That's a good question...

...because they all are so different! The basic principles of what an artist residency is: a place that offers you space and time to create and think. It’s a place of production as well as reflection. They can be located in major cities or small towns. Some offer funding to residents: grants, stipends and even included meals. They can range in time from a couple days to a year. 

Here is an infograph by Alicia Toldi illustrating all the questions stemming from "What Is An Artist Residency?"

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Residencies and even long term travel can be daunting. The way we occupy space in a situation that is alien, wrought with new stimuli and the unknown, sometimes feels anxious and overwhelming. As an Artist as well as a human grappling with assimilation to a new place; it’s easy to find yourself reacting instead of thinking. Here, we find need for some form of grounding. A breath that allows us to look with clear eyes and see the vibrancy of our new reality.”
— Henry Kunkel, Traveling Artist