Instituto Sacatar residency program

January 28, 2015 in All Opportunities, Composers, residencey and summerschool by newmusicscotland

The INSTITUTO SACATAR operates a residency program for creative individuals in all disciplines at its estate on the Island of Itaparica in the Bay of All Saints, across from the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Sacatar is a member of Res Artis, the worldwide network of artist residencies,, and of the Alliance of Artists Communities,
The purpose of the Instituto Sacatar is:
• To provide artists a place to live and create
• To generate opportunities for artists to interact and collaborate with the local and regional community
• To enhance the visibility and cultural impact of the host city and nation
• To encourage art that returns us to where art began — to a wordless silence before all of creation


The Instituto Sacatar provides unstructured time and space for creative individuals to develop new work. Specifically, a Fellowship to Sacatar provides:
Reimbursement for roundtrip airfare between the artist’s closest international airport and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

A private bedroom with attached bath

A separate studio

All meals (except on Saturday night, all day Sunday and holidays)
The Fellowships do not include a stipend. Artists are responsible for incidental expenses and all working materials. Once on the island, artists are responsible for their local transportation, although we meet artists at the airport on the first day of the residency session to take them the first time to our island estate.

In addition, the program staff will assist artists who wish to show their work or share their skills while in Bahia, helping artists make the necessary local contacts to achieve these goals. While the purpose of a Sacatar Fellowship is to provide creative individuals the time and space to develop new work, many participants are eager to share what they produce during their residencies. To this end and to the extent possible, we will arrange for theaters, exhibition spaces, classrooms, etc., both on the island and in Salvador, and we will help find collaborators, musicians, students, actors and other volunteers to realize project proposals. Wages on the island are low and some artists also contract studio assistants at a daily wage.

We are in a somewhat primitive location and encourage artists to work primitively – that is, simply and directly with few complex tools, materials or technologies.

We have separate studio spaces for every Fellow, distinct from his or her bedroom suite. All of the studios are simple rooms that can easily be adapted for other disciplines. We have five studios and a woodworking shop clustered around the coconut grove facing the ocean. Two of these studios, measuring 6.0m x 6.0m, are open-air, designed primarily for visual artists, with ample wall space, work sinks and private internal gardens. The wind and the birds can enter these studios freely. A third studio (5.0m x 5.0m), reserved primarily for writers, is raised on stilts, offering panoramic ocean views. In 2010, we added two additional studios, one specifically for dance and theater (with a primitive sprung floor, 5.0m x 12.0m plus dressing room) and the other for musicians and composers (4.5m x 10.0m). While the composer’s studio is not soundproof or acoustically isolated, it is located at the furthest corner of the property, where musicians are less likely to disturb the other Fellows. In addition, there are two studios in the main residential house. One measures 6.0m x 8.0m, and the other 3.5m x 5.0m, both with ceilings 3.60 meters high. Only the smaller of these two studios has a sink.

We have no darkrooms, so non-digital photographers are limited in the work they can finalize at Sacatar. We have no kiln, but there are possibilities to work at the local brickyard which has four large wood-fired kilns, or possibly in the village of Maragogipinho two hours away where there are over seventy wood-fired ceramic workshops.

There is broadband internet access available at Sacatar for the residents’ personal laptop computers. We have Wi-Fi on the property. For residents without a personal computer, there are several internet cafés in the town of Itaparica within walking distance. A small printer is available for the use of the residents. Our woodworking shop has a circular saw, a planer and common hand tools that the Fellows can use. There is a small refrigerator to store photographic film and film stock. We have a full-size electric piano and a collection of percussion instruments for use by musicians and composers. Please contact us with any specific questions about what we can provide by writing us at

ABOUT AMBIENT NOISE: Sacatar is located on a 9000 square meter oceanfront property, located in a seasonally occupied residential neighborhood of vacation homes. The surrounding streets are sand. While for most of the year, the atmosphere is quiet and serene, during the high tourist season (December-February), we have no control over the people who rent houses in the neighborhood. Some of these renters party long and loud, with no regard whatsoever for the neighbors. Festivals in Brazil, which occur primarily from December through February, also tend do be loud. Sometimes, a festival taking place a few kilometers away can sound like it is happening across the street. In addition, most of the houses in the neighborhood keep guard dogs. These dogs habitually bark and, in the intense holiday season, there can be a lot of passers-by to bark at. There is nothing we can do about barking dogs or singing birds and there is very little we can do, unfortunately, about noisy neighbors.

ABOUT INSECTS AND ANIMAL LIFE: Artists share the property with three resident dogs, one peacock, two tortoises and assorted wildlife, including mosquitoes, ants, crabs, bats, birds, lizards and frogs, all of whom can gain access to the houses and studios at will. The peacock often prances about in the inner courtyard; birds sweep into the kitchen after breadcrumbs; bats flit through the living room disoriented at night. Frogs sometimes move into the toilets. These things happen. There is little we can do to control the entrance and egress of these animals, although we keep the dogs out of the house during mealtimes and there are mosquito nets on all the beds. At Sacatar you may live more closely to diverse animal species than you are accustomed to.

Through its open unrestricted application process, the Instituto Sacatar awards 10-20 Fellowships each year. Residencies last from six to twelve weeks, with most scheduled for eight weeks. On occasion, the Instituto Sacatar hosts Special Projects, which may be of shorter duration. These are group projects with a specific focus and purpose, originated by the Instituto or proposed by others. Sacatar maintains partnerships with various other non-profit and/or governmental agencies, which award additional Fellowships that often have specific restrictions as to discipline, age and/or nationality.

For information about the various programs through which one may apply for a residency at the Instituto Sacatar, please see THE APPLICATION PROCESS under INFORMATION.

For more detailed information about day-to-day life at Sacatar, please see DOWNLOAD – RESIDENCY MANUAL under INFORMATION.

Please visit the ALUMNI pages of the website to learn about the work and the experiences of the former Fellows of the Instituto Sacatar.