an Agency for Creative Residencies
the Agency for Creative Exiles is a self-funded, not-for-profit project run by Edward Lorenz with the aim of inviting creatives of different backgrounds and interdisciplinary arts into a residency program based in Athens, Greece.
Its main goal is to invite International creatives in an effort to expose them to the ongoing humanitarian crisis happening still in Greece.
The residencies come with only one contracted obligation: that they devote 1-2 days or 12-15 hours total of their week to volunteer, full hands on, in a refugee camp or other crisis centers in Athens.
Since the largest hurdle in securing funding through state and government grants from foundations that support these kinds of programs, is the length of time and bureacratic process in order to incorporate into an NGO (Non-Profit Organization).
Through research and speaking with a lawyer who is familiar with incorporating, I have found that to create a Greek NGO as a foreigner could take nearly 3 years, not to mention that 1/3 of donations would be automatically go to taxes.
In an effort to cross this bump in the process, I have chosen to incorporate in Germany as the process is less severe--however it could still take up to 3 months to create and officiate a Vereins or Stiftung (Association or Foundation).
We are so rarely confronted in our everyday environments of the refugee’s pain and struggle, and too passive in helping them through their traumatic needs, that the only real way to humanize ourselves is to see and do it with our own two hands.
We at the Agency hope they bring this experience of humanity back with them into their communities and into their work.
The month-long residencies for each creative will include their own room, two own private studio rooms totalling a size of 75sqm, a trip to Lesvos their first or second week of residency with the founder to see firsthand the refugee camps and crisis, and special funding for those creatives in extreme needs.
As most artist residency programs are restricted only to visual and fine artists, the Agency for is open to creatives of any background— whether writing, filmmaking, journalism, studio arts, design, fashion, and so on.
There are currently already 8 invited creatives-in-residents, with 1 more to be confirmed and some guest visiting creatives for invited visits.
Each resident was chosen on their unique character and disciplines, and their potential energy to bring back the influence of their experience to their environments
April will see the beginning of the residencies and since this is self-funded for the most part out of pocket from the savings of myself, and the Agency for is in need of non-bureaucratic funding for each resident to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Currently, each of the 9 guest residents will require a budget outlined below:
300€ -Room and board with utilities included
300€ -Escorted trip to Lesvos with the founder or volunteer guide
familiar with the refugee camps.
500€ -For artistic supplies and tools/materials so residents have as much provided for them already when they arrive
1.100€ -for each guest resident.
x 9 residents
Additionally, in order to convert the rooms of the residency space into proper working studios (which unfortunately already has depleted most of my savings), atelier rooms, including turning a small room into a darkroom for residents whose discipline is around photography or filmmaking, and ensuring there is special funding for residents with limited financial resources, this additional budget should be factored in to the overall yearly budget.
+ 5.000€. ADDITIONAL FUNDS
14.900€. TOTAL FUNDS NEEDED to make this program a successful project.
Please check out our social media pages below to follow along the journey:
For our Instagram page: @theagencyfor
Where you can view the already announced creatives-in-residences.
and additionally our Facebook page: