Patio / Photo: Todd Gray

Artist-in-Residence Grants

In 1995, Villa Aurora became an artist residence and, once again, a place for international cultural encounters. As such, the house stands as a memorial to all the artists and intellectuals who found refuge from Nazi persecution and had tremendous impact on the cultural life of the United States’ West Coast.

Since 1995, more than 400 artists have revitalized this historic place and have in turn been inspired by U.S. culture and nature, the exiles’ traces, and the fellow artists who lived and worked at Villa Aurora with them.

Many of our alumni have since secured a permanent place in the German and international artistic and literary sphere.

General information

  • Every year, Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. awards up to twelve fellowships to visual artists, composers, authors, film makers and performance artists. Grant recipients reside at Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades for three months.
  • During the fellowship, artists work on a specific project.
  • Two artists may apply for a joint fellowship to work on a project together.
  • Fellowships are awarded for a calendar quarter.
  • We are not able to accommodate family members.
  • Overnight visits are limited to two weeks. Villa Aurora charges $10 per guest and night.
  • Villa Aurora staff provide assistance with the implementation of projects and corresponding research, as well as networking opportunities with individuals and partner institutions.
  • During their stay, Villa Aurora artists share two kitchens, several common work and living areas, as well as the garden.

A Villa Aurora Fellowship entails:

  • A round trip flight from Germany to Los Angeles (economy class)
  • A monthly, non-repayable stipend of Euro 1.800,00 (Euro 2.000,00 for a joint fellowship) to cover living expenses and local transportation costs, as well as Euro 700,00 for project-related costs (Euro 2.500,00/month total; Euro 2.700,00 total for a joint fellowship)
  • Free lodging at Villa Aurora in a room with private bathroom

Eligibility

  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. encourages applications from freelance filmmakers, authors, and composers whose works have been presented to the public.
  • Visual artists and performance artists may apply by invitation only. They cannot submit unsolicited applications.
  • Applicants are required to live and work in Germany, but do not have to be German citizens.
  • Students are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

Please find below the application details:

Film (the deadline for application for 2022 was April 2021)

  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. encourages applications from freelance filmmakers, authors, and composers whose works have been presented to the public - i.e. film screening at festival, movie theatre or television.

Application

  • Please access the application form via the link at the bottom of this page.
  • The following work samples are required: Submission of a streaming link to a film in which the applicant was involved.

Literature (applications for 2022 cannot be considered)

  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. encourages applications from freelance authors whose works have been presented to the public – i.e. the publication of a book.

Application

  • Please access the application form via the link at the bottom of this page.
  • The following work samples are required: Upload of a text sample (already published or in progress / *.pdf, no length restrictions). The upload link will be provided by e-mail after submitting the online application.

Composition (applications for 2022 cannot be considered)

  • Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. encourages applications from composers whose works have been presented to the public – i.e. the public performance of a work.

Application

  • Please access the application form via the link at the bottom of this page.
  • The following work samples are required: Upload of a total of four work samples (*.mp3 and *.pdf). Videomaterial can only be submitted by pdf with links to streaming platforms. The upload link will be provided by e-mail after submitting the online application.

Visual Arts (applications for 2022 cannot be considered)

  • Visual artists and performance artists may apply by invitation only. They cannot submit unsolicited applications or be recommended for a fellowship by curators or institutions. Artists in this category are invited to apply by curators who are selected by Villa Aurora on an annual basis.

Application

  • The documents for an application in visual arts will be sent to the nominated artists

Selection Process

  • All applications will be checked for completeness by the staff at the Berlin office.
  • Independent juries decide on the granting of fellowships.
  • Applicants have no legal right to the fellowship.
  • Applicants will be informed of the juries‘ decisions by email or by post. No reasons will be given.
  • If chosen, the applicant will receive a consent form. The fellowship award will take legal effect only after this consent form has been signed.

Deadline

The call for grants in 2023 is expected to be issued in October 2021.

Application Forms

The application form will be available in October.

FAQ

May I name a preferred period of stay?
  • It is not necessary to specify a period of your stay in your application. If you have been selected, we will ask for preferred residence periods.
  • In principle, we try to meet all preferences, but with up to 20 scholarship holders per year, there may be scheduling conflicts.
  • It is therefore necessary that you can switch to another period in the same year if necessary.
  • Residencies are generally bound to quarters.
  • The scheduling of the residency periods is decided in the summer of the previous year.
May I bring my partner or my children?
  • Due to the Conditional Use Permit (CUP), which regulates the land use permit for a specific location, we are not able to accommodate family members for an extended period of time.
  • Overnight visits are limited to two weeks. Villa Aurora charges $10 per guest and night.
May I apply in a category different from that in which I normally work?
  • Yes. A filmmaker, for example, may apply for a literary project in the category literature.
  • In that case, the applicant needs to supply work samples from the category chosen.
May I apply in a genre different from that in which I normally work?
  • Yes. A journalist, for example, may apply for a novel project.
  • In that case, the applicant needs to supply work samples relevant for the actual project.