Frequently Asked Questions
What is PlySpace?
PlySpace is both a program and a physical space. PlySpace is a program of Muncie Arts and Culture Council in partnership with the City of Muncie, Ball State University School of Art, and Sustainable Muncie Corporation. The goal of PlySpace is to provide emerging and established artists from the Midwest and beyond with a temporary residence, studio space, and access to equipment, resources, and opportunities to engage with the community through public programming.
PlySpace is also the name of the building at 608 E Main Street in Muncie, Indiana, which houses the PlySpace residents, the business offices for the Muncie Arts and Culture Council, and a flexible exhibition space.
What is the history of PlySpace?
PlySpace began as an idea: how can contemporary, practicing artists of varying disciplines become more engaged in community progress in a small, rust-belt city? How can artist intervention act as a catalyst for change in the community of Muncie, Indiana? After years of planning and coordination between community organizations and thanks to significant support from the National Endowment for the Arts, PlySpace became a reality in 2017. PlySpace is a small, post-victorian house located in the heart of downtown Muncie. The structure, built in 1916, is located in the Emily Kimbrough Historic District, named for Hoosier author Emily Kimbrough (born 1899) who lived in a house at 715 East Washington St. The neighborhood is home to numerous victorian and post-victorian houses.
Where is Muncie, Indiana?
Muncie is a city of about 70,000 located roughly 70 miles between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is home to Ball State University, the original Ball Glass Company, Garfield, and Bob Ross' studio. Muncie is in Delaware county, and is considered to be in central Indiana. By car, it is about 3.5 hours from Chicago, 2.5 hours from Cincinnati, OH or Bloomington, IN, and 2 hours from Dayton, OH.
How do I get to Muncie, Indiana?
Residents arriving by plane (closest airports are Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Dayton) should expect to rent a car to travel to Muncie. Car rental from the airport to Muncie, one way, is roughly $45, and both Hertz and Enterprise have rental car offices in Muncie. Other travel options include hiring a car or taking the daily bus service from Indianapolis to Muncie (please check service options yourself as they may have changed). Dates and available times for these services may vary depending on the season. Please contact the PlySpace Program Coordinator prior to travel if you will not have a car - there may be a carpool option with other residents or PlySpace staff.
For more information on bus service, visit the greyhound website: http://locations.greyhound.com/bus-routes/destination/indianapolis-in/muncie-in#fare-search
What is the cost of living in Muncie?
Muncie is pretty inexpensive as cities go. Residents should plan to spend $8-$15 on a standard restaurant entree, $3-$5 for a draft beer, or about $20-$50 on groceries per week, depending on what you buy and where you shop. Most things are comparable in price to other small midwest cities. Residents may be able to use their living stipends to cover their living costs, but should plan to have additional funding available to them if they need it or in the case of an emergency.
Questions about Admissions or the Program…
I just came across the residency. How can I apply? Am I eligible?
We are glad you found us! Please take a look at the About the Residency page to learn about eligibility for the program. You can look at the Application Guidelines page to find out about the application process. To submit an application, you can read the Application Upload Instructions. If you still have questions, read though this FAQ or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.
Why do you charge two different Application Fees?
Applications are very time consuming to review, so we want to encourage you to apply early to the program. This helps us spread out the review process for our volunteer reviewers. We have a tiered application fee system that gives early applicants a lower fee, and later applicants a slightly higher fee. It is completely up to you as to when you apply, but the fee will change during the last week of each application season. As always, any fee you pay goes directly to PlySpace programming and allows us to offer amazing experiences for residents and citizens of Muncie! We truly thank you for your contribution!
What is the difference between the PlySpace Fellow and the PlySpace Resident?
There is only one PlySpace Fellow per term. The Fellow works directly with the Ball State School of Art (SOA) on a collaborative project, workshop, or special program that can benefit BSU SOA students. Fellows must be in residence for no less than 9 weeks. Fellows spend more time on their community collaborations than residents, and also complete a public lecture and studio visits at the SOA as part of their residency. Fellows must also be approved by the SOA after application, and must be paired with a SOA faculty or staff member during their stay. This faculty acts as a liaison between the resident and the department they are working in, and helps integrate the Fellow into the particular studio area where they will be working. Fellows receive additional project funding from the SOA, plus the regular PlySpace travel and living stipends.
PlySpace Residents do not work directly with the School of Art (SOA) as a collaborative partner. They are not required to work with the student body at BSU, nor do they give a required public lecture at the SOA. Residents still have use of some SOA facilities, though their access may be more limited. Residents must be in residence for a minimum of 4 weeks, and receive only the PlySpace travel and living stipends, unless other specific project funding is arranged by the resident or the PlySpace staff prior to arrival. Residents must complete a community collaborative project with their designated community partner.
Can anyone apply to be a PlySpace Fellow?
Current fellowships are only available to practitioners in the studio arts, or practitioners with a multidisciplinary focus that incorporates studio art, performance, or social practice into their work. We have no age or education requirements to be a PlySpace Fellow, though the Fellow must be able to show a breadth and depth of work that exhibits commitment to their discipline and a strong exhibition or performance record. We hope to offer fellowships specific to writing, dance, and theatre in the future, but are not there yet.
I am applying for the fellowship and want to work with a specific BSU faculty member. What should I do?
Please list the BSU faculty member in the proposal section of your application, explaining whether you have been in contact with this faculty member already, and how you will work with them during your residency term. You can also list the faculty member as a reference. We will contact the faculty member if your application is chosen to move to the interview round of the application process. All Fellows must stay at PlySpace for a minimum of 9 weeks.
Please know that we may have more than one applicant for the fellowship each term, so knowing a faculty member does not guarantee acceptance into the residency. If there is more than one fellowship applicant who has identified a SOA faculty member to work with, we will discuss the projects with the School of Art, the admissions committee, and conduct interviews to determine the best fit for the program. There is only one fellowship each term, but each applicant can apply to be a Fellow as well as a Resident. If the applicant has a strong proposal but is not selected as a Fellow, they might be invited as a Resident instead.
I want to apply to be a PlySpace Fellow, but I am not in contact with a BSU faculty member. Can I still apply?
Absolutely! If a fellowship candidate does not know, or is not in contact with a BSU faculty member, but they have a strong proposal, the PlySpace staff will work to find an appropriate faculty parter at the School of Art. If a partner cannot be located, the applicant may be invited to PlySpace as a Resident instead. Be sure to check the box on the application indicating that you are interested in both the fellowship and the residency.
I can’t afford the application fee. Can it be waived?
No, sorry, we cannot waive the application fee.
I am an international applicant. Can you help me with my Visa? Can you cover all of my travel costs?
International applicants receive the same stipend amounts as all other applicants. Currently, the travel stipend can only be used for travel within the US. International applicants must be able to gain their own US Visas, passports, and any other travel paperwork required by the US State Department or their home nation in order for them to legally reside within the US for a minimum of 4 weeks to a max of 12 weeks. International applicants may be asked to complete a background check prior to acceptance to the program. Applicants from overseas should consult their local government and the US State Department to determine whether a Travel Visa can be granted in time for the residency term.
Questions about living...
Where do PlySpace Residents and Fellows live?
PlySpace residents will be provided accommodations on the second floor of PlySpace, a post-victorian house built in 1916, in the Emily Kimbrough Historic District of downtown Muncie, Indiana. The living quarters will include a private bedroom, private or shared bath, a shared living space, shared laundry facilities, and a shared full kitchen. Take a look at the pictures here! The lower level of PlySpace holds the offices for the Muncie Arts and Culture Council as well as project and exhibition space. The living quarters have a private entrance which is separate from the public areas and designed to offer artists quiet, personal space within a vibrant artist environment. The living spaces have central heat, and window units for AC in the summer. PlySpace is within walking or biking distance of numerous bars, restaurants, cafes, stores, outdoor parks, recreational trails, and Ball State University.
Will meals be provided?
Though the PlySpace residency does not provide meals, the large, family style kitchen can accommodate several cooks at a time. We will provide a special, family-style meal once a month for the residents, though the majority of the meals will not be provided. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free residents should be aware that the shared kitchen space is not allergen free, though we will do our best to accommodate any allergies. Please notify the PlySpace Coordinator of any food allergies prior to arrival. If residents require use of separate cookware or dishes due to an allergy or meat-free preference, they will need to supply these dishes/cookware themselves.
Where can I do laundry?
There are shared laundry facilities in PlySpace. Residents should supply their own laundry detergent.
Should I bring my own linens?
It is up to you, but you might find it helpful. PlySpace will have limited linens and towels for residents to use. It is suggested that you bring your own towels. PlySpace has one set of sheets, a comforter, a light-weight blanket , and two pillows for each bed.
Is there wifi? Do I need to bring a computer?
There is wifi available in the PlySpace house and Madjax studio spaces. Each personal living space is outfitted with a Mac desktop computer, but artists who rely heavily on discipline-specific software or programs should bring their own laptop.
Do I need to have a car?
The layout of Muncie makes the availability of a vehicle helpful, but not necessary. A vehicle is suggested, but not required, for those who wish to work in sculpture or larger physical pieces which will need to be transported to and from PlySpace and the BSU wood shop. There are numerous bus routes around Muncie and PlySpace residents will have use of bicycles while at PlySpace. The PlySpace staff will assist residents with weekly grocery store trips by car, if necessary. PlySpace is within walking distance of several restaurants, a small natural food store, and a fantastic farmer’s market at Minnetrista, which runs between April and September.
Where can I park while at PlySpace?
There is a small parking lot outside of PlySpace at the corner of Monroe St. and Main St. with free parking for patrons of Madjax, PlySpace, MACC, and other local businesses. Residents can park in this lot or in the Madjax parking lot at Monroe St. and Jackson St.. Free parking is also available on several surrounding city streets, just check for parking times and signs.
What should I bring?
Clothing for all weather, depending on the season. Muncie has snow and cold temperatures in the winter, and hot temperatures in the summer, with some rain.
Toiletries, Prescriptions, Insurance Information, Photo-ID
Linens and Towels - We will have blankets / comforters and some linens, but you should bring your owns sheets and towels. All beds are a 'full' size.
Headphones / Earplugs - Great for the studio and for the living spaces.
Closed-toe Shoes - You must have appropriate footwear if you are using any of the Ball State University School of Art facilities.
Specialty clothing - If you have an art practice that requires an apron, welding helmet, gloves, or other gear, you should bring this with you.
Bike helmet and U-Lock (or similar) bike lock if you would like to use the PlySpace bicycles.
Any handheld or power tools you need to make your work.
Any supplies you need to make your work (though you can order items and have them shipped to PlySpace.
You will not need:
Dishes or dishware unless you are cooking meat free / allergen free meals.
Appliances (we have a full kitchen and should have everything you need).
Basic supplies like toilet paper or paper towels.
How will I get my mail?
Mail can be received at PlySpace. We can also accept deliveries during business hours. Please notify the PlySpace Coordinator if you are expecting a delivery. Click on Contact for our mailing / street address.
What is your drug / alcohol / smoking policy?
All illegal substances are prohibited in PlySpace residency spaces, including living quarters, studio spaces, parking lots, and partner collaboration spaces. Marijuana, in all circumstances, is illegal in the state of Indiana. Nicotine smoking is prohibited in PlySpace living or studio spaces, including porches and entryways. Alcohol is not allowed in any PlySpace studio spaces, around equipment or machinery, or in any community collaboration space. Please be respectful of other residents, partners, and PlySpace staff when attending the residency. Failure to follow residency rules can result in termination of the residency invitation. All residents must be over 21 years of age.
Do I need to clean my living space?
PlySpace will professionally clean resident shared living spaces and bedrooms between terms. All other cleaning during a residency term is up to the residents. Residents are expected to keep their personal and shared spaces clean, remove all trash from their rooms on a regular basis, and keep food in personal spaces to a minimum (no bugs please!). PlySpace will supply general cleaning supplies and toiletries, such as hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, brooms, dust-mop, vacuum, trash bags, light bulbs, etc. Maintenance issues will be reported directly to the PlySpace Program Coordinator.
I live close to Muncie and am interested in commuting. Do I have to live at PlySpace while being part of the residency?
Yes. In order to facilitate an immersive experience for residents and community members, we request that all residents live at PlySpace for the entire length of the residency.
What should I do if I get sick or injured while at PlySpace?
If you become sick or are injured and need to see a doctor, there are several options. Two blocks from the residency is Open Door Health Services, which offer a wide range of medical services by appointment. There are several emergency walk-in services centers in Muncie as well, accessible by car (or Uber!). You should bring your insurance ID card with you in case you need it! Critical injury or illness services can be found at Ball Memorial Hospital, located 1 mile from the the residence. PlySpace is not responsible for any injury that occurs on the residency premises. We will do our best to make sure the living and studio spaces are safe and free from potential hazards.
Questions about studios and facilities...
Where are the studio spaces? What are they like?
The studio spaces will allow artists to pursue their own work in a clean, quiet space but will also offer the opportunity for collaboration, discussion, and critique. Residents are offered a “white-box”, lockable, semi-private studio space in the Madjax, a converted industrial building located across the street from the PlySpace house. The spaces are roughly 200 sq ft with 8 foot tall partition walls, a lockable door, a window, drop-down outlets, basic lighting, heating, and will be furnished with a work-surface and chair. There is a community sink that is used by all Madjax studio tenants. All other supplies, furniture, or equipment will need to be supplied by the artist or arranged with the community partner. The Madjax building is also host to a number of creative businesses, including the CoLab workspace, Tribune Showprint, and the Guardian Brewery.
Can I work in the studio spaces at night?
Yes, artists will have 24-hour access to the studio spaces at Madjax.
What equipment is available for residents to use?
PlySpace will not have equipment available for artists to use outside of the studio spaces. However, the partnership with the Ball State School of Art provides residents with limited access to a number of specialized facilities within the school, including The Marilyn K. Glick Center for Glass, ceramic studios, sculpture and wood shop spaces, computer and photo labs, among others. Artists should be clear about their process and equipment needs in both their personal and collaborative project proposals. The PlySpace Final Selection Committee will attempt to place artists with special equipment requirements with appropriate community partners. If you have specific questions about the availability of certain facilities, please email email@example.com.
Can I put holes in my studio wall to hang work?
Studio walls are sturdy and constructed with drywall and steel studs. You should be able to hang most artwork on the walls, but heavy installations may require special consideration. Any holes or damage to the walls at the end of the residency term must be repaired by the artist before leaving. Failure to repair spaces may forfeit the second half of the residency stipend.
Do I need to clean my studio space?
We expect artists to treat PlySpace as their own space; that is, the spaces should be respected, cleaned by the resident, and returned to the state they were in upon arrival when the resident leaves. Any issues with PlySpace facilities should be reported immediately to the PlySpace staff. Emergency contact information will be provided to all residents.
Studio spaces will be cleaned between resident stays. Living spaces will be professionally cleaned monthly, with the option for current residents to have their personal spaces cleaned as well. Failure to maintain any residency spaces (living and studio spaces), report damage, or clean spaces upon leaving the residency will result in the forfeiture of the remaining half of the stipend and may incur a $500 cleaning and maintenance charge. Unreported damage or negligence will be charged to the resident.
How is the studio ventilation?
PlySpace studio spaces in the Madjax building have ambient ventilation, so processes that involve chemicals or strong smells will not be allowed in these spaces. However, artists with specific needs may be granted access to other facilities with ventilation. Please be clear about your needs when applying to the program.
Can I use flammables? Resins? Chemicals?
If this is part of your practice, please explain what you will need to use clearly in your project proposals. We will try to accommodate artists with the appropriate facilities, though you will not be able to use these materials in the PlySpace studio spaces in Madjax.
Should I bring my own art supplies?
Artists should expect to bring or acquire everything they need to produce their work. No art supplies will be provided. There is a small arts store in Muncie, as well as several chain box stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels. The city of Indianapolis is a 60 minute drive away and has numerous specialty stores. Residents may pay to ship their materials to the residency before their arrival. All materials brought to PlySpace must be taken home or donated locally of at the end of the residency term.
Should I bring my own tools?
Yes. PlySpace has some power tools and hand tools for residents, but if you have a sculptural practice that uses specific tools, you won’t regret bringing them with you! All wood working and metal working spaces have specific hours when they are available, so there is no late night drill press or chop saw available to use. If you do not have this equipment and want to use it, you can schedule time in the wood shops at BSU. PlySpace is not liable for any equipment brought by a resident. All equipment will need to be kept inside the PlySpace resident’s studio and should only be used by the owner of the equipment. The studio must also remain locked to prevent possible injury or theft.
Does PlySpace have storage space for artwork and equipment?
No. Please plan to take anything produced outside of the community collaborator project with you when you leave the residency. We do not have storage space for any items left behind.
Questions about everything else...
Can I visit PlySpace before my residency?
Absolutely! If you are coming to town, please notify the Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a tour.
Can I leave the residency early or arrive late?
We expect that all residents will remain at PlySpace for the entire proposed residency period and will not have conflicting obligations. We understand that things happen and you may need to leave the residency early or arrive late should an emergency occur. Residents who are unexpectedly unable to complete their participation in the program as outlined by the terms of acceptance should notify the PlySpace Program Coordinator as soon as possible. Release of the full stipend for partially completed residencies will be considered on a case by case basis.
Can I leave for another project, or work at another job, during the residency?
As artists ourselves, we understand the difficulty of going to an extended-stay residency and not having a steady income during that time. We are pleased to offer a stipend to all of our residents in order to offset the cost of living and travel while at PlySpace. We expect residents to be completely committed to the residency during their term and not have other commitments in place while in residence. Please be sure you can make the time commitment before applying.
Is there anyone available to help me with my project / work?
We will not have a studio assistant dedicated to work with residents, but there will be shop technicians on location in Ball State University School of Art facilities. Use of these facilities will be arranged by PlySpace. We expect residents to have the knowledge base necessary to complete their own work and projects without technical assistance. If you have a specific project in mind that will need an assistant to complete, please outline this in your project proposal.
Can I pay to attend the residency if I am not accepted as a fellow or resident?
Currently, we only have space for accepted residents and fellows. Please check back in the future for expanded residency options, or reapply for the stipend-based residency in another term.
Can I make a donation to PlySpace?
Absolutely! Just like the application fees, donations directly support the residency program, and we are ever appreciative of any and all contributions. To make a donation, please contact the PlySpace Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?
Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is the fastest way to reach us, and we will get right back to you!