Announcing 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist & Writer Residencies new BIPOC Residency Winner and Runner-Ups

XQ News

For the last 10 years, 360 Xochi Quetzal Artists and Writers Residency has offered hundreds of artists of varied disciplines the opportunity to enjoy a self-directed residency in Chapala, México.  Artists have been inspired by the beauty of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in México. Our website  has numerous testimonials about how residencies have taken their art to new places. 360 Xochi Quetzal has also attracted artistic people who have made  the Lakeside area of México their home. Truly, 360 Xochi Quetzal has become a center of innovative connection.

In commemoration of the 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist and Writers Residency’s 10th anniversary, a new residency program was announced: The Free BIPOC Residency in Mexico. Applications opened in the fall of 2022 to artists who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color. 

And the winner is.....

After a highly competitive jury process, we are happy to announce our First Place winner, Rosa Leff of Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Leff is an award-winning visual artist who uses cut paper to illustrate scenes from the inner city. Cut paper is a traditional art form from many cultures, including Latino and Jewish, which along with being African American, are part of Leff’s multi-cultural identity.

Our Winner will spend one month living for free at a beautifully appointed live/work apartment on the grounds of the historic Hotel Villa QQ, a 20th century National Cultural Heritage site here in Chapala and she will also receive a $250 stipend that can be applied to airfare, food, or expenses. 

The Runners Up....

Our Runner-ups will receive a discount on registration for future BIPOC residencies. We will feature more about them on our social media over the coming year, so stay tuned!

Honorable mention goes to our First runner-up, Karen Miranda Augustine from Toronto Canada.  Her fiction and coming of age writing sample was extremely compelling and hard to put down. 

Our Second Runner-up was Annie McCone-Lopez from Manhattan Beach, CA. Annie creates a personal and contemporary narrative using traditional Mexican iconography. 

Why a BIPOC residency? Why for FREE?

Deborah Kruger, the founder and director of the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency engaged in a number of conversations with Black/Indigenous artist, Sunya Folayan, who had attended the self-directed residency program. Sunya was so transformed by the experience that she decided to move to Chapala in 2021.  

Several themes emerged from those conversations: The need for rest for BIPOC creatives, the increasing need for safe space, the financial and health disparities facing BIPOC communities, and how taking extended time off is a luxury most working-class BIPOC artists cannot afford and that few dream of for themselves. 

Deborah Kruger
Sunya Folayan

Sunya sees rest as revolutionary within her communities and crafted a lifestyle that protected her greatest resource – Time- and instituted strategies of rest that included working part-time, utilizing residencies, and saying “no” to ongoing volunteer “opportunities.” As a social activist, this was her way of planting seeds for change. Through those conversations, and Deborah Kruger’s own desire to use the residency to address disparities, the Free BIPOC Residency in Mexico was born. 

The aim of this new residency is to provide artists an opportunity to benefit from having uninterrupted time to devote to their creativity, without the normal stressors and distractions that come with daily life.  The Covid-19 pandemic, created a degree of havoc and disruption in everyone’s lives especially in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities where treatment options were less available and the death toll much higher. 

Many residencies require some form of output by the resident artists. The radical component of the 360 Xochi Quetzal BIPOC Residency is that it encourages the key component of REST!

While rest is essential for everyone, it’s especially necessary for  BIPOC people.  We believe rest is a form of self-care, and a form of protest against a capitalist system that is often at odds with BIPOC and creative communities. Rest provides an opportunity to replenish our mental, physical, and emotional energy and to cope with the stress of daily life including relentless microaggressions suffered by BIPOC people.  It helps us to be more productive and creative, and to develop healthier relationships with ourselves and our community.  Rest helps us to restore our peace and balance, allowing us to approach our lives and our artmaking with a greater sense of clarity, resolve and purpose. 

We hope that our BIPOC Winner Rosa Leff uses this month in whatever way best supports her and her remarkable artwork. There is no pressure for her to complete anything. We support her choices to use the month to rest and recharge. And to deepen her artistic practice using all the resources at her disposal.

We will be telling you more about Rosa in forthcoming blogs and social media posts. Please make sure that you follow us on Instagram @360xochiquetzal and on Facebook at 360 Xochi Quetzal.


Winner/Rosa Leff in Visual Art
Instagram: @rosaleff   

First Runner-Up/Karen Miranda Augustine in Writing
Twitter: @KMAugustine

Second Runner-Up/Annie McCone-Lopez in Visual Art
Instagram:  @anniemcconelopez

Rosa Leff

Rosa Leff, Winner of the first 360 Xochi Quetzal BIPOC Residency in Visual Art Rosa Leff grew up in an urban home in Baltimore, MD

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Karen Miranda Augustine

Karen Miranda Augustine, First Runner-Up of the first 360 Xochi Quetzal BIPOC Residency in Writing Canadian writer and mixed-media artist Karen Miranda Augustine was our

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Annie McCone-Lopez

Annie McCone-Lopez, Second Runner-Up of the first 360 Xochi Quetzal BIPOC Residency in Visual Art LA-based visual artist Annie McCone-Lopez explores her Mexican heritage and

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New 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency Opportunity

Free Winter BIPOC Residency in Mexico

To celebrate the tenth year of the 360 Xochi Quetzal Residency, we have decided to present a new residency option. Beginning in February 2023, we will be offering a Free BiPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Winter Residency. In order to do this, we will revert to our original, competitive model, where applicants upload their applications on the CAFÉ (Call for Entry) portal.

On Sunday September 4th, our new BIPOC application will go live on CAFÉ. 

The application period will continue until midnight on Sunday November 20, 2022. There is a 12-week window for sending in applications. CAFÉ is a well-established artist application platform. Applicants will need to set up a profile on CAFÉ in order to apply. Here is the link:

The Co-Director of the BIPOC Residency will be Sunya Folayan, a former 360 Xochi Quetzal resident artist. who like so many artists, fell in love with Chapala where she now makes her home. Sunya’s art practice uses indigo craft and ritual as metaphor for reclaiming cultural practices from the African diaspora for resistance, rest and restoration. Sunya is also a lifelong student of West African dance and percussion and she plays the instruments of the Jembe orchestra. Sunya identifies as a Black and Indigenous artist. In addition to heading up the residency jury, she will also create special programming for the BIPOC Residency.

While the application fee will generally cost $40, we will offer an Early Bird Discount that runs from September 4 – October 30, 2022. During that time period, the application fee will only cost $35. We encourage applicants to take advantage of this discount! (See Café Applications Help for details on how to apply this discount)

The winner of the new BIPOC Residency will receive a free live/work space for one-month at the Carriage House apartment at the Hotel Villa QQ, an historic compound in downtown Chapala, Mexico. The winner will also get a $250 stipend to apply towards airfare costs or meals during the Residency. The Hotel Villa QQ has partnered with the Residency since 2021 and dozens of resident artists have enjoyed their beautiful gardens, swimming pool, hot tub and other amenities. The hotel is just steps away from the Malecon, a park that runs alongside Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico.

There will be other resident artists enjoying personal residencies during this timeframe and the winner of the BIPOC Residency will not only spend the month deepening their creative practice, but also have the opportunity to enjoy the international creative community in Chapala. As of this writing, there will be six other 360 Xochi Quetzal residents in February and March 2023 including visual artists from Vancouver and Nova Scotia, Canada, as well as the United Kingdom. There will also be a writer-in-residence from Los Angeles, CA.

Sunya’s vision for the residency:

“I see our new BIPOC residency as a refuge and opportunity to redress systemic racism by offering a tender place to lay down our burdens, reconnect with ourselves and our creativity in order to renew our sense of agency and purpose.”

To read more about the residency in Mexico, please click HERE.

To apply for the 360 Xochi Quetzal Free Winter BIPOC Residency, you can access the application on CAFÉ:

360 Xochi Quetzal Resident Muralist Shela Yu paints a mural on one of our residency buildings.
360 Xochi Quetzal Musician Kipp Kahlia is a social justice singer/songwriter