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Rural Performance Production Lab: RPPL

The Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL) is a creative production process which supports the development of new art rooted in rural living, history, places, and bodies. Pronounced “ripple”, the intent is for artist voices to act as catalysts for broad community change. Through four categories, RPPL artists receive direct funding or a configuration of an on-site residency, coaching and support from a dedicated team of advisors over an 18-month period in addition to the direct funding. Awards range from $3500 – $15,000.


This opportunity is for artists living in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Sipp Culture is able to provide rehearsal space, housing, planning support and can participate as a partner and consultant in the realization of bringing new Southern rural stories to the field. We offer each artist a residency, which is tailor-made to fit their developmental needs.

The RPPL residency program is best positioned to support artists transitioning from one place in their career trajectory into another self-defined place. This “transitional” label is a more apt fit than emerging or established, veteran artists, or the commissioning of new work. We are in a time that calls for change, both structural and intentional. Artists are built to adapt. Our residency program is designed to aid in that transition.

Our community is grounded in the aesthetics of Black Southern rural culture bearers. Their imprint can be found on every community throughout the south in the forms of architecture, music, spiritual practices, cuisine, the movement of bodies, and in the verbal and spatial language of freedom. Sipp Culture centers the voices and experiences of people of color, specifically Black people in the rural South. Our work uplifts stories to complicate prevailing rural narratives.

RPPL will provide a limited number of full residencies, which provide three consecutive weeks of housing and retreat space for the artist to dream and manifest their work. Additionally, some artists that apply may be offered the opportunity to come for a week. Each RPPL residency covers travel and food costs, as well as fresh seasonal produce from the Sipp Culture Community Farm

Key Dates

We are beyond thrilled to express that there is an unexpectedly large number of application submissions. As a result, the application review process is being extended and influences the finalist notification dates. We have adjusted the timeline accordingly. We appreciate your patience as this adjustment is an integral part of the application process. Thank you and we will keep you updated on any pertinent changes.

Application Opens – January 23, 2023

Info/Technical Assistant Call – February 15, 2023 at 4pm CST JOIN HERE!

Application Closes – March 6, 2023

Notifications of Finalist Interviews – May 9, 2023

Finalists Interviews – Mid-May 2023

Final Award Notifications – June 1, 2023

Preference will be given to rural artists and artists who have not received a residency with Sipp Culture before. Rural community is defined as 50,000 people or less in your residence municipality.

The Rural Production Performance Lab is supported by funding from the Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation

Explore Other Stories

Tour the White Oak Artists' Residence

During their residency, RPPL artists have a home away from home in our White Oak Artists’ Residency.

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