Dumpster Project Creative-in-Residence



The Dumpster Project is partnering with artists/designers/photographers/makers/creatives of all types to create a welcoming and intentional community of individuals creating inspirational projects that can add to the evolution of the dumpster.

We invite creatives of all types to take on the challenge of the Dumpster – turning a used trash receptacle into a happy, healthy home – and re-envision some aspect of the project as we investigate the impacts of modern life in an open-ended, experimental fashion.

Creatives-in-Residence are welcome to assist us in on-going renovations. We are frequently tweaking and redecorating the dumpster, and welcome your input; however, your project is not required to add to the physical environs. The Dumpster design process is iterative and open-ended, and we love a constantly changing physical and social environment, and that is the spirit we want to cultivate. The Dumpster Project is always a work-in-progress, and there are many opportunities to leave one’s mark.


ultimatestudiodumpster_smallThe Dumpster Project is located on the thriving Huston-Tillotson University campus near local restaurants, coffee shops, and businesses.  While not a requirement to stay in the Dumpster to participate in the program, Residents can choose to stay overnight on-site in a climate controlled renovated dumpster.

Resident creatives are provided with a continually evolving 6′ x 6′ studio dumpster with air-conditioning and heating, a single futon bed with gel mattress topper, under-floor storage, and basic camping cookware. In additional artists have access to Huston-Tillotson facilities including open wi-fi, toilets, and a shower.


The Residency time duration depends on the time needed for the project. Multiple residencies may run concurrently if the projects will not interfere with each other or on-going Dumpster Project work.

Dumpster stays can last from 1-5 subsequent days, and we can arrange for multiple stays. As a Dumpster resident, you are a human subject in our university experiment, and therefore must be willing and able to go through our consent process before any overnight stay.


The residency program offers opportunities to contribute to Dumpster Project exhibitions and public programs. Creatives-In-Residence are highly encouraged to submit proposals with a final event/performance/exhibition or talk in mind. We can and will help facilitate any necessary production needs to make it an excellent experience.

Dumpster Project vibes

The Dumpster Project uses the quirky task of turning a dumpster into a home to ask people to rethink sustainability. The playful and imaginative tone of the Dumpster Project is integral to our mission. Our core values represent all aspects of this mission and our vision to create an educational, societal, environmental awareness, and science communication legacy that engages and inspires action.

core values small graphical

We are housed on a university campus and work with school groups and camps with students of all ages, so we are sensitive to vulgarity and nudity especially.


The Dumpster Project residency is tailored to North-American and international artists of varying media and practices. We also welcome cultural producers of all stripes, social activists, academics, and anyone who is creative, adventurous, and willing to come to Austin and allow experiences here to influence new bodies of work. We are especially keen on artists who have a socially collaborative or new media art practice.


Creatives-In-Residence are selected through our Open Call application process. Applications are reviewed by the Dumpster Project team and advisors.


The Proposal can consist of any type of creative project that you want to pursue in Austin. A group or solo exhibition or performance is readily an option at the Dumpster at the end of the residency although not necessarily required.


The Creative-in Residence program is free for participating artists. Artists should budget for their own travel and food expenses. In conjunction with each resident, we seek to collaboratively fundraise for all involved parties via suitable techniques such as crowdfunding.

Submission Requirements

Please complete the application form linked below. We will be in touch to discuss your project and Residency.

Thank you for your interest in the Dumpster Project. If you’d like more information please feel free to contact us.