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Zócalo Artist-in-Residence Program

Located on the Beautiful Campus of Zócalo Apartments

Zócalo Artist-in-Residency program is committed to celebrating the creative spirit by incorporating a fully funded artist residency program in Houston — a key pillar within a vibrant community that encourages the interaction between artists and community. With community-engagement and creative placemaking values at its core, Zócalo Artist Residency debuted its inaugural flagship program in 2020 with the primary goal of enabling artists-in-residence to meaningfully engage with community while granting artists the freedom to explore critical ideas outside the studio as within.

Located on the beautiful residential campus of Zócalo Apartments in the Spring Branch area of Houston, Texas, a single one-year and two six-month residencies are offered each annual cycle. Applicants chosen by a rotating selection panel of local artists, curators, and arts administrators are granted fully-funded housing in a private apartment studio, a monthly working stipend, need-based project funding, and hands-on support from our full time residency Program Director.

As a community-immersive program which strives to strengthen the connection between people and the places we share through the power of art and creativity, a focus is placed on granting artists the opportunity to develop community-based projects while providing artists with dedicated time, space, and the financial leverage to create new work in a supportive environment of open inquiry. Given the ample size of Zócalo's 10-acre campus, artists are welcome to re-imagine everyday spaces and push the boundaries of their creativity with site-specific installations or participatory creative projects on Zócalo’s campus and within the surrounding areas of the Spring Branch neighborhood. Emerging to established US-based artists and collectives who have a strong interest in deepening a collaborative, community-engaged creative practice are invited to apply.

Applications for the 2021-2022 Residency Season Open September 2020


Three Residencies Will Be Available:


Full Year: April 2021 - March 2022


Six Month (Spring): April 2021 - September 2021


Six Month (Fall): October 2021- March 2022



Our vision is to imbue Zócalo Apartments with “a sense of place” by creating an active environment where art and creativity are part of the everyday life of the community.


ZAIR’s mission is to offer emerging and established artists a valuable & supportive opportunity to advance their artistic careers while participating in the cultivation of a vibrant and engaged community with Zócalo residents and the greater Spring Branch neighborhood.


  • Support artists working in community contexts
  • Encourage the development of a wide variety of interactions between artists and community members
  • Support frameworks for creative collaboration between artist and communities
  • Encourage and support artistic projects that leave a physical or social legacy in the community
  • Make our communities more vibrant by inspiring participation and relationship-building
  • Engage communities and people, even those who don't see themselves as artists, as creators, producers, performers, and active audiences

Meet our Director

Ileana Yordan


As Program Director, Ileana Yordan is responsible for ensuring the ZAIR program is a valuable and engaging experience for everyone involved. She brings to this role experience in both arts non-profit and commercial gallery management and holds a Masters in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston.

Our Program Director serves as a full-time liaison and go-to guide throughout all residencies and works hands-on with each artist to navigate project development and offer guidance to help ensure projects are relevant, beneficial, and feasible for the community. 

Meet our Current

Artist Residents

Input Output Zocalo Artist Residency
Input Output // Billy Baccam // Alex Ramos

Input Output is a creative lab duo comprised of Billy Baccam and Alex Ramos who each bring innovative approaches to the application of art and technology along with unique human experiences that shape their artistic process. Born out of a collaboration that lit up the inaugural Illectric River Festival in 2017, Input Output researches, designs and develops digital-physical experiences. Together, they bring inanimate structures and spaces to life by combining art, technology, science, and architecture with the creative implementation of light and sound. They work to create stimulating experiences that blur the lines between the digital and the physical world.

"The Zócalo Artist-In-Residency program has been a fantastic experience. The support and resources from ZAIR have given us the space and time to refine our artistic process, explore unfamiliar technologies, and engage the Zócalo community with new art installations and experiments that spark conversation. To be fully immersed in an environment that gives complete artistic freedom and the ability to share that creativity with a curious community has been a dream come true" - Billy Baccam 

Full Artist Profile

Theresa Escobedo-TW
Theresa Escobedo

Theresa Escobedo is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator from Houston, Texas. She manages the City of Houston's Civic Art Program through the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and has curated, coordinated, and executed public programs and projects designed to activate public spaces that offer artists the opportunity to impact neighborhood experiences through creative place-making and social inquiry.

Throughout her residency, Theresa has developed an ongoing virtual series of collaborative workshops and conversations featuring artists and multidisciplinary creatives in (or from) Houston, TX. This series, called Zócalo CoLabs, was created in response to COVID-19 to share artist perspectives, artistic practices, and activities that are fun, easy, and enriching for those staying safe at home.

"I've really appreciated the support this residency offers in terms of planning and logistics, as well as the openness to try new things and embrace (and learn!) new practices - like virtual live streaming. That willingness and flexibility go a long way to support and encourage emerging ideas from artists and has made me feel that I have an ally in my success." -Theresa Escobedo

Full Artist Profile

Applications for the 2021-2022 Residency Season Open September 2020

Three Residencies Will Be Available:


Full Year:

April 2021 - March 2022


Six Month (Spring):

April 2021 - September 2021


Six Month (Fall):

October 2021- March 2022