Willapa Bay AiR Residency


Willapa Bay AiR, situated on 16 acres in coastal southwest Washington state, launched its residency program in March 2014. The Residency has been specifically designed, from the site selection to the architecturally specific building concepts, layouts, and materials, to combine the opportunity for solitude with the opportunity for daily community that fosters creative endeavor.

We offer month-long, self-directed residencies to emerging and established artists, writers, scholars, singer/songwriters, and musical composers. The Residency provides lodging, meals, and work space, at no cost, to six residents each month from April 1 through October 28 of the year. Applications are evaluated by selection committees comprised of working artists and professionals in the applicants’ respective fields of discipline.


Willapa Bay AiR is situated near Oysterville, Washington, a historic village approximately 30 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River. Oysterville is the most northern settlement on the Long Beach Peninsula, a finger of land embraced by three mighty bodies of water: to the west, the Pacific Ocean; to the south, the great Columbia River; and to the east Willapa Bay, considered one of the most pristine estuaries in North America. The Long Beach Peninsula, twenty miles long and two miles wide, was formed by a confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Two spines of sand ridges running up the east and west sides of the Peninsula form interdunal wetlands that support trumpeter swans, black bears, coyotes, porcupine – and crimson cranberry bogs edged by grassy dike roads.

Application and Selection Process

Willapa Bay AiR uses the SlideRoom online application system, and there is a $30 application fee. We do not accept applications submitted by any other means. Applicants must be over the age of 21. Willapa Bay AiR welcomes residents from across the globe.

Applications are evaluated by selection committees comprised of working artists and professionals in the applicants’ respective fields of discipline. Invitation to a Willapa Bay AiR residency is based on the merit of past work and the potential for creative evolution through the exploration and experimentation offered in the residency environment.

Members of collaboration teams who wish to be in residence together must submit individual applications. If only one member of a collaboration team is accepted, he/she may opt to attend as an individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are the residencies?

Our residencies are one month in duration, typically beginning on the 1st of the month and concluding around the 27th. Our residency season begins April 1 and concludes October 28 of every year. Accepting a residency means making a commitment to arrive on the first day and to remain at Willapa Bay AiR through the last day of the residency.

How do I apply?

Willapa Bay AiR uses the SlideRoom online application system. We do not accept applications submitted by any other means. For detailed information go to the Application & Selection page on this web site.

What are the fees?

There is a $30 application fee, but there are no fees for selected artists to be in residence. You are, however, responsible for costs associated with transportation to and from the Residency. Accepted applicants pay a $100 deposit to confirm their residency. This deposit will be refunded upon arrival.

What are the living arrangements like?

The Residency is clustered on 16 acres near the hamlet of Oysterville, a historic landmark in Washington. The living spaces are cleared from a woods of hemlock, Douglas fir, Sitka spruce and shore pine. The studios and community Lodge building are situated in meadows fringed by salal, native spirea, and huckleberry. Ample visual artist studio spaces supplement the living quarters; those individuals not requiring separate studios are provided with live/work accommodations.

Residents are housed in individual accommodations with work and living space, bathroom and shower, bedding and towels. Each unit has a small refrigerator, electric kettle, coffee carafe, mugs, glasses, utensils. Cooking is not accommodated in the residences. Meals and communal gatherings take place in the main Lodge. There are steep steps and a wooden bridge to be negotiated between the cottages setting and the Lodge and studios. If you have physical limitations and require handicapped accessibility, be sure and discuss your requirements with our staff prior to application.

What are the visual arts studios like?

The visual arts studios measure 12′ x 24′, with 12′ ceilings. The floors are cement, and the walls are covered with drywall and soundboard. The studios are heated, have exhaust fan ventilation, and a sink. There are 110V and 220V outlets. We provide worktables, chairs, work lamps and a simple tool set. There is overhead lighting, small windows, as well as filtered natural light. Please refer to PHOTOGRAPHS.

What is the weather like?

Weather is typical of the maritime climate of the coastal Pacific Northwest. We have warm, but not hot, summers and cool, but not cold, springs and falls. Average temperature in the summer is about 72°F and in the spring/fall ranges from 35°F to 60°F. Precipitation should be anticipated any season, but is highly likely in spring and fall.

How do I get to Willapa Bay AiR?

We are located at the northern end of the Long Beach Peninsula, about 32 miles from Astoria, OR. The closest airport is Portland, OR; the second closest is Seattle, WA. Ground transportation options from Portland include renting a car or taking the bus to Astoria. There is no convenient public transportation from Seattle. While transportation is the residents’ responsibility, Willapa Bay AiR staff will facilitate ridesharing from the airports or Astoria, if possible. The Resident Manual, sent with the invitation to be in residence, includes more detailed transportation information.

Do I need a car once I arrive?

Several bicycles are available for residents’ use during the month (helmets are not provided). Residents who are here without a car are usually able to coordinate with other residents with cars or with staff for trips to the store or nearby places of interest. There is local bus transportation from the Residency to nearby towns.

Do we cook our own meals?

Each residence has a small refrigerator and electric kettle to prepare warm beverages, but it is not intended that you cook your own meals. Our cook provides three meals daily, prepared in our kitchen. Breakfast is buffet-style with warm and cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, granola, and bakery. Lunch is delivered to your cottage or studio. Dinner is served family style with fellow residents at the Lodge. We feel that the communal dinner experience is an integral part of a residency at Willapa Bay AiR.

Can you accommodate special diets?

We cannot guarantee that we can meet special dietary requirements, but will discuss your needs with our cook and advise you of our capability before your residency commitment.

What kind of equipment and supplies does Willapa Bay AiR provide? Can I ship supplies to Willapa Bay AiR?

We provide work tables, chairs, and lighting in the studios and cottages. For composers-in-residence, there is a Yamaha P255 digital piano for use in their accommodations, and an older upright piano in the Lodge. Residents will need to bring all other equipment and supplies necessary to do their personal work. Residents often ship materials prior to their arrival. If you have additional questions regarding what is available at Willapa Bay AiR, please feel free to contact us before you apply.

Are there nearby emergency facilities?

Willapa Bay AiR is located in a rural area, but has local 911 responders. Ocean Beach Hospital is located about 30 minutes away in Ilwaco, WA. A larger hospital facility, Columbia Memorial, is located an hour away in Astoria, OR.

May I invite guests?

Our residency program is designed for uninterrupted, productive time during your stay. Visits from family or friends may be scheduled for immediately before or after a residency, but not during one.

May I bring my pet?

We’re sorry, but residents may not bring pets to Willapa Bay AiR.

Is there somewhere I can do my laundry?

There is a washer and dryer and detergent for residents’ use.

What is the smoking and alcohol policy?

Smoking is not permitted in any of our buildings or spaces common to other residents. Drinking alcoholic beverages is a matter of personal choice, and you must provide your own. We ask that you exercise moderation and be considerate of others.

Do you have Covid-19 vaccination requirements?

We require that all attendees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and current with available booster shots, prior to arrival at the Residency.