A collaboration between Ponta Delgada Azores 2027, Arquipélago  Contemporary Arts Centre, Part’Ilha  Cultural Association for Local Development. In partnership with several institutions and cultural agents from the 9 islands of the Azores.
The call is closed. 

9 x 9 – Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists is a pilot programme for Artists in Residency across all creative disciplines on the nine islands of the Azores and is intended for Portuguese and international artists living in Portugal in its mainland and autonomous regions. It is also appealing to artists from Latvia, who will host the European Capital of Culture event with Portugal in 2027.

This artitistic residencies programme manifested from partnerships with actors and cultural institutions from each island in the Azores and their respective city councils to welcome and integrate artists in political, scientific and social contexts. Because no artist is an island, artists can collaborate to discover innovative methods that bring knowledge, promote experimentation and present solutions to challenges faced by all sectors of society.

This programme aims to reach the most peripheral islands of the archipelago, facing barriers in accessing artistic and cultural experiences. This project guarantees creative experiences for all territories by illuminating and uniting narratives across the fragmented archipelago. It aspires to be a dynamic platform to tell new stories about the Azores.

9 x 9 intended to articulate different partners on the islands around common goals, with the following objectives: moving the experience of art to the streets, business or nature; occupying abandoned places; addressing important and contemporary European issues such as the active participation of communities in creative processes, isolation (solitude), desertification of the islands, migration due to lack of work opportunities, population ageing, the awakening and activation of material and immaterial heritage and the creation of bridges between tradition and contemporaneity.

The art residencies focus on research and artistic processes, including moments of development of audiences and awareness of communities for the arts. Therefore, the residences are anchored in the process more than in the final product and should encourage direct participation, whether through conversations, workshops, school visits or other formats proposed by the artists, and should always end with public presentations.


This open call, defined together with the actors of each island, is an invitation to artists interested in collaborating with local communities, acting as facilitators of experiences and artistic objects. “What does each island gain from the presence of an artist?” This question serves as a motto to identify how creative and cultural projects can transform a place.

Among the 358 applications submitted for the open call “9 x 9 - Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists”, the jury selected nine projects in several artistic fields of music, writing, photography, textile art and performing arts that address themes such as the active participation of communities in creative processes, environmental and political causes, emigration and the creation of bridges between tradition and contemporaneity.
Each selected artist did a 10 days artistic residency and received a fee of €1,500. They were also given a production grant of up to €1,000, as well as logistical support that includes accommodation, food and transportation.
The "9 x 9 - Artists are Islands, Islands are Artists" Appreciation Committee is composed by João Mourão and Sofia Botelho (for the Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre), Alexandre Pascoal (member of Azores 2027 Advisory Board) and by António José Silva and Mónica Benevides (members of Part’ilha - Cultural Association for Local Development).
The evaluation criteria were: the originality of the art residency project (40%), the consonance with the objectives of the 9 x 9 program (15%), the adequacy of the art residency project to the island (15%), activities of sharing and developing audiences during the art residency (10%) and the artist's biography and previous experience (20%).
This art residency program has the support of various agents, institutions and municipalities of the nine islands of the Azores.

For the art residency in Flores Island it was selected the project “America in Europe, Europe in America - Photographic exploration of one of the stories of the island of Flores” by Vasili Andreyev. Born in Belarus and living on Terceira island since 2017, Vasili presents as a starting point for his work the true story of 17 people from Flores who, in 1919, sent a letter to the then US Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, proposing the occupation of Flores island by the Americans. The artist proposes to analyse the personal stories of the heirs of these 17 people and answer the question “what is the island of Flores for them today: is it Europe in America or is it America in Europe?". The project will result in a book with photographs and texts.

The artist Berta Teixeira developed the project “Number Nine / 9X9 = 81 / 8+1= 9” on São Miguel Island. Inspired by the epistle of Simão Gonçalves Toco, the Angolan religious and nationalist leader deported by the Portuguese colonial authorities from Ponta Albina Lighthouse, Namibe, in Angola, to Ferraria Lighthouse, in São Miguel Island, the artist made a Performance-Letter “with strong visual and narrative component also suitable for people with vision impairment”, focused on the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

The Portuguese-Taiwanese artist Ching-Yu Cheng is the author of the selected proposal for the island of Corvo entitled “Creating a mimic-google-street-device on wheel as mobile art installation; documenting the landscape of inhabitants of Corvo”. The artist found out that there’s no access to google-street-view function for Corvo Island, and had the idea to create her own mobile-art-installation “on wheels” to work as a mimic-google-street-view-device (cart) as an art action or performance, meanwhile the installation became a media to connect with the local community through the process of walking into the local urban textures and bringing art to the streets “thoroughly and physically”. The final result was “a unique landscape in the Corvo, from intangible cultural and humane side, instead of producing Google's 'Street View'.” The mobile device also became a Taiwanese food stand, promoting interculturality.

“Land Vessels — Moorings to the Sea” is the art residency project that took place in Santa Maria. Mariana Sales Teixeira (Azores) proposed to “revolve traditionally domestic arts and crafts with nautical ones in a collaborative and participative project with the local community”. After collecting textile material that people from the island want to donate or exchange (sheets, towels, curtains), the artist made a collection from the fishing and artisan community of different types of knots, moorings, bows and stitches in various techniques, making use of the donated textile material. She produced a sculptural textile piece in collaboration with the local community.

“Old World – Terceira” by artist Margarida Correia was the selected art residency proposal for Terceira and consists of a photographic project with the Portuguese-American community on the island. The artist made portraits in a domestic environment, to research images from personal archives and to collect stories to build new narratives.

The project by artist Miguel Maduro-Dias, born in Angra do Heroísmo, “The water we have and the water we lack”, was chosen to take place on Graciosa Island. Inspired by the theme of Water, Miguel presented a musical project involving choirs, philharmonics, schools, artists and the community of Graciosa. There was also a choral and vocal workshop.

"9 dias. 9 canções” (9 days. 9 songs), by Elina Stolde, a Latvian artist living in Porto, was the project selected for São Jorge Island and consists of the creation of nine concert – performance program with 9 songs rooted in traditional music of Azores, involving folk groups from São Jorge Island. The artist also organised a workshop on traditional Latvian music.

The “boca do caminho” project, by artist Lula Pena (Lisbon), was implemented on Pico Island and consists “in the elaboration of a script, either in text or image and in sound recordings of informal or structured conversations with the local community, as well as capturing field sounds, whether from farming or leisure, or simply from the personal daily life of the community”, with the aim of composing a radio play.

“cartas de um vulcão para o mundo” (letters from a volcano to the world), by writer Judite Canha Fernandes (Azores), was the project selected for Faial Island and proposes “providing literary experiences of narration in the first person, taking advantage of the the possibility of making an art residency in the house where the first President of the Portuguese Republic lived”. The project also promoted a lecture and a writing workshop. The texts that result from this art residency were sent, in the form of a letter, to the residents of the island of Faial.