Residency-in-Your-Room Fellowships

Spring 2020 RIYR Fellowship Awardees

Program Overview

During the second half of the spring 2020 semester, in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the STUDIO offered sixty-eight $200 grants to students enrolled in the CMU College of Fine Arts, to support creative work of all kinds. Students applied in six weekly rounds.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (age 18) convalescing with her bed easel after a life-changing bus accident.


The STUDIO wants to support your creative practice during the COVID-19 quarantine. We are offering more than sixty “Residency-in-Your-Room Fellowships” of $200 — approximately ten grants per week, for the latter six weeks of the spring 2020 semester — as a stimulus to support creative “speed projects” by current CFA students. There are no restrictions on the kind of work you can do. Make a painting, perform a play in a Zoom conference call, learn a new piece of repertoire. When you’re done, send us a one-minute video.


Fellowship recipients are asked to do or make something creative, and to provide us with documentation of their project in images or in a video less than one minute long. (The STUDIO may present these materials on its Instagram and other social media channels.) That’s it!


All enrolled CFA students in good standing, and any students currently enrolled in a Spring 2020 course offered through the College of Fine Arts, are eligible to apply. This includes all CFA graduate students and undergraduates in the Schools of Architecture, Art, Design, Drama, and Music, as well as any students pursuing BXA degrees, minors, double-majors, double-degrees, and/or self-defined majors in the College of Fine Arts. 


Applications for spring 2020 are now closed. • An archive of the application form can be found here, requesting a brief description of what you’d like to make, do, or perform during your Residency-in-Your-Room. Applications were due at 11:59pm each Monday, through May 4th, 2020. A rotating jury of faculty from all five CFA Schools chose the most compelling proposals every week. Selected projects were announced every Friday at 10:00am, and listed on this page.

Funds will be transferred to students in the form of a “Non-Qualified Scholarship”. Please note that these funds are considered taxable income, and may take several weeks to reach you. When you’re done, submit your project documentation here. All documentation is due before June 1, 2020, but we welcome documentation on a rolling basis.


  • What kind of creative work is eligible? Anything. We encourage you to keep your proposal modest in scope — make, do or perform something that you feel confident can be completed before the end of the semester.
  • May I spend the money on groceries? Yes, or on anything else you need. This Fellowship is an artist residency, and the funds are intended to support you however you need, so that you can continue to work creatively.
  • Can I use the Fellowship to help support a project for a class? Sure.
  • Can I apply more than once? You may apply once per week. You may not apply more than once per week; if you do, only the first application will be considered. If you don’t receive a Fellowship, we strongly encourage you to apply again the following week.
  • Can I receive more than one Residency-in-Your-Room Fellowship? No, not during the spring 2020 semester, but you are welcome to submit new applications for consideration in the following semester, once you have submitted documentation for prior awards.
  • Who decides the awards? The grants are selected by a jury of three CFA faculty, including the Director of the STUDIO. The jurors change every week, and collectively represent every School in the College.
  • When does the work need to be completed? There’s no specific deadline, but we’d love to receive your documentation by the end of August. If you don’t submit documentation of your project, you may lose your eligibility to apply for our other grant programs.
  • Can I put this on my resume? Yes! Awardees are encouraged to put the following on their resume: “Residency-in-Your-Room Fellowship: Juried grant from the CMU Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Spring 2020”.


Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali experimenting with projections from his bed in the St Regis Hotel, New York, 1964. Images from this article