Things to know.

Can I bring my partner, family or child?
Your spouse, significant other, friend, parent or child may wish to join you for all or part of your stay. We cannot accommodate your family or friends at the Instituto and we strongly discourage that you have them stay off-site. Such visitors deflect from the purpose of the Instituto Sacatar, which is to provide Fellows valuable time away from life back home. Please make any arrangements with others to visit or travel after your residency is complete.
Given our location on the ocean front, in a region with precarious medical services, and with the ability to host no more than six artists at a time, we — like many other residency programs — simply cannot host families.  We suggest you contact the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which provides support for artists with families, by either directing them to those programs who can accept families or by providing financial support to artists’ families when a spouse is at a residency that cannot host families with children.
Sustainable Arts Foundation http://www.sustainableartsfoundation.org/
Also, at the Alliance of Artist Communities site —www.artistcommunities.org — you can search specifically for residency programs that host families by scrolling to the link at the bottom of the SEARCH option.  Such programs do exist, but many programs, such as ours, simply do not have the infrastructure to host families.

Can I bring my pet?
With the exception of seeing-eye dogs, residents may not bring any animals or pets.

Do artists receive a stipend for living expenses or materials?
Fellows do not receive stipends from Sacatar, unless through a partner organization. Many artists, once selected, seek additional financial support. Artists are responsible for all their incidental expenses and working materials. A Sacatar staff member meets artists at the airport on the first day of the residency session to take them to the island estate for the first time, but once on the island, artists are responsible for their local transportation.

How much money will I need during my residency?
In the broadest terms, the cost of living in Brazil is approximately half to two-thirds the cost in Europe or America, with some exceptions. Art supplies and electronics, for example, may cost more in Brazil. The Residency Manual includes information about the cost of art supplies, restaurants, local transportation, etc. Former residents generally recommend that artists bring the equivalent of two thousand Brazilian reais to pay for miscellaneous expenses during an eight-week residency.

Can you accommodate the physically disabled?
To date, we have successfully hosted hearing-impaired, paraplegic and quadriplegic artists. The estate is flat, and the main house has wide halls and doorways; however, the towns of Itaparica and Salvador are not easily negotiated in a wheelchair. We schedule wheelchair-bound artists, when possible, during the less rainy seasons of the year (August through March). Some artists with disabilities may require a caretaker or assistant. In such cases, the artist must address these special needs with Sacatar’s staff and must assume responsibility for the caretaker’s air travel and incidental expenses. The Foundation will provide a suite with two beds and meals for the artist and caretaker.

Is there an age limit?
There is no age limit. To date, the youngest Sacatar Fellow was 21 years old; the oldest, 83. The average age of all Sacatar Fellows is 40. However, given the highly competitive nature of the selection process, it is unlikely that an emerging artist younger than twenty will be accepted.

What languages are spoken at the residency?
English is generally, but not always, the common language shared by resident Fellows. However, there is no requirement to speak English to apply. Please note that few Brazilians speak English. Sacatar has a staff of nine, only one of whom speaks English. Almost all former Fellows encourage future Fellows to learn as much Portuguese as they can before coming. Fellows often take shared Portuguese language classes once on the island.

Is there an opportunity to share my work or skills with the local population?
While the purpose of a Sacatar Fellowship is to provide creative individuals the time and space to develop new work, many participants are eager to share their skills or artistic output, not just with each other but with the local community. The Sacatar staff can respond to such requests, helping artists make local contacts to achieve their goals. To this end and to the extent possible, we will arrange for theaters, exhibition spaces, classrooms, etc., both on the island and in Salvador, and we will help find collaborators, musicians, students, actors and other volunteers to realize project proposals. Wages on the island are low and some artists also contract studio assistants at a daily wage (as little as $15/day for a day laborer, or more for specialized skills: translation, camerawork, etc.).

What kind of electronic equipment do you provide artists?
Due to Sacatar’s tropical seaside location, we provide very limited electronic equipment. We do NOT have a dedicated computer, projector, printer or ‘boom-box’ for the artists’ use. Artists should bring any such equipment that they may need.

Is there reliable internet service?
Internet access is not always reliable. Until there is a significant upgrade to the infrastructure of the town of Itaparica, there is nothing more we can do to improve internet connectivity. We encourage artists to prepare to limit their time on line to avoid occasional frustration.

Is there peace and quiet on the island?
Sacatar is located on a 9000 square meter oceanfront property, in a seasonally occupied residential neighborhood of vacation homes. The surrounding streets are sand. For most of the year, the atmosphere is quiet and serene. However, particularly during the high tourist season (December-February), we have no control over the people who rent houses in the neighborhood. Some of these renters party long and loud, with no regard whatsoever for the neighbors. Festivals in Brazil, which occur primarily from December through February, also tend to be loud. Sometimes, an amplified festival taking place a few kilometers away can sound like it is happening across the street. In addition, most of the houses in the neighborhood keep guard dogs. These dogs habitually bark at passers-by and, in the intense holiday season, there can be a lot of passers-by to bark at! There is nothing we can do about barking dogs or singing birds and there is very little we can do, unfortunately, about noisy neighbors on vacation.

Is the island safe?
The island of Itaparica is paradisical, but there is a snake in the garden: petty crime. We encourage Fellows to use the same ‘street smarts’ as they would living in any urban center (e.g., not displaying cameras or video equipment openly, carrying only what money is needed, particularly when walking through the less inhabited areas of the island, etc). Such thefts have occurred almost annually, often resulting in the loss of cash, camera, cell phone or video recorder.

What is a typical day like?
Fellows are free to structure their days as suits their personal ‘style.’ Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served between fixed hours, during which artists come and go as they wish. Given the dramatic tides directly in front of the property, the cycles of the moon often begin to dictate the artists’ days. A refreshing swim is best at high tide and every two weeks the extreme low tides may limit access to the mainland for a few hours. Most artists limit the number of times each week that they go to the city of Salvador on the mainland; it takes twenty to thirty minutes to get to the ferryboat terminals (depending on local transportation) and an additional forty minutes to take a boat across the bay. However, the colonial-era town of Itaparica is a short walk away, where there are numerous bars and restaurants overlooking the bay. Life on the island of Itaparica is very laid-back and definitely moves at a slower pace.

What about local wildlife (and mosquitos)?
Artists share the property with three resident dogs, several peafowl and a family of tortoises, as well as monkeys, crabs, bats, numerous species of birds, lizards, mosquitos, ants, spiders and frogs. Except for the monkeys, all of these animals enter and leave the house and studios at will. (Monkeys are best seen early in the morning and late in the afternoon, when you can hear their screeches and spot them fairly easily, but for the most part, they are elusive and secretive.) The peacocks often prance about in the inner courtyard. Birds sweep into the kitchen after bread crumbs. Bats may flit through the living room disoriented at night. Frogs sometimes move into the toilets. These things happen. There is little we can do to control the entrance and egress of these residents, although we keep the dogs out of the house during mealtimes and there are mosquito nets on all the beds. At Sacatar you may live more closely to diverse animal species than you are accustomed to.

Should I take any medical precautions before coming to Brazil?
Malaria and yellow fever are NOT endemic to Bahia or most of Brazil. The Zika and chikungunya viruses, though, are a rising concern in all of Latin America and are definitely present in Bahia. You should consult a medical professional concerning risks related to you with these and other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue. Also check the Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov) for timely health advisories related to Brazil and for more information about these viruses. And do note that Fellows frequently report that falling in love with Bahia is highly contagious.

Are there classes I can take: Portuguese, percussion, capoeira, samba?
See our Administration if you are interested in taking Portuguese, capoeira (the martial art of Bahia), dance or percussion classes. While Sacatar will not pay for such classes, private tutors are inexpensive and easily arranged. The Fellows often band together for group classes, such as capoeira lessons on the beach.

Do I need a car while I am at Sacatar?
No. You can easily walk or bike around the town of Itaparica. There are micro-buses and taxis that can take you to the boat terminals. Sacatar provides four bicycles for the Fellows’ use.

Is there a gym or fitness facility nearby?
Yes. There are several, none of them fancy, but popular with the Fellows. The cost is very reasonable. And it is a great way to meet locals.

Can the facilities in Brazil be rented?
Contact the Sacatar administration to present your idea.

Can artists pay their own way?
Usually not, but we will consider potential financial support through institutional or governmental entities on a case-by-case basis.

Can former Fellows re-apply?
Many former Fellows wish to return to continue work in Bahia. We set aside a bedroom for them in most residency sessions. After one year and when a room is available, we ask former Fellows to send brief statements describing what they hope to accomplish during a subsequent Sacatar residency. While the selected former Fellow will be responsible for his or her own airfare, Sacatar will provide studio, room and board, just as we do for first-time Fellows. We cannot guarantee placement and will accommodate former Fellows only as space is available.

Can I visit the Instituto?
Yes. Please call ahead and schedule an appointment to visit.