When should I plan to arrive and leave?

Residencies run from the 2nd day of the month to the last day of the month. For example: if you are awarded a residency in June, you would plan to arrive on June 2, and would plan to depart by June 30.

ArrivalWe ask incoming residents to time their arrival between 1pm and 8pm. If you arrival is earlier in the day, we will help store your luggage until you get settled in.

Departure: You should be packed and ready to leave by 10am on the last day of the month, which is the time our cleaning service arrives to prepare your space for the next artist. If your departure is later in the day, we can store your luggage until your departure.

How do I get to The Studios of Key West?

Fly: We have an airport with flights arriving directly from a number of hubs. If traveling with a layover, be aware of different baggage restrictions for the smaller planes that make the final flight into Key West. Some artists fly into Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and then use a rental car to drive the rest of the way, or take a shuttle bus from the mainland airports.

Drive: Miami to Key West is usually a 4 +/- hour drive. It is a nice drive, but not unusual to encounter delays. The highway is two lanes in some areas and not the most pleasant trip to tackle at night.

Bus: Greyhound and FlixBus come to Key West from Miami. Greyhound arrives at the airport, FlixBus arrives downtown by the ferry terminal.

Ferry: Key West Express sails year-round from Ft. Myers Beach and seasonally from Marco Island, FL.

How do I get around the island?

Key West is a great bicycler’s town! It’s how most locals get around. The Studios is just a block or two away in any direction from streets with dedicated bike lanes, and we’ve got plenty of bike racks out front for your wheels.

Biking: Through a generous sponsorship by We-Cycle Bikes, a ‘conch-cruiser’ bike is provided free for your use. Bikes will be delivered after you arrive and come with a helmet, basket, lock, and lights. There are no real hills to worry about; Key West is a 2 x 4 mile island, with the high point about 10 feet above sea level, so it’s very easy to get around.

Walking: Old Town is very pedestrian friendly. The Studios of Key West’s main campus is located next door to the PEAR House, on the corner of Simonton and Eaton Streets, only one block off Duval, a few blocks from the Library and a half mile from the ocean.

Driving: Artists who arrive with their vehicle will find limited parking on the street near the PEAR House. We’re located in the heart of Old Town, which offers many benefits, but dedicated parking space is not one of them. You can find street parking, though it’s important to note that many nearby are designated Residential, meaning you need a Residential sticker from the City.

Taxis (Five 6’s – 305-296-6666) and Uber/Lyft rides are plentiful, but pricier than in bigger cities. Shorter distances mean higher fares.

What are my accommodations like?

The residency guesthouse is right next door to our flagship building, in the Old Town neighborhood, just a block off of Duval Street. Even being so close to the downtown action, the PEAR House is an oasis of quiet, with a beautiful, spacious courtyard shaded by a massive banyan tree. It’s dripping with Key West history and character.

Artists will have access to a shared kitchen, a covered outdoor common area,  a second floor wash/work station and a shaded courtyard. All living spaces include a private bedroom and bathroom; some include a detached workspace, some are combined. One residency is ADA accessible on the ground floor, and three are second floor spaces (one is a loft). All spaces have A/C.

The kitchen is well equipped, linens are provided and there are laundry facilities on site. Most cell phones work fine and there is Wifi access. There are no televisions.

Please click here for a photo album of the living spaces, studios, common areas, and more at the residency guesthouse.

What does my workspace look like?

All live/work spaces include a private bedroom and bathroom; some workspaces are detached from the artist’s living space, some are combined. (Artists are assigned to accommodations based upon the specifications they stated in the space requirements section of the residency application.)

We will work with you to set up your work space with tables, easels, writing tables, stools, chairs, pin-up boards or whatever else (within reason!) you need to work.

Please click here for a photo album of the living spaces, studios, common areas, and more at the residency guesthouse.

Does The Studios provide meals?

PEARs are on their own schedule for meals and can use the shared kitchen to prepare food. The kitchen is equipped with the basics: refrigerator, stovetop, oven, microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher, dishware/flatware, pots/pans, utensils, paper goods. PEARs may leave non-perishable items behind (oils, spices). Please use what’s there.

There are a few large chain groceries in New Town (Winn Dixie/Publix) and smaller (more expensive) neighborhood and organic markets in Old Town. Fausto’s is a good grocery store and deli just a few blocks away where you can find most everything you’ll need. Please keep in mind that Key West is located far from the mainland, so food prices are often higher than other parts of the country.

On Thursdays from 2pm-7pm, you’ll want to check out the Farmers Market at the Truman Waterfront Park for fresh produce grown in Homestead, artisan meats and cheeses, pickles, honey, nuts & dried fruits, natural soaps and so much more. You’ll find Key West crafts, gifts and the perfect souvenir to take home.

You can also check out the Key West Artisan Market select Sundays in season (November to April) from 10 am to 2 pm at Higgs Beach. Local artisans include culinary, textile, jewelry, wood, crafters, curiosities, local authors, live music, fresh produce and lots of great food. Each week is a different theme focused on island living and local charities.

What type of clothing should I bring?

Comfort is the rule and “Key West Casual” is year-round and acceptable anytime, anywhere. Bring a swimsuit! Many residents report that after a long day’s work there’s nothing better than hopping on a bike to catch the sunset from the water at Fort Zachary beach.

December – March: The daytime temps will be in the mid to high 70’s with occasional evening dips into the 60’sF (sometimes as low as the 50‘s) or a daytime spike in the low 80’s. Occasional showers should also be anticipated. 

April – November: Daytime temps can average up to the mid 90’s with high humidity and often an afternoon downpour. Honestly… No one cares what you’re wearing here. If you have to choose, here’s the best rule of thumb: “Always choose comfort over appearance.”

What supplies/materials should I bring?

Residency artists are responsible for supplying their own electronic equipment including computers, printers, and photocopiers. We do provide a basic Canon printer with photo paper capabilities, but it’s not the best for printing 10 copies of a 30 page script. We may be able to provide larger print/copy assistance at the front desk of our main building next door. There is an OfficeDepot on the island to meet additional needs.

Also, artists must arrange for all of their own supplies including paper, paints, pencils, etc. We have an art supply store at our bookstore, Books & Books at The Studios. Many local artists buy their supplies online and have them delivered.

Can my spouse, partner, child(ren), great aunt, old friend, new friend, visit? Stay with me?

Visitors/guests are always welcome. Visitors/guests staying overnight at the residencies are NOT. We have a no overnight guests policy for residency artists.

We understand the sometimes complicated logistics residency artists go through to get here and so allow a “support traveler” to stay the first night of arrival and the last night before departure. Please inform us if this is required.

Key West has many, many guesthouses and hotels. Prices are all over the board and very dependent on location, season and holidays. Generally, the closer to Old Town the more expensive. We are a popular destination and there is a lot of helpful information online. You can check out our recommended accommodations list here.

Can my cat, dog, bird, guinea pig stay with me?

We understand that pets are like family, but no animals are permitted for health and safety reasons.

Do you have recommendations of where visiting guests can stay, or things to do?

Have a look at the Key West Insider Guide for recommendations, and check out the Where to Eat, Shop, etc section of our website to see a list of local businesses who support The Studios.

There are more churches and bars 
per capita here than anywhere else in the country. Fort Zachary Taylor State Park has the best beach for swimming: deep water close offshore, and the shade of pine trees over a picnic area. If the winds are down and the water is clear, there’s great snorkeling around the rocky breaks.

Things to do:
The Tropic Cinema in Old Town, rated “Best Cinema in Florida,” is a a retro-style cinema with 3 theaters for mainstream & indie films, plus cultural events & lectures.

Renting a car for a day or two to explore the other Keys is a fantastic idea. If you’re heading up the Keys, Bahia Honda State Park (about an hour from Key West) has a gorgeous beach.

If you’re looking for fitness and yoga options, Key West Fitness Center offers weights, locker room, live and virtual classes for $25/day, $90/week or $160/month. Key West Yoga Sanctuary is a tranquil, serene studio and yoga school. 

Can I host a party while I'm in residency?

Artists are permitted to host small gatherings of up to 6 people on a reasonable/limited basis during their residency. If you do plan to host a gathering or party, please communicate with The Studios staff and other residency artists beforehand to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Please make sure gates are secure when the guests leave.

NOTE: Artists are members of a neighborhood in Old Town. Please be conscious of noise levels and respectful of the neighbors and fellow residency artists at all times. Voices travel easily and we ask that to enforce very low to no noise outside after 10pm each night.

Are there emergency facilities nearby?

Lower Keys Medical Center is our local hospital just outside of Key West. It has Emergency facilities. We have Urgent Care Centers and drop-in clinics also. There are plenty of pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens), dentists, and medical specialists including chiropractors and acupuncture specialists.

Do I have to worry about bugs?

We get mosquitoes, no-see-um and ants, which we don’t like. We have lots of geckos and anoles, which we do like, as they eat the bugs we don’t like. Seeing a scorpion or snake would be a rare occurrence, but a rooster is a common sighting. We also have iguanas, which are invasive.

Does the residency have maid service?

Housekeeping is not provided. The Studios asks that artists keep their spaces clean and picked up during their stay. Cleaning supplies are located in each space. Each residence is cleaned professionally between residency periods.

What is The Studios' smoking policy?

Smoking is not permitted in any building.