When NPN’s Subsidy Programs were developed in the early 1980s the prevailing model for touring — arrive, load in, tech, perform, load out, travel — included no interaction between artist and community other than the work on the stage. Designed to break down this pattern, the NPN residency model directly fosters engagement between touring artists and the community it is visiting. Central to the Performance Residency Program is NPN’s carefully crafted standard contract and fee structure. Residency activities take place in a wide array of settings and bring artists and their creative tools to new constituencies and audiences. Each NPN Partner is guaranteed at least two Performance Residency subsidies each year.
NPN’s Standard Contract and Fee Structure
All NPN Artist residencies are governed by a standard contract jointly signed by the NPN Partner, the artist, and the NPN National Office. This ensures that NPN’s concerns and values are maintained throughout the planning, implementation, and evaluation of each residency, and that both artists and NPN Partners recognize NPN’s role as a facilitator in the process. Artists who are engaged in discussions with NPN Partners must adhere to the fee structure set in this contract. This structure was established to 1) take money off the table, enabling artists and presenters to focus on the work and the ways to engage the community, and 2) set a minimum standard for touring fees which guarantees that artists receive fees appropriate to the cost of touring while remaining manageable to NPN Partners. This fee structure includes:
- Salaries: $700 per week per artist or technician in residence.
- Fringe Benefits: $140 per week per artist or technician on salary (vs. contract) with the company.
- Transportation: The most economical round-trip transportation for all artistic or technical personnel in residence who are traveling from another community.
- Housing: $75/night ($90 in New York and San Francisco), based on double occupancy, for all artists or technicians in residence who travel from another community.
- Per Diem: $40/day for all artists or technicians in residence who travel from another community.
- Administrative Allowance: A fixed amount ($1,500 for 1-week residency or $1,700 for 2-week residency) is provided for non-personnel expenses of the artist/company in residence
- Artistic Director Contingency Fund: A fixed amount of $300 per residency is provided for the Artistic Director to use for any additional residency-related costs
NPN subsidizes 40% (up to $6,000 per week; $12,000 for two weeks) of the cost of a one- or two-week residency engagement, enabling NPN Partners to leverage additional funds and make innovative curatorial choices. NPN Partners match the remaining 58 percent. As a result, NPN subsidies generate well over one million dollars in touring artists’ fees annually.
Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.