The Bellagio Experience
The Bellagio Residency program offers academic, artists, thought leaders, policymakers, and practitioners a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work, and the unparalleled opportunity to establish new connections with fellow residents from a stimulating array of disciplines and geographies. The Bellagio Center community generates new knowledge to solve some of the most complex issues facing our world and creates art that inspires reflection, understanding, and imagination.
Writing residencies last between two to four weeks. We are especially interested in applicants whose work contributes to the well-being of humanity or in some way connects with the Rockefeller Foundation’s issue areas of Advance Health, Revalue Ecosystems, Secure Livelihoods, and Transform Cities. We strive to select a diverse cohort to ensure that interdisciplinary and international connections remain an integral part of the Bellagio experience. The Center welcomes collaborative residencies for two to four people working on the same project.
Collegial interaction with other residents is an integral dimension of the Bellagio experience. Meals and informal presentations of residents' work afford an opportunity for dynamic discussions and engagement within and across disciplines. During special dinners, residents often interact with participants in international conferences hosted in other buildings on the Center's grounds to help build connections and to help inform on one another's work.
Selection Process and Criteria
The Selection Committee consists of an international panel chosen for their breadth of experience and knowledge in a variety of disciplines. The Committee members bring a wide array of perspectives in relevant fields and backgrounds to nominate the most qualified applicants for a residency at the Bellagio Center. The Foundation seeks applications from university or think tank-based academics at mid to senior-level positions with a record of significant achievement in their field. Applicants from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply. Please note that this application process is for university or think tank-based academics and scientists. Fiction and non-fiction writers should apply through the Arts & Literary Arts Residency competition.
Selections are based on:
- how closely the project aligns with the Foundation's work and focus;
- the likelihood of the project's impact within its field and/or on global and social issues;
- the quality of the proposed project;
- how innovative the project is;
- the ability of the applicant to articulate the project’s purpose;
- the professional qualifications and achievements of the applicant; and
- the suitability of the Bellagio Center for the proposed activity.
In addition, reviewers will also take into consideration:
- personal qualities that are likely to make an applicant a contributing member of an international, interdisciplinary community—curiosity, breadth of interests, ability to honor other viewpoints, and sensitivity to other cultures.
- since the Center aims to host an international mix of residents, the geography and nationality of those invited may be taken into account.
Residents are housed in two main buildings and each resident is given a private room with a bath and a study/studio, either adjoining the bedroom or on the grounds. High-speed Internet access is available free of charge in all bedrooms and most studies. A small library includes basic reference books and online research tools; the works of many former residents and those resulting from Bellagio meetings are also available.
Spouses/life partners may accompany residents. Accommodations are not available for children, other family members, friends or pets. Room and board are provided to all residents and their spouses/partners, but they are responsible for their airfare and local transportation to and from Bellagio. However, the Foundation does have a limited travel assistance program, based on income level of invited residents.
Several resident suites are available for those with restricted mobility, and several of the buildings now include an elevator. Nonetheless, prospective applicants should be aware that the hillside setting of the facility and the surrounding area restricts the mobility of persons who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
The Center is not equipped to provide medical services or assisted care. The nearest major hospital is in Lecco, a 40-minute drive away.