Kaat Benahid, Derb Ouali 18, 40000 Marrakech Medina
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Artists In Residence



Dar Kawa Artists in Residence program provides a single room at our riad for artists wishing to work and do research in Marrakech for up to 10 days. The residency is primarily self-directed, and only one resident is scheduled at a time. Artists can apply year round and selection is based on the strength of portfolio and whether the objectives of the applicant align with what we can offer.


Dar Kawa Artists in Residence aims to provide a comfortable, nurturing environment inside a renovated riad for artists to dive into their creative practice while exploring and researching in Marrakech. Applicants should convey a serious interest in Morocco.


In the heart of the medina (old city), Dar Kawa is a 17 th century riad (large traditional house with inner courtyard) that throughout the year receives travellers from across the world, giving them an ideal location to experience the authentic Marrakech. A former residence of Sufis, the beautiful riad was restored by creative force Valerie Barkowski, who has kept the historical elements intact while updating it with her distinctive twist of style and elegance. For the last twenty-five years, Valerie has also maintained a local workshop and store in the Medina that continues to employ expert artisans to produce high-quality home linens and lifestyle accessories that have attracted a loyal following. In keeping with her support for creative sustainability, Dar Kawa previously hosted an AIR program from 1997-2004 under the banner of the Sahart Foundation.

After a long hiatus and under a new program name, Dar Kawa Artists in Residence (DK AIR) re launched in summer of 2023, with a 4-week program. The artists selected that year included Rajae El Mouhandiz, Sandra Clinton and Sarah Hutt.

Starting in 2024, we will be able to receive residents throughout the year. We have renovated a single room (named FENAAN) at the riad reserved strictly for the AIR program. Thus residents will occupy the space along with our regular guests and patrons.


-All disciplines above and beyond are encouraged to apply, including but not limited to visual artists, writers, designers, architects, musicians, chefs, etc. who are interested in exploring or working on a project specific to Moroccan culture.

-Students are ineligible.

-This isn’t a “work” residency, per se, and there isn’t a “mess space” or separate production studio on premise, though there are communal spaces at the riad shared among all guests that you are welcomed to also occupy – including the courtyard, office, and rooftop terrace. Applicants should be aware of this and decide if it is worth applying.

-Ideal candidates are those seeking to delve deep into Moroccan culture while embracing new possibilities for research and developing innovative works. This could mean any number of things, such as: Perhaps you have an exhibition coming up in Marrakech that you need to prep with local artisans; Or you’re writing a book about North African textiles and need to do further investigation; Or you’re an aspiring chef with Maghreban roots and you wish to define what new Moroccan cuisine means; Or you have the brilliant idea that is going to solve the climate crisis, and it involves looking at sunny regions with imminent water issues.

-This residency is NOT for hobbyists or individuals just seeking an exotic trip. We take creativity very seriously and so should you.

-Dar Kawa cannot accommodate partners and family or collectives.


-Single room accommodations for the entirety of the residency in Marrakech, including airport pickup and drop off. All other expenses, including airfare, additional travel, visas, etc, will be the responsibility of the participants.

-Breakfasts will be provided, but all other meals are the responsibility of the participants. Our star chef Saida can assist and provide additional meals (at cost), while residents are also free to utilize the kitchen to prepare and make their own meals. Groceries and markets are easily accessible, as are local restaurants and food stalls. Residents who are culinary enthusiasts might also consider learning and exchanging recipes with Saida.

-This is a self-directed residency. Our residency manager is not always in Marrakech, but Dar Kawa’s normal staff is available 24/7 should participants need expert local advice and suggestions.

-As Valerie has a deep history with Marrakech, our connections to makers, artisans. gallerists and other resources will be at your disposal. We are happy to connect you with appropriate people and places to maximize your residency. Just tell us how we might be of service or can help.


-There is no deadline and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We review applications several times a year and will respond within 30 days after the following review dates in order that applicants have ample time to make travel arrangements (in the event that they are awarded a residency). Review dates are: MARCH 15, JULY 15, and NOVEMBER 15. To make sure your application is reviewed on one of the above dates, please make sure to submit and pay at least 10 days before that date, or your application will be moved on to the following review cycle. No exceptions.

-Selected candidates will be notified via email.

-In the event of selection for a residency, DK AIR will try our best to accommodate requested dates, but flexibility is essential.

-No proposals nor applications will be accepted via email.

-DK AIR is not responsible for any damage or theft of personal objects during residency.

-Knowledge of Arabic and/or French in Marrakech is useful.

-Feedback will not be provided in the event that an applicant is not accepted.

-Applicants who are not accepted may re-apply after 12 months.


There is a non-refundable application fee of €15.00 EUROS.

For any questions or inquiries, please send an email to: air@darkawa.net