360 Xochi Quetzal

How do you sell a residency?

In the Spring of 2022, after running the 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist & Writers Residency for 10 years, and as my art career began to take off, I realized that it was time to sell the residency. 

Being an international artist requires a massive amount of logistics and administrative work, and I needed to divert my residency responsibilities to someone else in order to make more time for my own increasing workload.

Deborah Kruger is handing over the reins!

How, you may ask, can you sell a residency program since it’s not a physical object? What I had to sell are all the facets that make up a residency, and if you wanted to start from scratch, it would take at least a year and a lot of money to create the administrative foundation for a new program. What I had to offer was a turn-key operation that included the following components:

      •A well-established international residency

      •A comprehensive website and identifiable logo

      •Four social media platforms with active followers

      •A proven marketing plan that included a 10,000+ name mailing list that was developed over many years, integration               between the website/newsletter/database, one hundred listing websites (and a team member who knows how to post         them!) and memberships in high profile residency organizations

      •An international reputation and repeat business

Introducing Bethany Anne Putnam, the new Owner and Director of 360 Xochi Quetzal  Artist & Writers Residency Program

New XQ Bethany with necklace

Sometimes in life, the answer to a complex question is right in front of you. In my case, the new Director, Bethany Anne Putnam, was already a friend and colleague. She was also the President of the Artist Association of Lake Chapala (AALC) a regional artist association, that is now run with a leadership team approach.

When Bethany was voted in as the President in 2022, the organization had 125 artist members. A year later, after initiating bi-lingual meetings that made them accessible to Mexican artists, the membership had swelled to 320 artist members. Clearly this was a woman who could make things happen! Also, AALC already had numerous monthly programs including a monthly membership meeting, a monthly social gathering and an Art Market which is held at the Garden of Dreams Hotel.  The Market features over fifty artists each month and attracts crowds of over three hundred attendees. There are additional exhibitions and an annual Art Walk, which add great value to visiting resident artists.

And to put the icing on the cake, Bethany Anne Putnam was already managing the Garden of Dreams (GoD), a magical boutique hotel in Ajijic, just 5 miles from the Chapala residency location, and walking distance to many restaurants, art openings and local artists. To say it was a match made in heaven is an understatement. As you read this, Bethany and I are in the middle of handing over the proverbial baton and getting her team and the newly updated 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist & Writers Residency website ready to hit the ground running.

Handing Over the Reins

It’s never easy to hand over a project that you have started and grown from scratch. However, I have complete faith in Bethany to take the 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist & Writers Residency to the next level. She has already instituted a new program called Artistas Juntos ~ Artists Together. This monthly gathering gives visiting resident artists and writers the opportunity to talk about their work to an appreciative audience of other area creatives and the general public. 

Bethany has the administrative chops, the drive, the work ethic and the vision to bring new opportunities to 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist & Writers Residency. I look forward to seeing how she brings more visibility to the program in Mexico and beyond. She has already added many new programming options and envisions an increasingly diverse population of residents.

BIPOC Winner Rosa Leff
Resident Artists relaxing at thermal spa
Resident poet, writer, performance artist Pamela Sneed
Resident sculptor Michael Pribich presenting his work at Artistas Juntos

Many creatives have told me that they were on the 360 Xochi Quetzal mailing list for years and suddenly, everything conspired for making it the right time to attend. If that happens to describe you, I hope you will visit the new and improved website to see the lovely options for live/work spaces at the beautiful Garden of Dreams in Ajijic and hopefully find the right fit for your residency in 2023 or 2024. 

We are ready to give you an amazing residency experience! 

      -Deborah Kruger

PS – I am not going anywhere. I will remain available to Bethany to answer questions and be a sounding board for her ideas. My production studio in Chapala runs studio tours 1 – 2 times a month. I look forward to meeting you during your residency!


The following links are to other creative groups that may be of interest to 360 Xochi Quetzal resident artists during their residency. 

360 Xochi Quetzal Website

Ajijic Museo de Arte

Ajijic Writer’s Group

Artists Alliance of Lake Chapala

Artist Trading Cards Ajijic & Lakeside 

Bethany Anne Putnam 

Deborah Kruger 

Lakeside Shutterbugs Photography 

Urban Sketchers of Ajijijc 

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