The Coleman Center for the Arts is a 35-year old arts organization located in rural west Alabama including a community-based artists’ residency that produces socially engaged public art projects and events.

The Coleman Center for the Arts facilitates artists working in the Black Belt and leverages partnership to better support folks that take risks in form and in content. In doing so we advance our project to deploy contemporary visual arts practice within our community at the geographic margins.

We are an “artists-above-object”-centered institution, not that these must be mutually exclusive. We do this work with the intention to amplify the use of contemporary art as a means to stimulate dialogue, deliberation, and imagination about the real and pressing needs of our Black Belt community.

Artists are encouraged to make an initial introductory visit to York, Alabama. These short three-day to ten-day visits are designed to connect artists to community members, potential collaborators, geography, and peer institutions. Artists and curatorial staff work in collaboration to plan the visit and itinerary. Additional visiting artists are encouraged to participate in a public community event including but not limited to an artist talk, a film screening, an educational workshop, a temporary exhibition, or participate in ongoing regional/local programs, etc.

Artists can work in any medium with emphasis on artists from the region working outside the state with direct connections or regionally resonate projects. We encourage folks that are underrepresented and underfinanced within the field including women, artists of color, and LGBTQ artist; artists whose practice may operate outside the regional market system; and artists who work in what is perceived as new disciplines (video, new media, installation, conceptual, anti-aesthetic, anti-monumental) in the region.

While artists’ time at the Coleman Center is developed in collaboration with staff and community members, visits typically include: an artist fee, speaking fee and/or exhibition fee; housing accommodations in the Coleman Center’s Inda Hightower Memorial Artist-in-residence facility; travel support – either reimbursement or booking to and from residency; access to administrative and curatorial support; a modest production budget; documentation of work presented.

We welcome artists at any stage of their career.

Many of the Coleman Center’s past and current projects are by invitation, however, staff leadership is working to expand to an application process and, in the interim, encourage folks to make contact. Please send an email to that introduces your creative practice and your desire to work in the Black Belt region of Alabama.