Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency

General information

Brief description of organisation

UNPACK STUDIO is an independent platform for artistic collaboration based in Toronto, Canada. It is aimed at coordinating and curating contemporary art projects.

Our mandate is to provide a context for aesthetic research developed in the cultural, linguistic and political articulations of knowledge, particularly reflecting on the understandings of migration, race, gender and power. We are interested in investigations aimed at exploring the conceptual intersections and points of rupture of these definitions.

We seek to potentiate artworks that reflect on the negotiations that discrete concepts and fields of knowledge are subjected to when extrapolated to other cultural spaces or disciplines, whether through life experience or research. Our objective is to promote the work of artists and curators that question the validity of definitions as absolutes, in light of the trans-disciplinary nature of contemporary thinking.

Organisation founded in


Brief description of residency program

The Unpack Studio semi-programmed 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 twice a week and a presentation(s) at the prestigious universities 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.

In terms of working facilities, Unpack Studio in Havana provides no physical tools other than a working space (table, chairs, wall space) and a meeting place at the core of Havana. Because of Cuba´s economic climate, it is difficult to find art supplies there, therefore the artists must bring what they need. Should an artist need specific facilities, such as a printmaking studio, a photography wetroom, a sculpting studio, etc, this can be organized through our network of artists and art institutions in Havana.

What we focus in is providing intellectual and critical support and organizing access to Cuban institutions such as art centres, galleries and universities. This is arranged by the Unpack Studio Art Contact who is a curator with international recognition: we are currently working with Dannys Montes de Oca, one of the curators of the Havana Biennial. An onsite Daily Coordinator is also present to help the artists to implement their projects and negotiate Havana, an exciting but challenging city.

We also provide the opportunity to network and collaborate with local artists, theoreticians and curators. What is also important to us is that this in turn opens doors for Cuban artists to learn about other practices through artist talks and presentations and may create the possibility for them to promote their work internationally. This spirit of exchange is one of the core values of our residency as well as diversity and inclusiveness.

The residency fee is $350.00 US per week per person.

Please check UnpackStudio.Ca/Havana-Art-Residency link in our Contact Information on the right for more details.

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Dance
  • Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Literature
  • New Media
  • Printmaking
  • Curatorial
  • Art Criticism, Painting
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 3 weeks
Number of artists resident at one time


Companions allowed
  • Children
  • Partners
  • Pets
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.

Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Supplies
  • Food
Expectations of the artist
  • Presentation
  • Leading Workshop or Class
  • Other

Studio Visits

Expenses paid by the organisation
  • Housing
Application who/how

Digital Application

Selection procedure

By Committee

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Shared Apartment. Other studios can be arranged
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Live-work space

  • Shared Apartment
Working language(s)
  • English
  • Spanish
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Presentation
  • Informal gatherings with artists and curators

How to reach

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

Contact information

Unpack Studio Havana Art Residency
603 Calzada. Apartment I (ground floor), Vedado


Phone: 16477205069

Social Media


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