art projects & residency

Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency


To apply to the Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency program, please read carefully the details below. We will come back to you with an answer as soon as our curatorial team reviews your application.

For any other questions you may have, Contact Us via phone or email.


Brief description of residency

The Unpack Studio self-directed residency in Havana, Cuba, is open to visual artists, curators, performers and researchers. It aims to support artists and creatives by offering a workspace from 3 to 7 weeks. The residency will comprise of independent workdays, meetings with an internationally recognized art contact to initiate the residency, as well as possible presentation(s) at the prestigious institutions of Havana. The artist can create local-foreign collaborations, interact with contemporary Cuban practitioners and give Cuban art students the opportunity to see diverse practices. Creatives can research, produce new work individually or in collaboration, network with artists, art students, performers, galleries, curators, and explore Havana.


Disciplines and media

  • Visual Art
  • Artistic Development
  • Curatorial
  • Art Criticism
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Dance

Duration of residencies

  • 3 to 7 weeks

Number of artist residents at one time

  • 1 artist (groups arrangeable)

Working language(s)

  • English
  • Spanish

Unpack Studio will provide translation services for institutional presentations arranged by Unpack. Should your work / research require translation, you will need to hire a translator.


What we offer

  • Portfolio / Project review with an internationally recognized Art Contact (Cuban curator/artist arranged according to needs)
  • Daily Coordinator (English/Spanish)
  • Possible Artist Talk / Presentations
  • Introduction to local artists. Collaborations facilitated but not guaranteed
  • Access to a varied network of dynamic creatives


  • Private studio-bedroom
  • Shared general living area (living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom)
  • Trip to / from the airport
  • Cleaning / Laundry (once a week)


Can be arranged for an extra fee
  • Intensive drawing courses
  • Printmaking facilities
  • Transportation to the beach, the countryside or other cities

Not included

  • Translation
If you require translation services beyond 2 hours per day, or outside the services provided by the Residency, you will need to pay for translation services.
  • Food
Cajitas (basic meals) can be found in the neighbourhood’s cafeterías from CUC1.50. Paladares (private restaurants) offer fancier meals for approximately CUC15.00+. Unpack can arrange a full home-cooked meal by an excellent cook in the building for CUC5.00. There are supermarkets and outdoor markets nearby if you want to cook in the apartment. Due to Cuban reality, this can be a time consuming and frustrating activity, which you may choose to embrace. You may also be over-charged, which you may not have any choice but to embrace. Eating a vegetarian diet can be extremely difficult in Havana.
  • Internet access
There is no residential Internet service in Cuba. Internet can be access at nearby hotels and wifi spots in the area for a fee (10-15 minute walk)

Expenses paid by artist

  • Residency
  • Travel
  • Supplies
  • Food

Expectations of the artist

  • Keep a bi-weekly blog of activities and processes for online publishing
  • Art supplies: bring all material and equipment needed for residency
  • Crediting Cuban participants in any collaborative project
  • Crediting Unpack Studio in future presentations of the work
  • Medical travel insurance is required by Cuban laws
  • Keep common spaces tidy

Selection procedure

By curatorial committee


USD 350.00 per week

  • All funding is the responsibility of the applicants. Artists are responsible for their airfare, transport and daily living costs
  • Upon acceptance, a 30% deposit of the residency fee is required to hold the residency slot

Unpack Studio receives no external funding. Cuba has a particular economic climate and we therefore feel that the people you work with on a regular basis should be remunerated. The Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency fee covers the cost of the various people collaborating with us in Cuba.

Caribbean artists living and working in the Caribbean with no access to funding will benefit from a 25% discount

Grants available

There is no stipend for resident artists due to the absence of constant structural support for residency programs in Cuba. Unpack Studio Havana Residency can provide an acceptance letter to support artists seeking external funding.


By plane

The only mode of arrival to the island is by plane. The Unpack Studio taxi driver drives residents/artists between the José Martí International airport and Unpack Studio Havana upon arrival and departure.

Nearest airport

José Martí International Airport

Local transportation

Access to the public transportation system is a two-minute walk. The best transportation system in Havana is the almendrones (1950s American classic cars turned into communal taxis), which cost approximately USD 0.50/1.00 per trip, depending on the distance.


Unpack Studio hub in Vedado, Havana (see photo gallery)


Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency is strategically situated in Vedado, a central and popular neighbourhood of the city, with easy access to all areas of Havana. It is walking distance to food markets, stores, Internet, jazz bars, swimming pools, art galleries, cinemas and theatres.

This is a tropical environment, be prepared for insects. At some times of the year there are mosquitoes, please bring your repellent. Street dogs are common in Cuba, although rarely aggressive. Cuba is a developing country, electricity blackouts are a possibility and please don't expect stores to be as well stocked as you may be familiar with.


No Application Deadline

To apply fill out the Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency application form and provide the following:

1- Completed online application form
2- Current CV (no longer than 2 pages)
3- Image list
4- Support Material comprising of up to 3 of the below:

  • Digital images (no more than 12 at a maximum of 160KB per image)
  • Video (a maximum of 2 files no longer than 5 minutes in total) if applicable
  • Written work (no more than 2 pieces at a maximum length of 2 pages each) if applicable


Incomplete applications will not be considered



Facultad de Artes Plásticas