Welcome Statement and Mission

Welcome Statement and Mission

Welcome!   (testo in italiano sotto)

The Siena Art Institute Onlus is a small non-profit arts organization based in the heart of Siena, Italy, one of the oldest and most beautiful university towns in Italy.  We welcome artists from all disciplines who are interested in the intersection of art and civic life, and who wish to explore how the theoretical content of our individual practices can be translated into socially-meaningful projects that produce a deeper understanding of the cultures in which we find ourselves.     

We organize Project Fellowships, and residencies for professional artists and writers through our Visiting Artist Program (see Summer ResidenciesStudio/Casa ResidenciesStudio Residencies for more information). We organize public arts programming such as conferences and workshops together with collaborative partners, for local and international audiences, including our City Arts Programs and our ongoing series of presentations "StARTers: assaggi d'arte."  We offer a unique study program for international Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate art & writing students, as well as Intensive Summer & Winter Courses.


Fostering artistic excellence while developing cultural awareness and social responsibility.  


The following Objectives are shared by all of the Siena Art Institute Onlus's Programs, including our Academic Programs, Residency Programs,  and City Arts Programs:

Fostering academic and artistic excellence by choosing only highly qualified staff, faculty, and visiting artists, being guided by the Standards of Good Practice of the Forum on Education Abroad, and accepting students with strong backgrounds in the arts from our partner institutions; 

Creating a diverse and supportive community and open exchange of ideas amongst our students, visiting artists, and faculty, encouraging the development of individual and collaborative artistic projects, fostering artistic production, intense critical dialogue, interdisciplinary and intercultural communication, thoughtful reflection, and growth;

Encouraging the connection between program participants and the Sienese community, helping our artists access the practical and cultural resources of the area through observation, dialogue, outreach, and collaboration, and helping the local community to interact with the talents and insights of our program’s participants; 

Developing social awareness and responsible action by providing service-learning opportunities and promoting discussion about international differences in approaching social needs; by working closely with local and international groups addressing important issues such as Deaf accessibility and education, and socio-economic and environmental sustainability.

Providing assistance and opportunities to those in need, believing that everyone should be given the chance to study abroad, we are proud to offer merit- and need- based scholarships to assist qualified applicants in covering the cost of tuition for our programs.

At the Siena Art Institute, you will go beyond merely observing the life of this beautiful city; you will be drawn into dialogue with the environment and community that surrounds you.  The Siena Art Institute works to support your artistic endeavors, providing the resources and opportunities  you need to make a connection and leave a mark, be it through what you say, write, create or perform.  In this way you are not a mere visitor, but a real contributor to the life of the city.  In turn, we hope that your time in the complex and engaging region of Siena will provide you with a wealth of resources, inspirations, and a unique perspective from which to reflect upon your ongoing artistic practice. 


The Siena Art Institute emerged from our partner program, the Siena School for Liberal Arts.  The Siena School for Liberal Arts was originally founded in 1998 as Study in Siena. In 2004, the Siena School for Liberal Arts was born, with a change in administration and a solid emphasis on not only language, but also culture, arts, and social service. As an Italian academic institution catering to American study abroad students, the Siena School for Liberal Arts has a history of working with a broad range of universities and colleges including the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America. The Siena Art Institute continues to work in close partnership with the Siena School, offering our program participants unparalleled opportunities to become active participants in Siena's dynamic and fascinating culture. 

Seeing the strong personal connections to the local culture and community which Siena School students were developing in their arts courses, and the vast artistic resources in Siena, the school's director Miriam Grottanelli de Santi began the process to begin a partner program fostering artistic excellence for art students and professional artists.  Her life-long friend Simone Signorini, President of the Siena Art Institute, was instrumental in constructing a network of program supporters, and Lisa Nonken, Academic Director of the Siena Art Institute, worked to structure the three branches of the program: Academic Programs, Residencies, and City Arts. The Siena Art Institute was founded in 2010, thanks to the generous support of J. Paul Getty III  whose family has lived in the Siena area since 1966, and who wished to shared his love of art with Siena.    


The Siena Art Institute Onlus has a strong commitment to Deaf Accessibility, in association with our partner programs the Siena School for Liberal Arts, and the Mason Perkins Deafness Fund.   Visit our Deaf Accessibility page for more info. 



Siena Art Institute Onlus è una piccola organizzazione no-profit per la formazione e la diffusione di pratiche artistiche che ha la sua sede nel cuore di Siena, una delle città universitarie più antiche e più belle d'Italia. Accogliamo artisti e studenti di tutte le discipline interessati all'intersezione tra arte e vita cittadina, che desiderano scoprire come il contenuto teorico delle nostre pratiche individuali possa tradursi in progetti socialmente significativi per una più profonda comprensione delle culture in cui ci troviamo.

Siamo in grado di offrire un’esperienza unica sia a studenti universitari sia a neodiplomati in arte e scrittura (Academic Programs), corsi intensivi estivi e invernali (Intensive Summer & Winter Courses), laboratori rivolti alla comunità (le iniziative Arte in città) e programmi di residenze artistiche (Residencies).


Le attività di formazione del Siena Art Institute sono nate grazie all'esperienza del nostro partner accademico, la Siena School for Liberal Arts, che organizza corsi di arte e varie discipline umanistiche a Siena sin dal 2004. Ogni giorno lavoriamo in stretta collaborazione con la Siena School, offrendo ai nostri iscritti l'opportunità di prendere parte attivamente all’affascinante e dinamica scena culturale senese.  

Il Siena Art Institute Onlus è stato fondato nel 2010 per iniziativa della direttrice di Siena School, Miriam Grottanelli de Santi, di Simone Signorini, il Presidente, e di Lisa Nonken, Direttore Acccademico, che da allora lavorano insieme per rendere sempre più dinamica e attrattiva la sua offerta culturale.

La creazione di una realtà come il Siena Art Institute è stata resa possibile grazie alla generosità di J. Paul Getty III, che ha vissuto con la sua famiglia nel Senese dal 1966 e ha così voluto concretamente condividere il suo amore per l'arte con Siena.

Al Siena Art Institute potrete andare ben oltre la semplice osservazione della vita di questa affascinante città d'arte. Sarete coinvolti in un dialogo con l'ambiente e la comunità che vi circonda. L'impegno del Siena Art Institute è mirato a sostenere la vostra ricerca artistica e a fornire le risorse e le opportunità di cui avete bisogno per creare un legame e lasciare un segno attraverso le vostre opere, le vostre parole, le vostre azioni. Grazie alla vostra creatività non sarete semplici visitatori, ma parte integrante della vita reale. Siamo certi che la vostra permanenza nel Senese vi possa offrire risorse, ispirazioni e una prospettiva unica da cui partire per riflettere sulla vostra pratica artistica in divenire.


Il Siena Art Institute Onlus, in collaborazione con i suoi partner (Siena School for Liberal Arts e Mason Perkins Deafness Fund) si impegna ad ampliare l'accessibilità dei propri corsi e delle proprie iniziative alla comunità sorda. Offriamo corsi di LIS (Lingua dei Segni Italiana) e di ASL (Lingua dei Segni Americana) per i nostri studenti americani e italiani, per i senesi, per aspiranti interpreti e per chi è già interprete certificato ASL. I nostri studenti possono partecipare anche alle iniziative che organizziamo per la comunità, come laboratori per i bambini sordi.

Sart life