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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 artist teams who have a strong interest in deepening a collaborative, community-engaged creative practice are invited to apply.

Applications for the 2021-2022 Season

Are Now Open Through October 26th!




Our vision is to imbue Zócalo Apartments with “a sense of place” by creating an environment that strengthens the connection between people and the places they share through the power of art and creativity.


Our mission is to build community through dynamic art & ideas. We focus on providing artists working in community contexts with stable housing, a supportive work environment, and professional resources to help advance their artistic careers and develop their practices in ways that help build a vibrant and engaged community with and for 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 artists 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.


Supporting Artistic Excellence: We believe in supporting the important work artists do and we understand the multifaceted challenges artists often face throughout their careers. We’re focused on providing talented and deserving artists with monetary and non-monetary support in the form of no-cost housing, space, project and materials funding, artistic freedom, and tailored administrative support to help artists achieve their vision and goals.  

Artist-Led Community Building & Civic Enrichment: We believe art plays a critical role in building a strong and connected neighborhood. As a multifamily residential community, we believe in putting art at the heart of our community to enhance the lives and well-being of our neighbors through placemaking projects that promote creativity, are culturally relevant, and most importantly, unite the community in a way only art can.

Accessibility to the Arts: We believe everyone deserves access to arts programming within their communities. It is our intention to invest in the arts and increase accessibility through community-based arts programming in our area.

Meet our Director

Ileana Yordan


As Program Director, Ileana 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 throughout all residencies and works hands-on with each artist to navigate project development and offer guidance to help ensure all residencies are relevant, beneficial, and feasible for both artist and community. 

Meet our Current

Artist Residents

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

Input Output is an experimental, new media 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

Meet the 2021-2022


Theresa Escobedo
Theresa Escobedo

Theresa Escobedo is one of Zócalo's current artists-in-residence. Through her current appointment, Escobedo has valuable insight & intimate knowledge about the residency & the cultural context of Zócalo. Theresa Escobedo is recognized as a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator from Houston, Texas. She currently manages the Civic Art program for the City of Houston through the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and has curated, coordinated, and executed public programs and projects designed to activate public spaces and to offer artists the opportunity to impact neighborhood experiences through creative place-making and social inquiry. Her past experience includes diverse curatorial and administrative roles at MECA, Arts District Houston, Manteca HTX, and Main Street Projects.

Angel Quesada - Headshot (Color)
Ángel Quesada
Artist, Ángel Quesada has been making artworks for over 25 years. His decades-long connection to music, visual art, and martial arts have all influenced his approach. Upon his return to Texas in 2005, he has worked as a public visual artist, producer, curator, exhibition designer, musician, arts administrator, digital editor, ethnographer, and muralist. Given his multidisciplinary background, Quesada understands and feels strongly that art is a succinct and powerful way to improve and enhance living conditions for all people. Art facilitates communities to literally visualize their neighborhood and help cultivate a sense of place in an ever-changing landscape. In beautifying a community, pride and self- identification in a place is elicited. 
Sixto Wagan
Sixto Wagan

Sixto Wagan is the inaugural director for the Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE) at the University of Houston. Prior to this role, he led the contemporary art center DiverseWorks, serving a multitude of capacities including Artistic Director, Co-Executive Director and Performing Arts Curator. During his tenure, he nurtured artists, communities and emerging arts organizations through commissions and place-based initiatives. Wagan is known for collaborating with performers whose works tackle prescient cultural, social and political issues. He currently serves as the Board President of the MAP Fund. He is a celebrated commissioner and producer of contemporary art works, and has served on the boards of Dance/USA, Dance Source Houston, The M.A.T.C.H. (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston), the National Performance Network, The MacDowell Colony and QFest, in addition to previously serving as a Hub Site for the National Dance Project and on the advisory board for the Texan French Alliance for the Arts.