Alternative Worksite Applications for 2021 are now open

We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to resume programming this spring 2021.  The safety of our fellows, local community, and staff will continue to remain our highest concern. For the time being we are moving ahead with our planning and hope to be welcoming artists back in the coming months.

It is impossible to know what 2021 will bring in terms of the pandemic and there will undoubtedly be many questions ranging from the logistics of bringing fellows back, to the safety protocols we will follow once they arrive.  When we return, we want everyone to know that they are safe here.  We are fortunate to be able to learn from many other organizations as they go through this process, now and in the months to follow.

In the event that Alternative Worksite must cancel a residency session in response to the pandemic, we will notify people as soon as possible and provide a full refund on deposit fees (we have waived application fees for 2021).   We hope this provides comfort and assurance in applying in these uncertain times.

In the event an individual must cancel due to COVID-19 related issues, a full refund will be provided. This policy is intended to assist in the instance of illness, exposure, or travel restrictions.  Alternative Worksite is not responsible for non-refundable airline tickets or other indirect expenses associated with cancellations.

Please see our COVID-19 Safety Plan for further information. /7863298

This policy is subject to change.

Updated: November 2020


Alternative Worksite will be reopening for residencies!  We are making modifications to our normal operations to ensure the health and safety of our residents, staff, and community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For the foreseeable future, this means we will have fewer residents here in each session with protocols in place to comply with all state guidelines around shared public spaces, distancing, and testing and quarantine for out-of-state visitors.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to host any in-person public events such as open studio days or exhibition openings for the time being. We will be closely following all local and national developments in the coming months to make informed decisions about all future programming. Please e-mail us at with any inquiries. Thanks and be well.

-The Alternative Worksite Team

Updated: October 2020


COVID-19 and Social Injustice Update  

2020 has not been easy. Between navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing injustices in our own backyard, we understand more than ever the transformative and powerful role art can play in the healing process.  We know it is difficult, so if you’re struggling like so many of us to find meaning in these trying times, we hope that you can find some peace, solace, and answers when we return. We want everyone to know that they are safe here and that Alternative Worksite is a space where anyone can have a meaningful experience with art and that we see you, we hear you, and we are here for you. We believe in justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and so many others lost to police violence. We celebrate the work of our black, brown and indigenous sisters and brothers and honor the work of LGBTQIA+ artists, always and forever.  Take care of each other, and we’ll see you soon.  

Updated: September 2020


COVID-19 Statement

Dear Friends,

As an organization made up of artists, we consider our core values of creativity, community and connection more important than ever.  We believe in the power of the arts and the collective action of artists to help sustain our communities, even more so in times of crisis. We understand that this public health crisis is not only an emergency of the medical kind. This emergency is a challenge to everything that holds us together. Facing this challenge compels us to act in ways we have never had to before on the values we share, to demonstrate what we mean to each other, and to resist isolation by finding new tools and defining methods that strengthen our connection to each other as individuals, neighbors and community. The job of artists is, and always has been, exactly this. We are the creators, connectors, conveners, and community builders. I cannot think of a more critical time for artists in our world. 

With the Roanoke Health District’s order to stay in place, Alternative Worksite has made the difficult decision to postpone all 2020 Residencies until 2021.  Speaking for our staff and the artists who have worked here, this is the most difficult decision any of us have had to make in our professional lives.  Our priority right now is to do what is necessary to preserve health and well-being in our community during this national crisis. Once this crisis has passed, we will turn our full focus once again on this place, healthy, hardy and better from the experience. We look forward to that time.

Updated: March 2020

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