|I was so excited to be accepted to be accepted to the Arctic Circle Residency and the geography of the trip is very beautiful. However, there were so many things wrong that I wanted to let others know. First of all, the Arctic Circle residency does not provide any funding at all; it is completely self-funded – they charge $6,500, but additional costs run another $3,000; gear, travel, hotels, etc. This is probably the same cost if you got some friends and organized a similar trip yourself, something that the shipping company offers.
The worst part is that the director was very abusive to many people. Participants (each trip has about 25) were not allowed to ask any questions. If they did, they were met with a tirade. My heart went out to a 22 year old who “had the audacity” to ask him a question.
The trip is billed as a two weeks on a ship but is actually 10 days. That comes out to about $950 a day. 3-4 days were spent on land in a bunkhouse. It makes sense to get there one day early, but not at all interesting to waste time on land for $950 a day. People who left early were harassed and made fun of. That part could have been optional or they could have been up front about the actual itinerary.
I understand not wanting to waste- everyone was assigned one cup only and cups were only washed once a day, if that. Of course that was hard to keep straight so when one person got sick, many people got really sick.
The program also claims it is for artists and scientists, but there are no scientists are on the trip. That would have been very interesting.
Participants are invited to stay up as late as they like drinking – that’s how the ship makes extra $$. Not to be a fuddy-dud, but if you want to make use of the time s studio time, that is not realistic. Why not close the bar at midnight for example? The bar is in the studio space/dining room – maybe convenient for some!!, but makes it hard if you really want to use the time well.
The boat crew members were very nice, but smoked liked chimneys. Though they only smoked on deck, smoke got everywhere. However, to close on a nice note – the other participants were great.