Application fees, residency fees, donations, fundraising and governmental helps

Royce Clay Slape is the founder of the art residency Odysseys Costa Rica that operates since 2016. In order to create a viable business model for his program, the founder set up several ways to finance its activities.

Foremost, he promotes the residency through a website, mailings, and adds in various dedicated networks, and from there, the artists enter in contact with him, and he refers them to an application page.

Each application has a fee of $35, which will be mostly used to remunerate the selection committee. The fee will also be subtracted from the general costs of the residency once the artists are accepted.

Indeed, artists self-finance their stay, and the money is used to pay the general costs of the operation, as well as the hosting space, which in this case can either be local families welcoming the artists in their house, a cabin in the jungle, or a room in a yoga center.

Nonetheless, “the residency fees cover about 65% to 70% of the actual cost of having an artist in residence or actual average cost per artist for the year, and the remainder of that is made up through our own fund-raising,” explains the founder.

The pending costs are actually financed thanks to donations made to the non-profit organization that manages the program. Also, former artists in residence punctually make donations, either in cash or in artworks.

And finally, the board of directors and several committees, dedicated to the promotion and the development of the residency, organize fundraising events throughout the year to collect funds for the programs.

On a second hand, the activities locally generated by the residency have caught the attention of the Costa Rican government, which hopefully will generate some sort of financial income or in-kind helps to perpetuate the program. “The Costa Rican government likes to help organizations who are promoting what they call "rural tourism”. So, in our case, because we are housing our artists, most of our artists, with local families that is helping us {…} to also get some help in that regard," indicates Royce Clay Slape.

Established as a nonprofit organization in Costa Rica, the program is now seeking to expand its status to the United States to get some donations from abroad as well. “In which case, we hope to bring our residency fees down and/or offer a scholarship, if not to every artist, at least a few times a year, to artists who are especially in need of financial assistance,” concludes the founder.