Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL)


The Rural Performance / Production Lab (RPPL) is a creative production process which seeks to support the development of new work 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 RPPL, artists will receive $10,000 direct funding, a three-week residency, and coaching and support from a dedicated team of advisors over an 18-month period.

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 will offer each artist a residency which is tailor-made to fit their developmental needs.

We found that our 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 artist, 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, songs, spiritual practices, cuisine, the movement of bodies, and in the 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.

Residency Date Options

We are selecting artists from this process to be in residence with Sipp Culture in the following seasons:


Fall 2021
Winter / Spring 2022
Fall 2022


Application Opens
March 8, 2021

Application Closes
April 16, 2021

Notifications of Finalist Interviews
May 28, 2021 *Updated*


Finalists Interviews
May/June, 2021

Final Award Notifications
June 2021


  • Eligibility – 20% 
    • 18 years or older
    • Resident of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Tennessee
    • Able to attend a three-week residency in Utica, Mississippi
  • Alignment with program goals – 20%
    • Is the applicant a rural artist(s) creating work telling their communities narratives regionally or nationally?  Shifting those narratives via artistic expressions using media and any range of Performance & Production  including cultural bearing, film, live performance, music etc?
  • Applicant’s creative body of work and approach to the work – 20%
    • Is the artist’s work and approach to the work in alignment with Sipp Culture’s mission. What is the artist’s approach to the work?  Who do the artists create and do their work with?
  • Project proposed for residency – 20%
    • What is the project the artist wants to work on during the residency? Who would attend the residency? What stage is the work in and is the work appropriate for a residency at Sipp Culture?
  • Impact on the career trajectory of applicant  – 20%
    • At the juncture of the applicant’s career, would the residency support the artist to transition to a new place in their career, artistically, financially or otherwise?


Preference will be given to rural artists and artists who have not received a residency for the same 12 month period.  Rural community is defined by Sipp Culture as 50,000 people or less in your residence municipality.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

When will my residency take place? Do I get to help choose the date?

You may select available dates within the following windows of time.

Residency Date Options 

Fall 2021 – Sept – Nov

Winter / Spring 2022 – Jan – March

Fall 2022 – Sept – Nov

Do I need to do all 3 weeks of the residency time awarded?

You do not need to do all 3 weeks of residency time, though it is strongly encouraged to maximize the support in developing your work.

Does the 3 week residency time need to be consecutive?

Typically yes, but may be customized pending availability and approval by Program Manager and Co-Directors.

How many people can residency accompany in the living quarters?

We can accommodate from 3-6 people depending on the configuration of the group (ex.: meaning if it is a couple/family working together, potentially if members of the group approve rooming together, etc.).

Where will I live? Describe the place?

The Sipp Culture Office and Artist residency is housed in a two-story 1920s renovated home located in Utica, MS on approximately 1.5 acres of rural land, 32 miles southwest of Jackson, MS. The house comes with 3 bedrooms & 3 full baths, a fully furnished kitchen, access to 500 sq ft of raised garden beds (produce pending the growing season), washer/dryer, access to media lab, studio space and parking.

What if I am not comfortable to do an in person residency due to Covid-19?

The Rural Performance / Production Lab is a residency program. Each RPPL resident artist’s residency time will be designed with the resident artist, a team of advisors and Sipp Culture staff. As part of the design, all necessary factors will be considered and safety protocols will be implemented..

If it is a group application, does the award amount change?