Artist Selection Process: Frequently Asked Questions


The East Garrison project is an adaptive reuse of a historic district on the former Ft. Ord military base in Monterey County, California. The pedestrian-friendly development includes 1400 homes, a town center and an arts district. Artspace Projects, Inc. will build and operate 65 affordable, rental, live/work residences in the arts district, and will remodel and lease 57,000 square feet of working studio space to artists, arts organizations and arts-related businesses. Arts Habitat will be responsible for the artist selection process, will coordinate and deliver arts programming services to residential and workspace users, and promote arts activities and events at the East Garrison.


Arts Habitat and Artspace are committed to attracting creative individuals and families from diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. We encourage all people in the creative arts to apply regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, and status with regard to public assistance, or physical disability. We are especially interested in individuals who are committed to building community and will volunteer some of their time and energy toward this goal.


A selection committee screens applicants to determine their participation in, and commitment to, the arts; they don’t judge the content or style of an applicant’s artistic work. The guiding principal is that artists recognize other artists.

Artistic processes that are extremely noisy, require industrial zoning or involve highly flammable, explosive or noxious materials will not be permitted in the live/work development. Examples of  processes that would not be allowed are welding, woodworking using large power tools, blacksmithing, fiberglass work or glass blowing; jewelers torches and electric kilns could be permitted.

An artist, for this purpose, is a person who is regularly engaged in the fine arts as a career and   not simply as a hobby.

An artist’s creative work does not need to be the primary source of income. It isn’t unusual for artists to work in another field to support themselves, their dependents, and their art form. “Artist” is defined as:

◗ A person who works in, or is skilled in any of the fine arts, including but not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, book arts, printmaking and mixed-media.

◗ A person who creates imaginative works of aesthetic value, including but not limited

to literature, poetry, photography, music composition, choreography, architecture, film, video, weaving or new media.

◗ A person who works in or is skilled in any craft, including but not limited to metal, textiles, paper, wood, ceramic, glass or mixed media plastic objects.

◗ A performer or theatrical artist, including but not limited to, singers dancers, musicians, actors, performance artists; costume, lighting, sound, and set designers.

◗ A designer, technician, craftsperson, teacher or administrator in any arts disciplines who is dedicated to using their expertise in the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performances and classes.

What about “community building?”

In a community of working artists, activities may occur that might not be acceptable in other places. Noise and disruption from tools, musical instruments, or dancers’ feet may be common; residents will need to agree on some ground rules. Are you respectful of others’ work requirements? Will you participate in resolving issues? Or, will you volunteer for community events and activities or consider doing work around the buildings to keep costs down? “Community building” could be any or all of these things.

What does the Artist Selection Committee do?

The selection committee meets with prospective residents and their families, (who have been pre-approved for income eligibility by the property manager), to determine their level of commitment to their art form and their willingness to participate in the East Garrison community. The selection committee does not jury the artist’s work.

Who makes up the Artist Selection Committee?

Initially the committee members will come from a pool of artists, including members of the Arts Habitat Board of Directors, representing a range of disciplines, who have not applied to be residents of the project. Subsequent selection committee positions will be filled by residents in good standing along with an Arts Habitat representative and an owner representative.

What happens at the interview?

The Arts Habitat representative coordinates the interview, leads the meeting and acts as the liaison to the property manager. Prior to the meeting, prospective residents are asked to complete an artist questionnaire, which is reviewed by the committee. Committee members are also provided with a scoring sheet containing specific questions for prospective residents. The scoring sheet questions have been carefully chosen to prompt answers that help the committee ascertain artist and family commitment to art-making and community. Members of the selection committee are required to limit their questions to those on the scoring sheet. Prospective residents are given an opportunity to

answer the questions, share their artwork and ask any questions that they may have. Committee members may ask follow-up questions to help clarify an answer that has been given. Questions or comments pertaining to any of the fair housing protected classes may not be posed. Interviewees will be referred to the property manager if there are additional questions concerning the project or their application status.

Fair Housing

All artists who serve on the artist selection committee will receive fair housing training. Fair housing practices will be followed in all aspects of the interviews and meetings.


◗ Each question must be scored.

◗ Each adult applicant is scored separately, but the household is accepted or rejected in whole. Only one member of a household needs to demonstrate a commitment as a practicing artist in order to qualify for the artist preference.

◗ Each approval or disapproval must be defensible by the interviewer and substantiated by the scoring sheet.

◗ Scoring sheets must be signed and notations made as to approval or disapproval of applicant.

◗ Applicants are accepted or rejected based on a majority decision.


◗ Each selection committee is comprised of 3-5 members.

◗ Selection committee interviews are lead by an Arts Habitat representative or by a person designated by Arts Habitat.

◗ Residents on the selection committee must be in good standing (no outstanding rent or fees and no lease violations); the property manager will confirm good standing.

◗ Any member of the committee who does not adhere to the process or guidelines of the artist selection committee will be removed from the committee pool.

◗ All interviews are confidential.

Artist involvement is an essential component of every Artspace project. Although this process may seem formal, it is extremely important. We want to be sure that every applicant who comes before the artists selection committee is treated consistently and fairly.