SU-CASA is a community arts engagement program that places artists and organizations in residence at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The program provides selected artists with a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for seniors. The program has two components: 1) artists will engage participating seniors in an art project or series of cultural programs over the course of the residency, and 2) the residency will include a public program component – exhibits, readings, performances, open houses or other cultural interactions open to the surrounding community.

The program began as SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) in 2012 and was developed as part of Age-Friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors.

This initiative connects artists with seniors in senior centers and positively impacts the well-being of older adults through arts-based activities. SU-CASA supports artists and organizations who are sensitive to the needs of older adults and who are interested in engaging their communities. Each senior center is unique and offers access to different types of spaces, resources and communities. Selected artists will work with the senior center where they are placed to further refine project goals and coordinate a schedule for residency activities and use of facilities.

In 2018, individual artists and selected arts organizations will be eligible to participate. Individual artists may apply for SU-CASA through their local arts council; any organization that submitted an eligible FY17 Cultural Development Fund proposal may apply for SU-CASA through DCA. The program will support a total 204 residencies for individuals and organizations at senior centers across the City’s 51 Council districts

LMCC is proud to be part of this program on behalf of the borough of Manhattan. LMCC will accept applications from Manhattan-based individual artists seeking residencies at participating senior centers in Manhattan only.

If you have any questions, please email:


Featured image: SU-CASA Workshop with Eva Nikolova, SU-CASA 2017. Photo credit: Dani Reuben.

The application for SU-CASA 2018 is now closed. Applicants will be notified of their application status by the end of December 2017.

Individual artists-in-residence will receive a stipend in the amount of $4,500, an additional $1,000 materials/supplies budget, and access to materials and supplies from Materials for the Arts. Individual artists can apply directly to participate in the program without a fiscal sponsor. Artists may apply for up to two residencies.

All components of the application must be submitted to LMCC’s online application no later than Monday, November 20, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

Applicants will be notified of their application status in December.

Residencies are expected to take place between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018.

LMCC will accept applications only from Manhattan-based individual artists.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to apply:


  • Artists must be 18 years of age of older and demonstrate a residence or permanent/long-term workspace in Manhattan
  • Artists cannot apply for or receive funds on behalf of a non-profit organization or a for-profit entity (CDF-eligible organizations may apply directly to DCA for 2018; interested applicants should contact their DCA program officer)
  • Artists cannot be currently enrolled full-time in a degree-granting institution


Individual artists may apply to only one local arts council for consideration in only one borough. Applicants who submit applications to multiple local arts councils will be disqualified.

Previous SPARC and SU-CASA artists are eligible to apply for the 2018 program and may apply to work with a previous senior center partner and/or in one or more new centers. All returning artists must submit a complete application to be considered for placement.

Applications will be accepted for projects in any artistic discipline. Projects must meet the following requirements:


  • Project must be cultural in nature.
  • Project must include an interactive engagement component for the senior participants at the center where the residency is held (i.e., activities such as workshops, classes, art making projects created by seniors or in collaboration with seniors, etc., not performances for the seniors or other passive-activities)
  • Project must include at least one public program component for the public to experience and engage with the arts at the senior center (exhibits, open houses, performances, readings or other cultural interactions that allow participating seniors to share their work with friends, family and the surrounding community). The public program activities must be promoted and available at no charge to the general public. Artists are strongly encouraged to engage other members of the senior center community as part of the public program component.
  • Project activities must take place between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018, and should span the duration of the program.
  • Project activities are expected to include at least 40 contact hours of activity with the seniors during the residency period.
  • Project activities, including the public component, must take place at the senior center (unless otherwise agreed to with the senior center director). Off-site fields trips and activities are welcome as an addition to the program (and can be include in the contact hours).

The most competitive applications will be applications that propose a project of sustained engagement during the residency period and will involve the artist, participating seniors, the senior center, and the surrounding community.


Artists will be selected through a competitive review process. LMCC will review all individual artist applications for the borough of Manhattan for completeness and eligibility. A panel comprised of representatives from LMCC, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Department for the Aging will review applications and recommend one placement in each pre-selected center. See the list of pre-selected centers in Manhattan attached.


The panels will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence of the proposed senior engagement project
  • Potential impact on senior participants
  • Project feasibility, taking into consideration budget, timeline, available resources, and stated goals
  • Clarity and detail in the project proposal
  • Quality of the applicant’s prior work
  • Potential impact on senior center and surrounding community


Prior experience as a teaching artist, artist-in-residence, and/or working with older adults is a plus, but not required.

Certain senior centers have identified languages spoken if they have a senior population with a significant number of bilingual, ESL or non-English speakers. This is provided for informational purposes only. Artists with foreign language proficiency are strongly encouraged to apply, but artists are not required to speak any language other than English.

The residency award is a contract for arts services; selected artists will be subject to the following requirements:

  • Sign and return residency agreement
  • Include funding credit and logos on all marketing and event materials, print and electronic
  • Submit event notification at least 4 weeks before your public program event(s) (a representative of LMCC, DFTA, or DCA may conduct a site visit to your project)
  • Track artist contact hours with participating seniors and other evaluative data, as requested
  • Submit final report on a timely basis after completion of all project activities

Artists who do not comply with the requirements will jeopardize their funding and future grant consideration.

Participating senior centers have identified program space for SU-CASA activities. In some (but not all) senior centers, semi-private workspace, storage space and/or specialized equipment may be available for use by the artist-in-residence. It is important to note that, due to senior center operating hours and program schedules, artists may have limited access to the workspace and facilities.

Most senior centers operate during weekday hours only. Please see descriptions of participating Manhattan senior centers on the SU-CASA 2018 list here for more information. Unless otherwise noted, senior center spaces are not private (i.e., when artist is not in the space it will be used by others, thus leaving projects or supplies overnight or for long periods of time may not be permitted).

Please note: certain senior centers have also identified languages spoken if they have a senior population with a significant number of bilingual, ESL or non-English speakers. This is provided for informational purposes only. Artists with foreign language skills are strongly encouraged to apply, but artists are not required to speak any language other than English.

To see the list of participating senior centers that have been identified and the facilities they provide, click here.

Application is available through Submittable here. Those who have not used Submittable before will need to create an account.


Please review these instructions carefully. The instructions on the application form are general. The instructions below are customized for individual artist applicants only; you may keep the following information by your side while completing the application.


Contact information and Senior Center selections


  1. Contact Information:


  • Enter your first and last legal name.


  • Enter your mailing address, phone number, and email address. This is the information we will use to contact you regarding this proposal. This address must be in the borough of Manhattan to be eligible.


Program Proposal


1 . Provide the title and a one- to two-sentence description of your proposed program. (100 word limit)

2. Describe the proposed engagement programming at the senior center. (1200 words)

  • Describe the artistic project that will be offered, including information about the progression of the course (for sequential programs) or individual sessions (for drop-in or non-sequential programs). Describe the materials used, the teaching techniques employed, and the expectations for participation.
  • Detail how you will engage seniors in the participatory arts-based activities you plan to offer. This might include publicity materials, demonstrations, visits to the center, or other activities to generate interest in the center prior to the start of the program.
  • Describe your goals for the senior participants.

3. Describe the public program component of the proposed program; this might be a final presentation, performance, exhibition, reading or open studio. It can be a culminating event or a reoccurring public engagement event, such as a salon or open workshop. Include plans for developing the event(s) with the participating seniors and publicizing it to the senior center and surrounding community. The public program activities must be promoted and available at no charge to the general public. (750 words)

4. Indicate the start and end dates proposed, the number of sessions, and the number of contact hours (expected minimum 40). The program should span the duration of the residency period (January 1 – June 30). Contact hours do not include preparation. Please also indicate days and times of the week when the program might take place; scheduling of the program will be finalized with the center director if your proposal is selected. Indicate the number of seniors you expect to serve.

5. Describe your relevant previous experience. Previous work with older adults is not a strict requirement for individual artists participating in this program; however, all applicants should describe previous experience that supports this proposal. Include details about other work with older adults, training or professional development in creative aging, work in community arts programs, or experience in arts-in-education. (750 words)

6. Describe your proficiency in languages other than English, and please note if it is possible for this program to be conducted in another language. The Facilities Information attached provides information about languages spoken at the pre-selected Senior Centers. (200 words)

7. Select up to five centers for which this proposal will be considered, in priority order. Identify only centers included in the list of pre-selected locations attached. Applicants are not guaranteed placement at their preferred senior centers.

  • Include only centers from the applicable borough-based Facilities List and only centers where the proposed programming is feasible. Five centers is the maximum number; do not include more centers than those that are feasible for you and your proposed program.
  • Indicate a previous SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) or SU-CASA residency or any other individual artist residency conducted in your preferred center in the past.
  • Please indicate if you would like to be considered for multiple residencies. Artists may be selected for a maximum of two (2) residencies.

8. Indicate your primary Artistic Discipline, applicable artistic disciplines and the media/genre that best represents your work. Select as many as apply.

9. Provide a short bio, highlighting experience relevant to this proposal. This bio may be used in publicity materials if your proposal is selected for support. (200 words)

10. Upload a one-page resume in PDF format.

11. If your personal website includes information about your work that is relevant to this proposal, include the URL here. If your personal website is not applicable to this proposal, enter N/A.


Work Samples

Please provide samples of your work in support of your application. Work samples should show the jury panelists your own creative practice, not your previous work with seniors or other students (that can be demonstrated through the “Relevant Experience” section). Use this section as a way to show off the work you do and inspire confidence that you have a robust personal practice that you can bring to the center and its senior members.


You may choose one of the options below to submit your work samples. 

  • Images: Please upload up to eight (8) images in support of this proposal.
  • Images must be saved a JPEG files, 800 pixels in the longest dimension at 72 dpi
  • Each image filename must be saved as: LastName-FirstName-## (e.g.Simpson-Lorna-01)
  • Video: Provide up to two (2) links of video/audio totaling no more than 4 minutes in length
  • Audio/Video clips are accepted as weblinks to clips hosted on external sites (YouTube or Vimeo). If the video is longer than the allotted time frame please provide cue points for the beginning and end of the desired work sample.
  • Applicants must provide passwords for password-protected videos
  • Applicants should ensure that online Work Samples are accessible up to three (3) months after the application deadline.
  • Text: Include up to 20 pages of text
    • Document must be a PDF. You may provide any number of works totaling 20 pages
    • 10-12 point font
    • The file must be saved as: LastName-FirstName.pdf. Your name, title of work and a page number should appear on each page of the manuscript


Optional Survey

Please tell us how you heard about the program and provide demographic information. This info will not be used in the selection process.

Please note: All cultural councils, including LMCC, are only accepting applications from individual artists. If you are an arts organization and you wish to apply to SU-CASA, please visit the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs website.

Applicants will be notified of their application status and, if selected, which senior center they will work with, in December 2017. Residencies will take place between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018.

SU-CASA is a collaboration among New York City Council, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and the City’s five local arts councils – Bronx Council on the Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Queens Council on the Arts and Staten Island Arts.

SU-CASA 2017

SU-CASA 2016

SPARC 2015

SPARC 2014
SPARC 2013
SPARC 2012

SPARC 2010


SU-CASA (formerly SPARC) began in 2010 and was developed as a part of Age-Friendly NYC, a citywide effort to make the City more livable for seniors. In its pilot year, two Manhattan senior centers hosted three artists-in-residence as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Age-Friendly NYC initiative.


  • Madi Horstman
  • Judith Hugentobler
  • Elisa Velazquez