top of page

artist studio fund

The RWS ACCESS Fund opens access to the RWS studios, equipment, and community in three areas to artists at different stages on their creative path; helping them EMERGE, RESTORE, and GROW. Established with the support of an anonymous donor and community members in 2022 with the inaugural EMERGE Artists in Residency program serving emerging artists working in printmaking and ceramics. Future stages open as funding and organizational support are developed.


The Running With Scissors Studios’ ACCESS Fund is an umbrella of merit and need-based scholarship opportunities that support local artists in different stages of their creative careers. 

ACCESS Fund Mission: To elevate and support artists in need of assistance to continue their creative practice by providing access to RWS studios and communal space and equipment; to support artists who would benefit from working in the community; to support artists who are experiencing temporary financial hardship, and to thereby broaden and strengthen the greater creative community in Maine by connecting RWS members with new artists at different stages of their creative path. 

The ACCESS Fund recognizes three paths of need: 1) emerging print and clay artists, 2) member artists working in any medium needing assistance to revive their practice due to health, or other emergency situations, and 3) established artists working in any medium who are ready to grow their body of work. 



EMERGE Artist in Residence Program Details:

To elevate and support recent graduates with a degree in either printmaking or clay by providing access to the RWS studios as well as the respective department’s equipment and community. The first round of applicants will be by invitation only. Additional details about the program: 

The program has two cycles each year: summer and winter. 

The summer cycle starts on July 1st, 2022, and concludes on November 30th, 2022. 

The winter cycle starts January 1, 2023, and concludes May 30th, 2023. 

RWS will host one to two artists per cycle (up to four artists per year). 

The application deadline for the 2022 summer cycle is May 30th, 2022. Acceptances will be announced by June 6th, 2022. 

EMERGE Artist in Residence Benefits:

RWS associate-level membership and access to either the Print or Clay Studio.

A modest monthly stipend ($50/month) to be used to purchase materials via participating sponsors. 

Access to 16,000 square feet of studios in the vibrant East Bayside neighborhood of Portland. 

Access to a creative community of 80+ artists working in various materials and methods.

Access to a small team of competent administrative and departmental staff. 

Print Studio access includes etching press, tank, and sink; standing book press; hot plate; large glass inking tables; tabletop exposure unit; vacuum unit; printing lamp; washout booth; power washer; emulsion fridge; screen drying rack; clamp hinge units; letterpress equipment; small and medium-sized brayers; miscellaneous inks, modifiers, and grounds, as well as cleaning materials; and various hand tools for etching, carving, and engraving. 

Clay Studio access includes: wheels, work tables and wedging tables, a slab roller, extruder, the glaze spray booth, electric kilns, plaster reclaim bins, community firing shelves, clay sinks with traps, a raw materials room, associate glazes, and various hand tools. 

All artists have access to communal areas including a media lab with Mac computers, Adobe Suite, and an inkjet printer; a light table; and a kitchenette. 

All artists have access to members-only events, such as the Steamy Summer Print Jam,  the annual 6x6 exhibition, bi-annual open studios, and the annual Holiday Market. 

Ability to continue studio access at a 10% discount off the rate for the first year of the lease upon completion of the EMERGE Scholarship Program (dependent on space availability).

Access RWS alumni benefits upon completion of the program or subsequent membership. 

EMERGE Applicant Eligibility: 

Applicant must have received an undergraduate or graduate degree with either an art major or minor within the past 2 years. 

Applicant must be able to demonstrate the need for program benefits (access to space, equipment, and community).

Applicant must be a current resident of Maine and have resided in Maine over the past year or more, be returning to Maine after receiving an art degree from out of state or must have graduated from an accredited Maine institution of higher education within the past year. 

Applicant must include a five-month project plan with their application materials.

Applicant must be 18 years of older

Applicant must not have been the recipient of an RWS ACCESS Grant within the past 2 years.

Additional Requirements:
Upon completion of the program, all ACCESS artists are expected to donate one to two works created while in residence at RWS for the annual program fundraiser, or offer an unpaid, comprehensive workshop in their respective field (the proceeds of which go to funding future program participants), or assist the studio in another development action designed and agreed upon by all parties.   

Also, an end of program outtake interview will take place to help inform areas needing improvement or growth as well as those that were successful. Attendance at future fundraising events and opportunities including marketing and art sales may be requested.


Meet the current EMERGE Artists in Residence.



This program seeks to assist current RWS artist members experiencing financial difficulties threatening their ability to continue their work as artists due to significant health, emergency, or other financial crisis. The program will have annual designated funds to disperse as needed on a rolling basis. These will be assessed by a team and involve one on one discussions and vary on a case-by-case basis. Oversight and consultation of spending of funds will occur as will helping where applicable guidance and counseling or community connections. 

Funding is still in process. The project will begin when critical base funds are established.



This program's mission is to build a short term Artist in Residency for Established artists working multiple mediums. It's focus will be on stablished artists working in any medium who are ready to grow their body of work and would benefit from the access to our equipment, space and community as well as private, dedicated work time. Funding is still in process. The project will begin when critical base funds are established.  TBD



RWS makes these programs possible through sponsorships, partnerships with local organizations and charitable businesses and mostly, with the support of the local community. Please help us keep, support and grow our local artist work force here in Portland and Maine. 

bottom of page