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FAQ’s FOR INCOMING RESIDENTS
Residencies run from the 16th of your arrival month to the 14th of the next month. For example: if you are awarded a residency beginning in mid June, you could plan to arrive on or very shortly after June 16, and would plan to depart by July 14.
Arrival: We 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 14th 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.
Fly: We have an airport with flights arriving from a number of hubs. 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 rental car the rest of the way. There is a shuttle from some of the mainland airports also.
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 does come to Key West. It arrives at the airport.
Ferry: Key West Express sails year-round from Ft. Myers Beach and seasonally from Marco Island, FL.
Key West is a great bicycler’s town! It’s how most locals get around. The bike lane on Southard will take you right downtown and to the best nearby beach, Ft. Zachary Taylor.
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 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 main campus is located 8 blocks away from the residencies.
Cars: Artists who arrive with their vehicle will find limited parking on the street near the residences. Parking in some areas of the island can be difficult to nearly impossible in high season. Depending on what you hope to do while in residence, some artists find a vehicle useful during their stay, some find they rarely use them.
The residency cottages are located in a residential neighborhood in Old Town. All live/work spaces include a private bedroom and bathroom; some have a small but separate attached workspace, while some have a combination bedroom/workspace. (Artists are assigned to accommodations based upon the specifications they stated in the space requirements section of the residency application.)
Some artists will have their own kitchen, some artists will share a kitchen and common space. Two residences are located on the ground floor, while two are second floor spaces. All spaces have AC.
A communal deck overlooks the Sculpture Garden and is shared by all residents. Kitchens are decently 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.
All live/work spaces include a private bedroom and bathroom; some have a small but separate attached workspace, while some have a combination bedroom/workspace. (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.
Artists are on their own schedule for meals and can use their own kitchens to prepare food or can dine easily in one of the many cafes and restaurants in Key West. 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.
On Thursdays from 9am-2pm, you’ll want to check out Key West Green Market at Bayview Park where you’ll find amazing produce, specialty items, and handcrafted items. 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.
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.”
Residency artists are responsible for supplying their own electronic equipment including computers, printers, and photocopiers. 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 a Ben Franklin store but its supplies are limited and expensive. Many local artists buy their supplies online and have them delivered.
POLICY & SERVICES QUESTIONS
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.
We understand that pets are like family, but no animals are permitted for health and safety reasons. Note: the local cats all have loving homes with owners who plead with you to please not feed them or allow them into the residency spaces. They are crafty (the cats) and will test what they can get away with.
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. And here is our list of recommended accommodations, which includes some of our business sponsors as well as a few nearby budget hotels.
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, Stay Fit Studio offers monthly passes with a full schedule of aerobic and spin classes and Shakti Yoga offers full weekly class schedules with a lot of different options.
Artists are permitted to host small gatherings of up to 8 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 small residential 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 11 pm each night.
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.
We get mosquitoes, no-see-ums and ants, which we don’t like. They come and go depending on the time of year and weather. 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.
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.
Smoking is not permitted in any building.