The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term artists’ writing residencies for creatives and academics. These residencies are designed to give writers time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment. You can read testimonials from our former residents here.
About the Residency at Firefly Farms
The SAFTA farmhouse is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than half an hour from downtown Knoxville, a dynamic and art-forward city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.
Our short-term residency bedroom is 130 sq. ft. with queen-size platform bed, closet, small dresser, and desk. The window faces the front of the house with a view of the butterfly bush in the yard. The room is painted with a rich brick-colored mural by local artist Chris Johnson.
The communal bathroom, shared with one to two other visiting artists, features an oversized mirror, matte-finish white tile floors, white-and-black walls and back splashes, toilet, and bathtub with large fixed shower head. The room also contains a wall-length mural by Sundress artist Rhonda Lott.
There is also a communal kitchen supplied with stove, refrigerator, and microwave plus plenty of cook- and dining-ware. The basic food stuffs like spices, flour, etc are also supplied, though residents will be responsible for their own food and meals. (Though no need for eggs! The Firefly Farms ducks and chickens supply those daily!) Laundry facilities are also available on site as well as wi-fi and central heat and air.
The office has a Wind0ws-based desktop with access to Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, among other applications. A selection of craft supplies is also available. Our library contains nearly 2,000 books, including a large contemporary poetry section and, thanks to The Wardrobe, many recent titles by women and nonbinary authors.
The facility also includes a full-size working 19th century Challenge copy of a C&P old-style letterpress with type, woodworking tools, and a 1930’s drafting table. Tools are available to residency artists upon training. If you are interested in working with the press during your residency time, please let us know when you return your contract as some projects require advanced ordering and scheduled training.
In 2017 SAFTA opened our Writers Coop, a 10×10′ dry cabin approximately 1/4 of a mile from the farmhouse. This tiny house is furnished with a single bed, a desk, a wood-burning stove, a deck that looks over the pasture and pond, as well as a personal detached outhouse. While the cabin has neither electricity nor running water, residents will have full access to the amenities at farmhouse as well as solitude from other residents to write in the rolling hills of East Tennessee. Check out pictures here.