a lot to explore.

Is site-seeing part of this retreat? 
We will be visiting different sites in Warsaw, both Jewish and cultural during the retreat, but we will not be providing a comprehensive tour of Jewish Warsaw or Poland. We encourage you to stay beyond the retreat if you want to do these activities. And we think that after the retreat, you will have a useful perspective for other site-seeing.

Can I bring my partner or child?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate partners and children during the days of the retreat and at our housing location.




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