Curatorial Seminar in Israel FAQ


What are the goals of the Curatorial Seminar?

Curatorial Seminars are designed to provide members of the international art community with a fast-paced primer on contemporary art from Israel. The program facilitates exploration of cultural developments and provides a platform for projects and deeper inquiry to emerge.

Artis started this program as a means to connect peers in the art world to each other. The program takes place twice per year, generally in January and June, and includes 6-12 participants from all over the world. The program is open by application to anyone who is a cultural practitioner.

What does the itinerary typically include?

The week-long itinerary (6 days, 6 nights) varies for each trip, but generally includes an overview of the art scene in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Jerusalem, Umm El Fahem, and cultural projects, artists studios, and alternative spaces in peripheral cities such as (but not limited to) Holon, Petach Tikva, Bat Yam, Ein Harod, and Herzliya. Daily activities include discussions with artists in their studios, meetings with local curators, tours of exhibitions in museums and alternative spaces, and discussions with leading thinkers in the field. One full day of the trip is dedicated to individual studio visits, arranged in advance and based on each participant’s curatorial interests.

Curatorial Seminars include dedicated discussions and materials on historic, social, and political contexts of the region, including BDS and PACBI, as well as de-briefing sessions led by participants on the topics of their choice.

Curatorial Seminars do not include tourist sites (other than Jerusalem’s Old City).

Do Curatorial Seminars include visits to sites in the West Bank?

Artis can assist with arranging travel to the West Bank for participants interested in further exploration of cultural developments in the region on a case-by-case basis. Artis does not organize travel to Gaza.

What preparation is required for the program?

All participants are provided with a selection of readings about Israeli culture, politics and art history. These materials include articles, essays and videos. The materials are meant to provide basic knowledge of important issues prior to arrival so that all participants share a foundation and can focus on deeper inquiry during their time in Israel. Some material is directly referred to during the program. Readings are provided upon acceptance to the program, and many are already available on the Artis website.

If I am selected to participate in a Curatorial Seminar, what is expected of me after the program?

Although there is no requirement to produce a project as a result of the program, many participants have used their experience to develop exhibitions, commissions, lectures, partnerships, articles, acquisitions and fellowships.

What costs are associated with the Curatorial Seminar?

For the duration of the week-long program, Artis organizes and funds hotel accommodations, two group meals per day (lunch and dinner; breakfast is included at the hotel), and travel within Israel as per the itinerary. Transport to and from airports at departure city and at Ben Gurion airport; meals or transport not associated with the itinerary; and costs associated with medical care or airfare. Travel insurance is also mandatory.

Artis has a small annual budget to reimburse participants who cannot afford to cover the full cost of airfare. This budget is primarily dedicated to supporting independent curators or writers who do not have institutional travel budgets. During the application process, prospective participants are asked to indicate whether or not they need financial assistance to support their travel expenses. All travel support is issued once the program is complete as a reimbursement.

Who is an ideal candidate for a Curatorial Seminar?

Ideal candidates are critical thinkers, well-versed in contemporary art internationally and in their own communities, and interested in engaging thoughtfully in conversations and inquiries into a variety of related topics. Candidates are generally independent and institutional curators, art historians, writers, artists, or others working in the cultural sector who demonstrate interest in learning about contemporary art from Israel.

Select participants are also invited to participate in a public program during the trip, presented by Artis in partnership with Tel Aviv cultural venues. The program series, Case in Point, is a thematic curatorial panel. Previous Case in Point programs are archived here on our website, featuring alumni of past Curatorial Seminars.

If I am selected to participate, do I need to apply for a visa?

Israel allows for passport holders from more than 90 countries to enter the country without a Visa. Please refer to the list in the link below to confirm whether or not you’ll need to obtain a Visa to join the Curatorial Seminar.

How do I submit a letter of inquiry (LOI)?

LOIs are accepted twice per year. Please check our website for more information and deadlines, and sign up for our email list to receive timely announcements.

What information will I be asked to provide in the LOI?

The LOI establishes eligibility and the applicant’s alignment with Artis’ mission and programs. When submitting an LOI, applicants will be asked for the following:

  1. Full Name
  2. Institutional Affiliation & Title
  3. Description of your professional practice
  4. Description of any relevant projects with artists or practitioners from Israel
  5. Past experience in Israel
  6. Ideal outcome from the program
  7. How you heard about the program
  8. Whether you are able to obtain full or partial funding for your travel to Israel, and amounts
  9. Names and contact details for 2 references
  10. CV/Resume

Do you accept LOIs in any language other than English?

What happens after I submit my LOI?
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application and may be contacted to schedule a follow-up interview via phone, Skype, or in person in New York. Accepted participants are required to fill out further registration materials to confirm their attendance and reserve their place on the trip.

Can I apply two years in a row?

Applicants who were not invited to participate in a Curatorial Seminar may re-apply the following year.

Can I consult with you if I have further questions?

Please write to with any questions not answered here about our Curatorial Seminar in Israel program. Do not write directly to staff, and no phone calls, please. We will answer as soon as possible.