SHELTER ELSEWHERE is a unique fellowship opportunity created specifically for these unique times. Part live/work exchange, part cohort of collaborative thought partners, and part COVID-19 social housing opportunity, it is an experiment in communal living/working that seeks to combat isolation by promoting collaboration in the midst of a global pandemic.


We are re-envisioning the ways in which we engage with and serve our communities in an effort to best realize Elsewhere’s mission: With people and things, we build collaborative futures. The deferral of our month-long residencies scheduled throughout 2020, and our inability to open our doors to the public, has challenged us to rethink how we engage fully with our core values. Without the people, all we have are the things! Over the next 6 months, Elsewhere will launch a communal living experiment, SHELTER ELSEWHERE, as an adapted Fellowship program for shifting societal norms. 


 We hope that by alleviating basic housing and food needs, the fellows can focus on forming a creative and compassionate community. The fellows will live, work, dream, and create together with Elsewhere’s on and off-site staff to breathe life back into the 3-story former thrift store turned living museum. While the museum is closed to the public, we aim to enhance our capacity to collaborate with communities both near and far. Learn more about the upcoming projects we will ask the fellows to help support by heading to the WORK EXCHANGE tab. Fellows will also have opportunities to develop their own site-specific creative projects at Elsewhere.


Makers, thinkers, and doers of all kinds are encouraged to apply. Those interested in participation, co-creation, reuse, public practice, social engagement, institutional critique, and experimental living could be an excellent fit for this program. We invite you to consider joining us in this experiment to shape the future collaboratively! 


Elsewhere does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, expression or parents/guardians with children, and will prioritize applicants who identify as QTBIPOC and/or disabled. Please be aware that only the first floor of Elsewhere is ADA accessible. At this time, we unfortunately can only house people able to access the 2nd floor by stairs. 


Elsewhere shares a radically expansive understanding of creative practice and identity. We strive for a diverse representation of voices, life experiences, views, and interests to reflect the collaborative community we have and wish to serve. To decolonize systemic structures of institutional oppression, we encourage queer creatives of color to apply. If there are accessibility needs or questions, please contact fellowship@goelsewhere.org.


SHELTER ELSEWHERE Framing Questions:


  • How can people get what they need outside of “normal” power/societal structures and what unique opportunities emerge from this?
  • How can building with collaborators with new and diverse perspectives help open up the museum as it continues to adapt?
  • How can Elsewhere deepen the collaborative experience of its residencies and programs?
  • How can Elsewhere best utilize its assets to invest in sustained local relationships?


Elsewhere’s Fellowship Program is funded in part by: 


Large crowds visit the public museum during the September ‘Happening.’

In a typical year, a mix of 35-50 residents and interns come to collectively live and work within Elsewhere and create projects that activate the Living Museum. Work produced is site-specific and responsive, exploring Elsewhere’s environment, material inventories, cultural histories, social systems, neighboring communities, and past projects.The Museum hosts an incredible density of materials and is composed in layers of artworks, objects, and narratives. There are no white walls or blank spaces. The century-old inventory of objects forms a natural resource and archive; a set of incredible things available for thoughtful and site-specific transformation.

In the wake of COVID-19, we have reimagined internal structures and ways in which we utilize our space and resources. This fellowship is a way of re-envisioning how we invite people to inhabit Elsewhere.  Elsewhere is fueled by the people who activate the museum and the collection. This initiative simultaneously revitalizes the building with new life, promotes community relationships and resource sharing, and creates a safe living environment in the midst of a global pandemic.

Through SHELTER ELSEWHERE, the museum is shifting from a public space to an unconventional home. Fellows will live on the 2nd floor, which includes the artist-built boarding house and other installation works. The kitchen is centrally featured on the museum’s 1st floor, and exhibits Elsewhere’s organized, cooperative living practices. Studios include a wood and textile workshop, tech lab, storefront theater, vintage wardrobe, garden, and more inside the 150-year-old building. 

Our vision features up to 8 fellows who care for one another and the space while prioritizing each other’s safety. We dream that care is exhibited through abundant family dinners with ingredients from our garden, consistent, honest communication, impromptu karaoke nights, and learning together by sharing skills. We want to facilitate lifelong relationships.   

For more on Elsewhere’s history, please visit our Story page.




To learn about our protocols for keeping everyone safe during CO-VID 19, click here.

We define a family unit as 2 or more individuals (at least 1 of which is 18 years or older) who enter the fellowship together. Family units include parents and/or guardians with children under the age of 18, couples, collectives, and other structured relationships considered romantic or platonic. Included in this definition are polyamorous relationships.  


We can only accept family units of 4 people or fewer, and we have limited space for multiple family units. Family units are expected to share a room unless specified otherwise. 



  • A private room on the 2nd floor of the building
  • Shared single bathroom facilities (3 half bathrooms and 2 full bathrooms)
  • Access to the fully equipped Kitchen Commons. See the kitchen here
  • Locally sourced ingredients are offered through the Food Co-op. These selections are shopped for on a weekly basis or grown in Elsewhere’s garden and support varying dietary needs.  (The Food co-op is vegetarian but the kitchen is not. Fellows may purchase their own meat if desired.)
  • Regular, organized communal meals and do-it-yourself provisions 24 hours/7 days a week.
  • Free washer and dryer on site
  • Free Wifi and access to landline phone



  • Museum tools, equipment, and workshops (carpentry, textiles, printing, paper, food, digital media). See Elsewhere’s list of equipment here.
  • Vast vintage material resources dating back to the early 20th century. Read more here
  • Shared studio space on the 3rd floor of the building



  • Opportunity to create a site specific project separate from the work exchange.
  • Documentation and social media support
  • Presentation of your work archived online and on-site, see examples of artist projects here


For Your Consideration:

  • While still a rustic environment, Elsewhere had recent renovations including HVAC, safety access and evacuation systems (fire monitoring, alarms, sprinklers, exits), as well as ADA accessibility on the 1st floor only. All bathrooms are single-stall and gender neutral.
  • Applicants who report to their place of employment or institution in person will be subject to in-depth questioning to ensure the community’s safety. To learn more about our current COVID-19 protocols, click here. These protocols will be updated collectively as the fellows make themselves at home.
  • All adult members (18+ years) of a family unit must be included in your application and must submit their own application to be considered. 
  • Our fellowship cannot accommodate anyone under the age of 18 who is not accompanied by an adult.
  • Elsewhere is able to provide a landline telephone and wireless internet, but is not able to furnish computers for fellows at this time. 
  • We only allow trained service animals with official paperwork & cannot make policy exceptions for pets.
  • All applicants selected for interviews will be asked to review and agree to our community safety guidelines that address conflict resolution, harm prevention and management, and what constitutes immediate termination. All fellows will receive further on-site training on these guidelines.



’Mixed’, Lonnie Holley. Southern Constellations Fellow. December 2018. Installation view. Acrylic, museum collection garments, mannequins, and miscellaneous items. Dimensions variable.

In exchange for room and board and complete access to the food co-op, all working adults* must:

  • Practice open and honest communication, emotional maturity, adaptability, and an ability to collaborate in both work and living environments
  • Contribute 3-4 hours a week towards chores and responsibilities that come with communal living, such as weekly house meetings, group meals, cleaning & organization, and upkeep of health and safety protocols in regards to COVID-19
  • Contribute 10 hours a week to the organization and aiding in a variety of tasks including but not limited to:

Physical Space:

  • Reorganizing and renovating live/work environments
  • Revitalizing the museum space in preparation for future reopening to the public
  • General upkeep and maintenance of building and living systems
  • Garden and landscaping

Community Engagement:

  • COVID-safe events that combine fundraising with community gathering
  • Working with local Black leaders and organizers to continuously provide Elsewhere as a space and resource for social justice initiatives.
  • Collaborating with local creatives and businesses to create programming and events that serve the community.
  • Food programming

Digital Space:

  • Establishment of social media output that reflects both the internal Elsewhere day to day experience, as well as uplifting the voices of those in our local community and our larger alumni network.
  • Consistent documentation of day-to-day activities and projects within the building
  • Archiving digital files

We are constantly learning and adapting our ways here at Elsewhere. You can expect to enter a live/work environment that has creative systems in place, but is flexible and encouraging of change to ensure that it continues to fulfill the needs of all those living and working here.

We firmly believe in collaboration at the root of all that we do. As a fellow welcomed onto the Elsewhere team, you will be treated with the same respect and held to the same accountability as the rest of our staff

Elsewhere believes in bringing people onto the team in a way that acknowledges all that everyone can bring to the table, rather than the skills needed for a position that must be filled. You can expect us to value your skills, time, ideas, and creativity and to be accommodating in making this work for everyone.


Please review all tabs on this webpage to ensure our program is the best fit for your needs.

Applications are no longer being accepted.


Full Session: September 15th – February 28th (with optional break* between December 10th – January 10th)

Fall Session only: September 15th – December 10th

Winter Session only: December 10th – February 28th

Move-in dates are flexible and will be discussed upon selection.


*The optional break is intended to give fellows space to visit their families while safely quarantining to prevent the spread of the virus between households. Fellows must continue to get tested every 2 weeks and follow the safety procedures before returning. For safety procedures, click here.

Elsewhere will maintain a waitlist to offer additional applicants the opportunity to participate if additional spots open up.


SELECTIONS: Elsewhere staff review applications on a rolling basis to ensure completion and eligibility. Submissions are then reviewed by a dynamic group. We take great care in this process to ensure committed, talented, diverse and engaged fellows are chosen, and that all applications get adequate attention. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will remain open until all positions are filled. Priority goes to applicants who identify as LGBTQIA, BIPOC, and/or disabled.  

NOTIFICATION: All applicants will be informed of their status by September 21st 2020. If you have not heard from us by this date, please contact fellowship@goelsewhere.org.

FINALISTS: Applicants accepted into the fellowship are required to sign a contract and confirm a move in date.


Why were 2020 residencies and internships postponed? What about SE makes it viable in this time when other programs are not?

Residencies and internships were postponed due to the inability to conduct them safely in the midst of a pandemic. With the residencies being 1 month long, we found that it would be challenging to establish and maintain effective COVID safe protocols.

We saw this as an opportunity to share the resources that Elsewhere has, while addressing immediate needs of our communities that have not been prioritized in past programming. Unlike the foundational residency, the fellowship does not prioritize artists and welcomes thinkers, makers, and doers of all kinds. 

In recognizing the inequities of the internship and residency structures, we aim to establish a more equitable work exchange while eliminating fees so as to make this program more widely accessible. The extended length of this program also gives us the ability to establish and maintain COVID protocols to ensure the safety of all participants.

Is this just Elsewhere seeking free labor? 

Absolutely not. Elsewhere is in the process of limiting its relationship with free and underpaid labor, SHELTER ELSEWHERE is a good example of this. Unlike our Internship, where interns must contribute 18-30 hrs/wk in exchange for subsidized Room & Board, SHELTER ELSEWHERE drastically reduces the work requirement and eliminates all fees. 

Our vision is that people are able to be themselves fully and explore their creative pursuits with more energy when financial stressors surrounding basic needs are minimized. Elsewhere believes in acknowledging all that everyone can bring to the table in an effort to strengthen the museum’s relationship with the community. We invite fellows to take an active role in defining and addressing community needs both internally and externally. 

What is the work exchange? 

We’re asking adults 18 years and older for 10 hours a week of organizational support and 3-4 hours a week dedicated to facilitating successful communal living.

How did Elsewhere calculate the value of the work exchange?

In the interest of transparency, this is the formula we used to value the cost of living at museum.

$200/month for private room with shared bathrooms

$45/week (~$180/month) towards communal food coop

$50/month for utilities

$50/month for access to materials, workshop, and studio facilities 

Totalling $480/month valuing 10 hours per week at $12/hr (this wage is equal to that of our managers)

What will the Fellows will be working on during the 10 hours per week?

The Fellows, supported by the staff, will be encouraged to work on projects that align with their skills and passions. The work exchange is designed to be project oriented rather than department oriented and promotes collaboration across departments. Fellows can configure their 10 hours how it feels best to them. (2 hours a day during the week, 5 hours for two days, etc) 

Some project examples are:

  • Aiding in the design, population, and launch of Elsewhere’s new website
  • Supporting April Parker, Elsewhere’s Creative Catalyst Fellow, in organizing community outreach
  • Producing a series of content including interviews with Alumni, museum tours, and more
  • Completing grant reports and designing templates
  • Restoring + preserving physical spaces in the 100+ year old building
  • Restoring + rearranging art and installations throughout the museum

Why do Fellows have to contribute an additional 3-4 hours to “house” duties?

To maintain a healthy communal environment, everyone must share responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include: general housekeeping, cooking with and for each other, and setting intentional time to communicate and socialize as a group. 

How is healthcare being addressed?

Currently Elsewhere does not provide healthcare for any of its staff. It does provide its full-time directors with an annual $500 health insurance reimbursement as part of their benefits. Elsewhere hopes to both offer health insurance in time. Staff are and Fellows are encouraged to seek insurance through healthcare.gov which provides significant subsidies, even fully covering costs of some plans. 

The Staff and SHELTER ELSEWHERE Fellows are covered under Elsewhere’s Workman’s Compensation Insurance should they become injured or ill (including CO-VID 19) while working with Elsewhere.

Beyond that, we will use available resources such as walk-in clinics, virtual doctor visits, and, if need be, the emergency room.

$3000 has been budgeted to utilize or to keep in reserve to support the Fellows access and ability to participate in the program. How these funds will be utilized will be determined based on the needs shared in the application process and throughout the Fellowship.

How is Fellows’ need to earn money being addressed?

Elsewhere is itself not providing paid opportunities to Fellows at this time. We understand that this will be a barrier for many potential candidates. We hope that the value of the exchange will meet the needs of the small number of participants who might not normally be able to participate in our other offerings.

$3000 has been budgeted to utilize or to keep in reserve to support the Fellows access and ability to participate in the program. How these funds will be utilized will be determined based on the needs shared in the application process and throughout the Fellowship.

There is potential to organize around utilizing Elsewhere’s networks and platforms to perform work remotely. Recently, Elsewhere prototyped “Elsewhere For Hire” where a paid opportunity for a local artist was facilitated by Elsewhere. In this case, Elsewhere acted as an intermediary and did not receive any funds. 

We believe in the collective potential of the Fellows with the broader Elsewhere community will allow us to meet the needs of those involved. 

Under what circumstances would a Fellow be asked to leave Elsewhere early and how will Elsewhere provide needed supports?

All Fellows will sign our Equity Agreement + Community Guidelines and COVID 19 Protocol which address safety within the building. Additionally, during orientation, Fellows will work with staff to create further community agreements and group norms collectively. Given the uniqueness of this Fellowship, the length of time and residency component, a strong emphasis is being placed on finding Fellows who will bring great care to the communal experience.

The group will utilize circle processes to address issues as they arise. Should harm occur, we will utilize restorative justice approaches wherever possible. Should harm that occurs require a separation, temporarily or permanently, the process we will utilize will be clarified and agreed to by the group at the beginning of the Fellowship. 

We believe in the collective potential of the Fellows with the broader Elsewhere community will allow us to meet the needs of those involved.